By Allison Zisko
Lenox comes to market this month with two big licensed launches that are decidedly casual and distinctly different from each other.
DKNY Lenox and Aerin by Lenox make their official debut at the New York Tabletop Show, though both have already been exclusively committed to two different department stores, said Lenox President Lester Gribetz.
Whereas Donna Karan by Lenox, which launched a few years ago, is high-end and couture-minded, DKNY Lenox appeals to the mid-range consumer with more eclectic, fun colors and styles, all imbued with the spirit and energy of New York City, said Glenn DeStefano, president, DKNY and Donna Karan Lenox collections. It is full of chic, clean shapes and modern graphics. The collection encompasses five dinnerware patterns, three flatware patterns, complementary casual glassware and an assortment of wooden serveware.
Urban Impressions dinnerware offers a textured motif, in either all black or all white, while Urban Graffiti is a black-and-white brushstroke pattern. Urban Essentials offers bright, bold colors—blue, red, orange and white—with thick banding and stripes. A fourth pattern, unnamed at press time, is a two-tone pattern in a muted colorway with a Mid-Century Modern feel. Lacquered wood serving pieces in both black and white and bright colors round out the dinnerware options. There is also a small grouping of black ebony wood pieces that are molded and sculpted in coupe shapes.
One accompanying flatware pattern takes its inspiration from a DKNY ready-to-wear wrap dress, another features a sleek, grid-like design meant to convey the New York City skyline, and a third is a contemporary design reminiscent of chopsticks.
A DKNY travel mug and picture frames in a graffiti, striped or city taxi design, completes the assortment.
Aerin by Lenox, created by designer Aerin Lauder (granddaughter of Estée Lauder), is a luxury lifestyle collection that centers around the concept of effortless entertaining. It is a full tabletop collection, encompassing five dinnerware patterns, a collection of wood and wicker serveware, glassware and flatware, differentiated by its tactile approach. The entire collection was influenced by textural things with “a nod to natural elements, with a unique execution,” said Trish Dahms, senior director of product development and marketing for Lenox. For example, the stoneware employs reactive decals, the flatware has a woven rope motif and the serveware features caned or woven effects.
The stoneware was designed to mix and match. There are five patterns in the group: Cottage Terrace, a graphic floral with a bird print, reminiscent of an antique tapestry; Dogwood Bloom, an updated floral in a classic blue and white colorway; Deep Sea, a bold blue ikat design; Ocean Bluff, a white carved pattern inspired by a traditional wicker weave; and a fifth pattern, yet to be named, that features a bold green ikat design. Solid blue and green dinner plates complement the patterned ones. The dinnerware is available in four-piece place settings for $80 retail and is also available as open stock.
Six acacia wood serving items—various sized bowls, chargers and the like—and nine wicker items, which range from trays and serving baskets to hurricanes and votives, accentuate the overall casual feel of the collection.
Chunky, short-stemmed glassware is offered in clear, blue or green with two stemware and two non-stemware options. The flatware, called Harborside, is also chunky, with a rope pattern and a highly carved handle. It is 18/10 stainless steel, sold in place settings for $70 retail. There are also 10 SKUs of non-lead crystal gifts in clear, blue and green. Items include vases, a carafe and what Lauder refers to as “essential bowls.”