New York— Continuing to support its new overarching marketing campaign that spotlights the fashion-forward and high-end products under its portfolio, Daltile held a private popup event for its A&D customers and community here last night, September 10.
“Daltile has a complete breadth of product, but this is focused on the unique shapes and textures and unique designs within the brand — all of our higher-end lines,” Paij Thorn-Brooks, vice president of marketing, Daltile Corporation, told GO. “We wanted to tie that into fashion week because we are a fashion business and bring in our celebrity spokesperson to really amplify that message.”
At the event, which coincided with New York Fashion Week, Kristin Cavallari, well-known actress, designer, entrepreneur and new Daltile spokesperson, touted the brand’s accessibility and fashion-minded philosophy. “When they asked me to partner with them, I was really excited about it,” she told GO. “I think there’s been this misconception that home and fashion are two separate things, but I think they are married. Home follows fashion trends — everything we’re seeing in fashion right now we’ll see in home in the next six to eight months. It’s been fun for me to help get Daltile’s message out about fashion and tile being a marriage and trying to bridge that gap and have people think of them in the same sense. Home tile is cool and sexy and sleek and all those things that fashion is as well, and its accessible.”
Designers at the show even took note of the synergistic collaboration between Daltile and its new spokesperson. “Kristin’s jewelry [from her Uncommon James brand] matches exactly with some of the Daltile collections, and that’s what it’s about right now — fashion,” said Denise DiBlasio, senior design studio manager, Toll Brothers Design Studio. “My 28-year-old daughter doesn’t know Daltile, but she knows Kristin Cavallari. And my husband, who’s a sports enthusiast, might know her husband. They’re able to attract women and men and the different age groups, which is a big deal. We have young buyers and we have older buyers, and you need to be able to hit all the marks.”
Just prior to the event, the brand unveiled seven new porcelain and natural stone collections, each tailored to the needs of the high-end residential and commercial A&D and builder community. Each collection was on hand at the event, in addition to the brand’s other 2019 introductions.
Designers at the show noted the ease at which Daltile’s new lines hit on current home design trends. One trend, for example, is a slight shift in farmhouse style. DiBlasio explained while farmhouse-style homes are still in vogue, a return to glamour is beginning to take hold. And, instead of one outperforming the other, the two design trends are actually leaning on each other. “The wood plank is still very popular, but polish is coming back. We may be getting a little bit out of the farmhouse look and going back to the glamour and yet we’re marrying them. I’m obsessed with [Daltile’s] Choreo. It gives you the faux wood look that you’re seeing but without the cost, and it mixes and matches wood with polished elements. It’s an easier decision by the consumer to choose something like Choreo than to have to mix and match the different variables themselves.”
She also noted the growing importance of Daltile’s new natural stone lines that mix metals within their design. “We just had someone who did his kitchen. What he called it was his ‘super sexy kitchen’, and that’s where we’re going in design. And I think the metals mixed with natural stone bring that in, like [Daltile’s] Lavaliere. It’s something that make people go, ‘Wow, where did you get that?’ You’re not walking into home depot to see that.”
Daltile’s Thorn-Brooks added, “There is so much emulation within porcelain that stone is flat right now, but in the decorative elements like Lavalier where you’re mixing mediums with natural stone for backsplashes and walls, there is still a lot of huge momentum.”
Natural stone even without decorative elements, DiBlasio explained, entice both Baby Boomers and Millennials. And, Daltile’s extensive natural stone and natural stone looks allow designers to tap both age groups with a single brand. “Baby boomers have the money — 55+ is what we’re building mostly right now. They are downsizing from a pretty large house into a smaller house, and they have the money to spend on materials that they couldn’t get at 30. Baby boomers are a huge buying power right now, but you can’t count out the millennials. Millennials will take the porcelain natural stone looks because of the price point, but Boomers will take the natural stone because they have the money and experience to care for it.”
When it comes to the brand’s natural stone, the company’s quartz plant in Dickson, Tenn. is now operational and has been churning out new SKU’s for about six months, according to Thorn-Brooks. “We’re seeing a lot of momentum with our quartz and we continue to launch high-fashion quartz products. Marble is also still so popular in higher-end design for kitchens and restrooms and especially within hospitality.”
Moving forward, Thorn-Brooks said Daltile will strive to innovate through high design. “We’re not leaving the good/better products, but we’re going to continue to grow our large design assortment and very high-fashion products.”