Bernards unveils new brand targeted to designers

Apex will launch its debut introduction, the 80-piece Trilogy collection, during the spring High Point Market cycle

HIGH POINT — Wood furniture and upholstery resource Bernards is launching a new brand that aims to introduce the company to a higher-end segment of the business, including independent designers and brick-and-mortar retailers that offer design services.

Apex will unveil at premarket with its debut introduction, an 80-piece case goods and upholstery collection called Trilogy, which features three individual modern design aesthetics that each have individual finishes.

Designed by Stephanie Lena, Trilogy includes four dining sets, three bedrooms, three occasional groupings and three upholstery groupings. The wood pieces are made with oak and ash veneers and feature mixed media elements such as rope drawer fronts, metal inlays and marble inserts on dining tables and granite tops on some case pieces.

Trilogy offers upper-middle price points, placing it at the top of the line, as compared to middle or starting price points within Bernards.

This dining set is from Bernards’ new Trilogy collection, part of its new Apex brand. The collection is made with oak and ash veneers and features mixed media elements such as marble inset tops as seen on this table.

“This is going to lean heavily toward the designer community and designer-minded retailers, both in style and in price point,” said Bernards President Micah Swick, noting that the finish quality and mixed media components create an added value story in the line that also includes soft-close hinges and soft-close drawer guides.

He said the step-up line and brand was inspired largely by the success of two other collections designed by Lena, including the 70-piece Citrus Heights launched this past spring and Assemblage, also around 70-pieces, launched in October. Citrus Heights came in one finish, while Assemblage offered two finishes available on select pieces.

Trilogy takes things to the next level with its three distinct finishes and additional mixed media elements.

This upholstered bed and the companion case pieces are one of three bedrooms offered in Trilogy.

“It just seemed like the next evolution, the next step,” Swick said of Trilogy and the Apex brand that will move forward with future collections as well. “This is really much more designer oriented than the other two. There is also really unique hardware and mix-and- match capability. All the pieces and the colors are designed to be used together. … Any piece in any finish can mix and match and be sold together.”

During the spring market cycle, the collection will be shown at the front of the company’s showroom in Space 201 of the Atrium at 430 S. Main St. The company is currently remodeling the space in a manner that it said will improve the presentation and traffic flow. With the relocation of a previous subtenant, the space also is being expanded by about 1,000 square feet for a total of 30,000 square feet.

In addition, the company has unveiled a new logo, is updating its website and is investing in both photography and various digital assets to promote both brands.

But the new brand marks perhaps the most significant step forward the company has made to reach a targeted audience.

Swick also noted that the company is not abandoning its core brand, which will remain a resource for retailers seeking values at the middle price points. At market, Bernards, too, will feature new product across the bedroom, dining room and occasional categories.

“We have a great number of dedicated partners that have done business with Bernards for years, and we will continue to service them,” Swick said. “We are not going to walk away from them.”

Swick added that, despite some industry-wide concerns about the economy in general, the time is right to offer a more upscale alternative in the market.

“What I believe we need to do is create something exciting for the consumer, especially if they are willing to spend money on furniture,” he said.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at and at 336-508-4616.

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