Caldeira Leads with Velvet Collection
David Perry -- Furniture Today, February 14, 2007
At the New York Market — A velvety palette of chocolate enhanced with persimmon, aqua, red, and pink already appeals to the tastes of British shoppers.
And Caldeira USA Inc. is hoping what's good for the Brits is good for Americans, too.
At this — its first market — Caldeira USA is banking on the momentum of its three-year-old Velvet collection to break the company into mid- and upper-tier department and specialty stores here.
"Our European Velvet is the must-have look at the moment back home, and based on our research there doesn't seem to be a lot of it in this marketplace here, giving us somewhat of an exclusive look, if you will," said Tony Caldeira, founder and managing director.
The Velvet collection is currently on the shelves of mid-level and upper tier British retailers. It has evolved equally as many times, with the third and latest version of the line encompassing the most colors.
The first generation of Velvet centered on panel designs, single-theme patterns depicted in solid colors on a natural line ground.
The second generation offered two-tones and colored grounds.
And this, the third generation, has graduated the palette to three and four colorways enhanced with metallic accents.
"For us, the fabric tends to sell the pillow, versus the bells and whistles," Caldeira said. "We've always found fabric to be the key."
Velvet encompasses as many as 300 designs and styles. Patterns include general florals as well as specifics like chrysanthemums, leafy vines, Japanese-inspired organic motifs, retro waves, geometrics, damasks, and dots, among others.
Chocolate is a dominant color theme, coupled with brighter accent hues like oranges, aquas, teals, deep blues, reds, and earth tones.
Pillow styles are clean, with the texture and design of the fabric poised as the selling points, not embellishments. Coordinating throws and soft window treatments are also available.
All of the Velvet pillows are made with a zipper and a high-quality synthetic fill.
Being U.K.-made, makes these decorative pillows unique in this industry — a fact "we are going to play up to the customer" with hangtags and other such efforts, said Carolyn Winderbaum, product development manager. "The consumer will find it very refreshing to find they are made in the U.K."
Specific retail price points are still under development for the U.S. line, but targeted retails start at the middle level and work their way up.
"Here the atmosphere is more price-driven, retailers are more price-sensitive here than in the U.K.," Caldeira said. "But I think we have a good angle on the American market."
To meet more aggressive price points, and to produce differently styled products that do carry more "bells and whistles" such as tassels, Caldeira said, the company owns and operates a factory in China "that can make anything based on customers' orders."
But, Caldeira noted, the Chinese production side focuses on heavier weight jacquard and chenille fabrications, for example, to maintain a better quality.
"Our Chinese product is mainly mid-tier product," he said. "Our specifications are quite well specked, compared to other similar products out in the marketplace"
Caldeira USA's first showing was at a "small" booth at Heimtextil. For this market, the company occupies a permanent showroom in suite No. 401 at 261 Fifth Avenue.
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