New York Tabletop Show | Wrap| Brand Enhancements
Oneida returned to the stemware business at this market, unveiling a collection called Couplets geared toward the upstairs market. Market research revealed that the Oneida brand name is well-regarded by consumers, who were under the impression that Oneida already offered stemware, according to Ross Patterson, business director-tabletop for Robinson Home Products. "It's a good time to re-look at the category," he said, noting that Oneida has offered glassware in the past. "We're trying to leverage the success of the Oneida brand."
There are three European-made crystalline patterns in the collection: a subtle optic called Aquarius, a gray-cut swirl pattern called Luminaire and a shape-driven pattern called Compose. There are five SKUs in each pattern--a red, white, balloon, flute (each with a pulled stem) and a stemless shape. Oneida is selling them in pairs, a departure from most vendors, noted Patterson, who sell them in sets of four. They will retail for $19.99 (a corresponding decanter for $29.99) and are being positioned as more of an impulse or giftable item than a table-setting investment. The packaging reflects that giftability, featuring a picture of the stemware pair on the front of the box, with a ribbon curled around the base of the stems. "We've had a great reception [during market]," Patterson said. "A lot of senior management came through and were impressed." oneida.com
The Royal Doulton brand has been significantly retooled to reflect its British design roots, and it is being positioned within parent company WWRD's brand portfolio as the more casual, everyday dinnerware and glassware option. Recent introductions underscore that new strategy. Paolozzi is a contemporary dinnerware design inspired by the Pop Art movement; it offers both a full coverage and border design with bold geometric designs in bright colors. The Fable collection is inspired by Scandinavian naturalistic patterns in red, white and blue with stylized birds, tree motifs and a garland design. Mode is a simplistic yet sleek collection designed with urban loft living in mind; the collection encompasses porcelain, stoneware, glass and wood in a soft neutral palette. The Pop In For Drinks collection, meanwhile, is a playful cocktail party-themed barware collection. It includes stainless steel barware tools and party plates that incorporate cheeky sayings like "Every dog has its day" and features iconic London imagery such as bowler hats, umbrellas and black cabs.
The brand has not abandoned the formal dinnerware business. Signature, Signature White and Signature Blue are each simple banded patterns; Islington has gradient concentric rings in soft gray and blue; Finsbury is a platinum-banded white-on-white pattern with tightly arcing rings whose accent plate introduces a soft taupe colorway. There are new complementary as well as stand-alone stemware patterns as well. royaldoulton.com
The theme in the Lenox showroom at Forty One Madison was Made in America, celebrating the fact that all of the company's fine china is now made in its Kinston, N.C., plant. Its fine introductions were in step with a continuing market trend for florals: Garden Grove features large blossoms in inky blues highlighted with fine gold leaves; Sommerdale is a more subtle, white-on-white floral; Minstrel Gold skips subtle and goes straight for a commanding look with a black and gold all-over floral print.
Under its Marchesa license, Lenox introduced Spring Allure, a simple gold-banded white bone china pattern with a scattering of sophisticated and brightly colored butterflies.
The company also sang the blues at this show, offering line extensions or variations in several shades of blue, including Floral Fusion in blue and Butterfly Meadow Blue. It also offered a simple white porcelain pattern called Regency Silhouette in which the sculpting around the well of the plate reflects the rim design.
The company is partnering with American designers. It has a financial partnership with porcelain designer Michael Wainwright and is also partnering with Jono Pandolfi, a product designer and ceramist who, together with Tim Carder, the vice president of design at Lenox, created two patterns with a unique look. "We are dedicated to nurture and support American creative designers so that they have an outlet for their designs," said Lester Gribetz, president of Lenox. "Michael Wainwright and Jono Pandolfi are examples of talented American ceramists who have earned the respect of a wide audience here in the U.S." lenox.com
Ten Strawberry Street
Ten Strawberry Street has a robust new boxed-set program that includes 14 new patterns, all geared to the younger market (think college age) and priced in the $29.99 to $39.99 range.
"I think boxed dinnerware in this industry has gotten really boring," said President Zachary Zucker. "I think there is a sweet spot in the $29.99 to $39.99 range for a 16-piece set in vibrant colors."
Zucker acknowledged that in recent years Ten Strawberry Street had been "lethargic" in retail, but promises the company is "back in a big way" with collections that go beyond its reputation as a whiteware supplier. Three brands have been created: Ten Strawberry Street, its core business, which offers many black and white patterns; Ten, which is a step up from Ten Strawberry Street in terms of design and price; and Madison Ave., which will offer full coverage detail.
The patterns debuted at the International Home + Housewares Show displayed at the New York Spring Tabletop Show last month. tenstrawberrystreet.com
Gibson Overseas introduced several more pieces in its extensive Isaac Mizrahi collection of dinnerware, glassware and flatware, following an initial debut at the International Home + Housewares Show earlier this spring. There are several dinnerware patterns in several mediums, including ceramic, porcelain, stoneware and bone china. Whiteware patterns include the heavily embossed Chateau in square or round, Grand Waverly bone china, Petals stoneware (with a flower motif in the center of the plate), Crest stoneware (with a single embossed butterfly on the border), Nantucket stoneware and Rustique ceramic (with antiqued embossing). Patterned options include the gold-banded City Lights, with slight striations on a taupe border; an all-over, sepia-like floral called Rosa, and a black and white concentric-ringed design called Vertigo.
More casual--and colorful--choices include Bravo, a white bordered plate with a reactive glazed center in teal, and Color Story Too, also white bordered, but with a solid-colored center in a variety of bright hues.
East Hampton glassware complements any of the dinnerware designs, and there is a stainless-steel flatware pattern called Adora as well as colored handle flatware (one with white polka dots). gibsonusa.com
Already established in the upstairs department with its Philippe Deshoulieres brand, BIA has ventured into the more casual upstairs market with Mateus, a Swedish-designed, deeply hued earthenware collection created by Portuguese-born designer Theresa Lundahl. Lundahl, who founded Mateus in 1993 in Stockholm, approaches dinnerware design as she would fashion and encourages individual experimentation with different colors and patterns. The collection is based on three designs--a solid color, a lacy design and one heavily embossed with butterflies--and is available in several hues (BIA will initially offer about five or six). Each piece is hand-glazed, so there is a one-of-a kind aspect to the many pieces in the collection. "They're little individual pieces of art," said Paul Baughman, president of BIA. "They are nice shapes, good definition, nice colors," he added. "It's a very approachable line...more everyday." biacordonblu.com