Issue Date: 2017 NOVEMBER, Posted On: 11/14/2017

11132017 Libby Langdon and KAS Rugs Celebrate Hit High Point Launch
By Carol Tisch

Hari Tummala and Rao Yarlagadda of KAS Rugs flank designer Libby Langdon, whose debut collection of indoor and outdoor rugs was a magnet for designers and retailers at High Point Market. 

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Celebrity designer Libby Langdon made two standing-room-only appearances at the Kas Rugs showroom during last month's High Point Market, putting to practice the hands-on, collaborative approach to licensing she espouses. 

On opening day of Market, Saturday, Oct. 14, the designer, author and television makeover personality headlined a meet and greet cocktail party, personally presenting her new collection of indoor and outdoor rugs to dealers, designers and media.

At a meet and greet party for the premiere of the Libby Langdon for KAS Rugs, Langdon explains her vision for the collection at the KAS IHFC showroom.

KAS got everything a licensee could want from a designer partnership, Santhi Yarlagadda, VP, business development & e-commerce for KAS told RugNews.com. "We are thrilled with everyone's reaction to all of Libby's rug collections and her brilliant personality. She brought an incredibly vibrant energy to the KAS showroom, not to mention many fresh faces. "We discovered she has hidden sales talent too. The Libby launch was a huge success," Yarlagadda said. 

The new Libby Langdon for KAS Rugs' Hamptons outdoor collection was merchandised with upholstered pieces from the designer's licensing partnership with NorthCape, an outdoor furniture company.

Indeed, Langdon posed for photos with fans non-stop, as she shared with RugNews.com and other guests her vision for the collection. Topping the best-seller list at market were Featherstone from the Soho collection in indigo. tangerine and pumice, and Block Border from the Winston collection in teal. Soho is hand-tufted of wool in a multi-textured cut and loop pile with high/low effect, while Winston is machine woven of textured polypropylene frisee yarn in a dense thick pile.
The designer explained that the Soho collection, the most graphic of her introductions for KAS, targets a sophisticated young consumer who favors bright pops of colors. "In the last six months, while working on my collection for KAS, I've probably done five family rooms that are all navy and tan with pops of orange. I decided to use that color inspiration for my color story for the rug collection. Why not offer what I know as a designer is selling on the front lines with consumers all across the country?"

Featherstone by Libby Langdon for KAS Rugs was a High Point Market top seller as shown in a hip young colorway of a deep indigo, pumice and tangerine. 

She pointed to the indigo and pumice tones in the Featherstone design from the Soho range, describing it as a fun colorway for this softened version of a chevron pattern. "I love Featherstone. Everyone has been calling the design a 'whale tale' pattern," Langdon said. "When the first samples came in, it was really thrilling to see it the actual rug for the first time." 
Also part of the Soho collection, the Brick by Brick and Cooper Square designs are colored in a harmonizing palette so that the Featherstone patterns make for easy coordination in open plan spaces. Retailers attending the debut party appeared to appreciate the designer's perspective, and when Langdon pointed out that Cooper Square was really a trellis pattern with a modern twist, they got it.

Winston by Libby Langdon for KAS Rugs was another High Point Market best-seller, with its heathered effect and transitional designs in Langdon's soft colorways. 

Another indoor collection, Winston, showcased a more sophisticated look inspired by historical gardens. Machine-woven in Turkey of polypropylene with a 1/2" pile height, the designs are transitional, and brought to life with a distressed overlay, Langdon explained "It's machine-made but with a beautiful time worn look. It is meant to be transitional, but we were also able to do something angular, like a herringbone or the double border. You can see how much heathering there is in these rugs. It gives retailers an option," she said. 
The Home Spun collection, which had been under wraps until Market, was meant for a Farmhouse Chic look, according to Langdon. "There's a lot of texture. I love that you can pull so many colors out of these rugs for the design of a home." The Home Spun collection can assume myriad looks, she explained, because of its simplicity and the wide assortment of neutrals offered. She noted that the Sedona pattern takes on a southwestern look with its layers of color and texture, while Landscape, another Home Spun collection design offered an interesting ombre effect.

Rugs as Art of Sarasota, Florida, stops by to check out the new Libby Langdon for KAS collection: From left, Hari Tummala of KAS, Jesse Murse and Lucy Murse of Rugs as Art, Libby Langdon, and John Murse, Rugs as Art.
"We're thrilled to be bringing Libby's vision to market in the area rug and pillow categories," Santhi Yarlagadda noted. "Our goal with this new partnership is to broaden our reach with retailers and designers. 
"We were not interested in simply adding a celebrity name, we were after a hands-on designer with real credibility on the product side. We are very excited to have found exactly what we were looking for in Libby. Her understanding of how consumers want to live today and her well-established relationships in the trade truly set her apart." 
Langdon again showed she could deliver designers on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 15, at her presentation entitled, "The Genesis of a Licensed Collection: The Process of Bringing a Designer Line to Market," drawing a full house to the KAS showroom.

Libby Langdon shares the secrets of home furnishings licensing to a packed crowd of interior designers at the KAS Rugs showroom during the October High Point Market. 

Designers took notes, asked informed questions and listened intently to the educational seminar focused on Langdon's career journey and the strategies she employs to define and raise brand awareness, identify licensing opportunities and broaden outreach. It seems that all the publicity generated by designer licensing programs at recent markets has stimulated a lot of interest on the part of interior designers -- not just about buying licensed products for their clients, but about getting into licensing themselves.
"I think it's important for you to see who is a good fit for you as a licensing partner. I think what is fun for me in partnering with home products companies is creating looks that they don't already have.  I design things that are fresher and more transitional. It's an updated look -- it's fun for me to partner with people that aren't currently offering the things I want to design," she said.

The Libby Langdon collection for KAS illustrates the celebrity designer's easy, elegant style, shown here in Hamptons indoor-outdoor rugs featuring a soft palette and refined patterns. 

She told the aspiring designer/licensors, "You need to commit to your messaging, and you have to know how to easily communicate that. My tag line is, "Easy, elegant, everyday style." I reduced myself down to who I am, what I'm about, and why people want to work with me. I want to make design fun. You can have a casual home, but it can still be elegant. The "everyday" speaks to who my clients are. They've got kids, pets, and friends that drink red wine. It's a matter of mixing in approachable design that's still beautiful and functional for their lifestyle. It's important that you look at your business and ask what you want to convey. 

Santhi Yarlagadda of KAS Rugs, Libby Langdon of Libby Interiors, Inc., and Carol Tisch of RugNews.com pose in front of the debuting Soho collection at the KAS High Point showroom.

Langdon advised the seminar guests to "Stay true to your messaging" throughout the design process in interior projects as well as licensing. "You need to be clear on your message from the beginning. I think my products reflect my easy, elegant, everyday style. Some things are a little dressier than others, and I like to do all jobs in all different price ranges. It doesn't have to be one big, fabulous house. My tagline continues to be a thread in all my designs and projects regardless of the client's budget."

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