What would you call a custom window covering when it’s not a shade and it’s not a sheer; yet it raises and lowers, operates with a beaded chain and offers a full range of light control from complete room darkening to open view? What would you call it if, in fact, it offers an almost endless variety of light control and filtering options and is available in a range of trend-setting colors in a contemporary styling that’s fresh and suitable for any application?
You’d have to call it transitional. And that’s exactly what Lafayette Interior Fashions calls is newest window fashion category: Allure Transitional Shades™.
Allure Transitional Shades can do so much—offering the privacy of a window shade, the softened view of a sheer in a range of opacity levels and the option of raising and lowering for privacy and light control at every level. Its allure is created with fabric alternating between sheer and denser horizontal segments. As the fabric moves two layers bypass on the window creating a variety of light control options. It almost has to be seen to be fully appreciated. “Difficult to define . . . impossible to resist,” the company states.
Lafayette Interior Fashions, West Lafayette, IN, created this new product category in January 2008 when it first introduced Allure. Its unique functionality required distinction from traditional custom shades and sheers, as no other window covering possesses the ability to create or filter light at every level of the window’s height.
While the concept behind this transitional shade might not necessarily be new, Lafayette is the first manufacturer to focus on developing and expanding this category. Its plan was twofold: Lafayette wanted to create a prestige product targeted toward upscale consumers and across applications. It also wanted to create a product category that dealers could use to draw consumer attention into their showrooms.
In order to be properly positioned, Allure included an extensive initial offering of six patterns and 29 colors to satisfy a broad range of trends and tastes. Allure’s stylish horizontal lines coupled with its easy, incremental light adjustment make it truly transitional.
Increasing Allure’s appeal in the marketplace is its versatility. It’s a natural selection for contemporary homes, apartments and lofts with its stylish design and sleek headrail, but Allure also fits in any home décor with its broad selection of fabrics that range from simplistic neutrals to a sophisticated spectrum of hues and to nature-inspired colors.
Allure’s market range even extends beyond the home. Its functional ability to control light makes it an ideal choice for a host of commercial applications including business offices.
As optimistic as Lafayette was concerning the launch of Allure beginning with several major industry retailers earlier this year, it could not foresee the enthusiasm transitional shades would create. Dealers everywhere have used Allure Transitional Shades as an opportunity to differentiate their product lines, reduce competition and increase margins.
To keep up with the demand for Allure, Lafayette had to adjust inventories for some patterns and colors by up to five times their original amounts. The immediate success of Allure required Lafayette to expedite plans for a product update, using this as an opportunity to continue the evolution of Transitional Shades and increase the pattern offering.
More Transitions in Store
This fall, Lafayette rolls out several Allure Transitional Shades updates, including more installer friendly and aesthetically pleasing installation brackets, a two-on-one shade bracket, hold downs, and an increase in the color offering with three new patterns and 17 colors. Several of the new colors were developed by Lafayette’s fashion design team to target current trends in the industry’s ever-changing marketplace.
It doesn’t end there. This fall Lafayette doubles the consumer appeal of Allure with the newest innovation in window coverings: Allure Sundown Transitional Shades.
Allure Sundown combines Allure with a room-darkening fabric. Before extending to its maximum length, light control and privacy levels can be adjusted in the same manner as Allure Transitional Shades. At the maximum length, Allure Sundown will transition from light filtering to room darkening. This provides the homeowner with the privacy of room-darkening material without sacrificing Allure’s unique and stylish horizontal profile. Allure Sundown will include two room-darkening patterns with 13 colors designed to coordinate with the Allure offering.
All these attributes together in one innovative window treatment—with yet another Allure Transitional Shade update anticipated in 2009—Lafayette Interior Fashions commits to transitioning the window coverings industry into a new generation of products.