Karastan Rolls Out Carpet for ‘Divas’

Seeking to update its image for a young, contemporary audience of women who see themselves as “decorating divas,” Karastan carpets is slated to launch a $5 million print campaign via Austin Kelley Advertising that stars actress Andie MacDowell.

The high-end brand, which traditionally has catered to an affluent, older market, wants to increase its profile among women who use home decor to make a fashion statement, said Margaret Gearing, AKA svp, director of client services.

In four ads that break in March magazines, MacDowell sits or lounges on a Karastan. Q&A copy beside her reveals her eclectic tastes (she likes terra-cotta walls) and details about her family, such as her son’s shoe size. The new tagline: “Make a statement. Your own.”

MacDowell is decorating her own home in Asheville, N.C., with Karastan carpets, said Duncan Stone, svp, creative director at Interpublic Group’s AKA in Atlanta. “It took a long time to find someone who … was making a statement, was interesting to others and had a tie to the home,” he said.

Karastan’s parent, Calhoun, Ga.-based Mohawk Industries, posted 2002 sales of $4.5 billion, according to Hoover’s Online—up about 32 percent from the previous year. For the past two years, AKA has focused on product-centric work as Karastan cut back on image ads amid the tough economy, said Gearing.