But now a new furniture line aims to bring the same design concepts to the masses. The brand’s new furniture collection consists of 14 pieces, including beds, poufs, chairs and sofas. They are available exclusively from Red by Scalamandre, the brand’s e-commerce presence founded in 2019 to sell discontinued items and a line of throw pillows.
Louis Renzo Jr. vice president of business development, said the success of those sales proves the need for more DTC business; Pillow sales will be up 50% year-on-year by 2022. He said the new line aims to reach a new audience of millennial and Gen Z consumers.
“We want to be able to get a customer directly online and buy something from the Red from Scalamandre brand,” said Renzo.
The move comes as furniture and home accessories continue to be an important part of consumer spending. Despite record inflation and recession concerns, figures from the US Census Bureau for October 2022 showed that furniture spending was $12.1 billion, up 1.6% from last year.
Aware of the headwinds of an economic climate, Renzo said the total investment is measured: Scalamandre is partnering with Cloth and Co. to produce the products to order, avoiding upfront inventory costs. Pieces can be delivered within three weeks of ordering.
“We still think this is a great opportunity for us,” he said. “We don’t have to keep stock, everything shipped quickly, everything is great quality, and we’re able to reach younger, new audiences.”
Laurel Vernazza, a design expert at online home platform The Plan Collection, said Scalamandre’s designs fit the niche for standout pieces that reinvent a space. With rents skyrocketing and homeowners stuck amid high interest rates, there’s a demand for high-impact pieces, she said.
“People want to personalize their space and use every ounce of square footage they have,” she said.
And while the boom in room renovations has generally slowed during coronavirus lockdowns, Vernazza said shoppers are still looking for quick and easy ways to update their space. The foldable screens in the Scalamandre collection are a great example of something that can make a big impact on a room or office, she said.
“People have personalities and I think they want those back in their homes,” she said. “They want their color accents.”
The new collection highlights signature mid-century Scalamandre patterns such as leaping zebras, tropical flowers and oversized red roses, plus 10 solid color options.
Pieces include upholstered headboards, cushioned sofas, chairs, and ottomans. Prices range from $290 for a zebra-print ottoman to a platform bed for $1,731.
Despite reaching a new audience, the launch aims to maintain trade and wholesale exclusivity. The fabric is not from Salamander, but rather designed and printed on Cloth and Co. stock. Renzo said trade customers get a discount on the pieces and certain patterns and designs don’t appear on products available on the website.
Renzo also does not expect the sale of DTC to catch up with the core business. While he doesn’t want to share total sales numbers or how much DTC sales could bring in, he estimates that at the high end it could be 10% to 15% of sales over the next decade.
Still, he said he hopes the launch will push the brand into a new era of relevance.
“We’re definitely just trying to get our name out there so it’s more visible to the everyday shopper,” Renzo said.