NEW YORK — “We’re playing it very big. When we get an exclusive, we make a big deal of it.”

This story first appeared in the February 14, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

That’s Bloomingdale’s chairman and chief executive officer Michael Gould expressing what’s been standard procedure at the store for years — getting the jump on the competition with a high-profile label. On Friday, Gould whisked Diane von Furstenberg through Bloomingdale’s 59th Street store, which was decked out in DVF tabletop and bedding on the home floors, in the windows, along the escalator banks and with statements in ready-to-wear areas. It’s the designer’s first true crack at the category, though she’s dabbled in home decor before, and it’s comprehensive — about 500 stockkeeping units in tabletop and another 400 in bedding. The presentation includes a 300-square-foot gallery for cheese platters, bakeware, salad bowls and glassware, flanked by tables of napkin rings, plates, cups and saucers in glass, porcelain, lacquer and wood. Batiks, Miro-inspired colors and patterns, and the designer’s signature prints from her dresses add vibrancy.

“You can have as many duvet covers as you have lovers,” said von Furstenberg. “Well, maybe that’s not so good to say. Maybe have as many duvets as you would like to have lovers.” Her objective with the collection was “to bring color and print into the home.”

“There’s really mixing and matching,” as you would expect in ready-to-wear, noted Kevin Harter, vice president and fashion director for home, men’s and kids’ at Bloomingdale’s, which has a 60-day exclusive on Diane von Furstenberg Home. He said DVF could quickly emerge as one of Bloomingdale’s biggest volume labels in home, with Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Vera Wang, Donna Karan and Michael Aram, among a few others.

“It’s different. It’s got color. There’s a lot going on,” Gould said. “We have been a partner with Diane for close to 40 years. Her DNA and our DNA are very similar.” It’s that contemporary vibe they both feel.

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