How Fashion Faces brings celeb power and style to housewares – Sourcing Journal
The halls of the Universal Furniture showroom seemed a bit more crowded during the recent High Point Market. While the Covid-19 vaccine certainly had something to do with increased traffic, much of the buzz was linked to the appearance of model Miranda Kerr, touting her new Tranquility line for the furniture maker.
Tranquility is the second line the model and mom-of-two has collaborated on with Universal, and for the company, the partnership with a fashion industry celebrity has not only added star power to her business, but It also allowed her to tap into the expertise of someone well versed in the ins and outs of fashion.
“It helps showcase who we are and informs about the overall aesthetic and fine detail that is incorporated into every piece of furniture we make,” said Neil MacKenzie, vice president of marketing for Universal Furniture. “It’s also important that Miranda is a mother, business owner and entrepreneur who doesn’t just lend her name, she’s really involved, and that shines through in the projects we’ve collaborated on.
Kerr isn’t the only fashion name to dip its toes into the housewares business. While many fashion brands have their own lines for the home, the trend for traditional furniture and homeware companies to partner with fashion designers, models and other players in the clothing industry. clothing has grown over the past decade.
Earlier this year Serta Simmons Bedding launched a line of Beautyrest mattresses by Christian Siriano and Calvin Klein has a collection of rugs for Nourison, but the grande dame of fashion and home partnerships is Kathy Ireland, who has made a name for herself in as a model and now presides over a home goods empire that includes multiple partnerships with furniture and accessories brands.
“What women experience on catwalks in Paris and Milan, they want to translate into their homes,” Ireland said of her success in putting her fashion experiences at the service of furniture.
“Combining design and business has always been a passion,” she added.
While many licensed lines in the furniture industry with celebrities are just name partnerships, Kerr has been active in creating his collections with Universal. When they first met, Kerr brought a presentation of the design vision with his ideas for a potential collection. And she’s worked closely with the company’s designers ever since.
“I have been in the fashion industry since I was 13 and have traveled the world many times, had different experiences with different cultures,” she said. “And I think a lot of that was absorbed subconsciously – seeing different textiles and fabrics, being in fashion for so long and also this cultural travel experience. And I’m very specific about the things I like and don’t like.
Ireland said not only its licensing partners, but also buyers, expected to be more than just a famous face in the showroom. She recalled her first presentation to Irv Blumkin, then CEO of large furniture retailer Nebraska Furniture Mart, who doubted she had detailed knowledge of the pieces bearing his name.
“Sir. Blumkin saw our team members and, believing that I had an entourage, he said that I had to show him around the showroom myself and that if I didn’t know my stuff he was wrong. buy, “said Ireland.” After taking a deep breath, we walked through the showroom and, to our amazement, Mr. Blumkin adopted our designs and gave us a chance. “
Focus on fashion
For furniture companies that partner with famous names in the fashion industry, the goal goes beyond getting their brand celebrity. In a segment that typically follows fashion rather than leading it, furniture companies can give their products a boost by working with someone who has first-hand knowledge of the industry that drives trends.
“When we entered the furniture industry over 20 years ago, the landscape was an ocean of similarities, neutrals and traditional silhouettes,” said Ireland. “What our team shares is: ‘Don’t be afraid of color! Unleash your personal style! ‘ We hope to continue to inspire and transform the furniture industry by encouraging manufacturers to have fun with design and pay attention to fashion and lifestyle trends.
And while models typically wear fashion rather than creating it, the closeness they have to designers and other creators in the clothing industry gives them an appreciation and understanding of style that can translate into items for. the House.
“Being in the industry for so long, having exposure to fashion and working with some of the biggest and most creative people in the industry has taught me so much,” Kerr said. “And that really trains your attention to detail. Because everything I do, I’m like ‘how can I do better next time?’ And so you really zoom in on every little detail.
Ultimately, these fashion and home partnerships are meant to build business for furniture companies and famous collaborators. And if the Ireland and Kerr lines are any indication, these partnerships can be incredibly profitable.
Ireland has built a multi-million dollar business with its furniture lines with companies like Pacific Coast Lighting, Nourison, Michael Amini and Bush Furniture. And Kerr’s debut collection for Universal was a big success, with strong orders for the new line when it debuted on the High Point Market. And for Universal employees, this boost in business and increased reputation as a style leader in the industry has made partnering with Kerr a great experience.
“We are delighted with the success of the first collection, Love. Joy. Bliss., And Tranquility have also been well received in the market, ”said MacKenzie. “Having Miranda come to the market to find out what High Point has to offer our customers was an added bonus. We got the credit for the intricate finishes and fabric details which give the collection a high look and feel.