The ultimate King-size bed viva Elvis!
By Paul Nowell
CHARLOTTE, N.C. The King has been gone for 25 years, but Elvis Presley's marketing power has everyone all shook up at the International Home Furnishings Market.
Doug Bassett, vice president of Vaughan-Bassett furniture marketing, awaits the crowds at the big trade show opening this week in High Point, N.C.
Branding is one of the hottest trends in the furniture business, with companies striking licensing deals to use names like Ernest Hemingway, Arnold Palmer even the Titanic.
But it's anybody's guess what The King of Rock 'n' Roll will mean to a couple redecorating their bedroom.
Vaughan-Bassett officials insist that no green shag or red velvet will be used in the "Graceland" and "Elvis Presley's Hollywood" bedroom lines. Still, they did try to have some fun.
Two signature pieces are the "Love Me Tender" bed and the "Burning Love" heart-shaped mirror, said Doug Bassett, Vaughan-Bassett's vice president of sales and marketing.
To accommodate different tastes, the two furniture groups will offer pieces that range from refined to downright ostentatious.
Furniture buyers interested can choose a sleek bed with padded headboard and matching armoire that merely hints at Presley with silver doorknobs in the shape of an "E" and a "P."
Then there's the suite with a platinum-record mirror and more initial-shaped drawer knobs. And there's another, more traditional style armoire except for the frosted glass insert inscribed with Elvis' signature and musical notes.
Industry analyst Britt Beemer commented: "I wouldn't think of Elvis Presley's name if I were thinking about the epitome of good taste. But it might do very well."
The Elvis furniture line was unveiled at Graceland on Presley's birthday, Jan. 8. Now it's finally going to be shown to the rest of the world.
"We've already had dozens of commitments from dealers to buy furniture and not a single buyer has seen a sketch, color panel nothing," Bassett said.
Bassett said the furniture will be moderately priced, with beds from $499 to $999 at retail and entire suites available for $1,999 to $2,999.