LAS VEGAS -- A new swimwear show called Splash made its debut here this month to a general nod of approval from buyers but a mixed reaction from vendors.
Many retailers said they were able to get some worthwhile shopping done at the event. Several of the show's 65 exhibitors said traffic and bookings surpassed expectations; others, though, said they were disappointed by the lack of serious buying. One problem, they noted, was that with several other trade shows going on here at the same time, many buyers did not seem to have the time to visit more than one or two key resources.
Splash, which ran for three days through Sept. 11, was held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in conjunction with two other relatively new trade shows here: Fashion Accessories Expo (FAE) and the Visual Marketing & Store Design Show (VM West).
It attracted mostly specialty store buyers, shopping with varied budgets and often citing durable fabrics as a top priority. Tops and bottoms merchandised separately was another idea getting a lot of play.
Ginger and Ward Noland, owners of Flotsam of California, a swimwear store in Santa Cruz, Calif., were in search of goods for immediate through November delivery. Shopping for misses' suits at about $30 wholesale, the husband-and-wife team was impressed by Jantzen.
"It offers full coverage and support," she said. The couple also liked De Weese suits in what she called "spa-safe" fabrics that will hold up in hot tubs." The Nolands opted for preppy-style, conservatively cut suits in green, navy and their best-selling color, black. Plaid and mini-floral prints as well as solids caught their fancy. Although sales are trending upward, the duo cautiously lowered their open-to-buy 5 percent.
Sharon Slade, owner of Beach Nuts in Santa Barbara, Calif., also sought swimwear in durable fabrics. Shopping the $15 to $40 wholesale range, she favored Jag suits made of Cordo kinetic fabric -- a strong new nylon and Lycra spandex blend.
The retailer was also excited by the firm's separates division, Choice. "How many women are there who are proportional in tops and bottoms?" she said.Suits that cover women with large busts and pad women with small busts were important to the buyer, as were bandeau styles, which are staging a comeback in the industry. Slade ordered jewel-tone as well as eggplant and copper-colored suits. With year-to-date sales enjoying a 10 percent rise over 1993, she hiked her buying budget "slightly. I think the state recession is lightening up, but there have been so many ups and downs in our six years of business," she said.
Katie Markus and Patti Braunberg, owner and buyer respectively for Carousel Boutique, a women's boutique in Whitefish, Mont., were placing test orders for swimwear at market.
"It's a new and very seasonal business for us because it's usually too cold for swimwear where we are," Markus said.
Braunberg said the two looked for resources offering January through June 1995 delivery but found mostly firms exhibiting swimwear for immediate through January 1995 shipment. One line they favored was Ann Cole. The two ordered suits at an average $44 wholesale from the nautical-themed collection.
Rio and Desiree Locatelli, a mother-and-daughter team who own It Suits You-Rio Swimwear here, looked for small prints, lace details and neon colors.
"We're seeing a lot more fun coverups, too," Desiree Locatelli said, "such things as sheer tops and pull-on shorts."
The most important trend they found at Splash, however, was swimwear separates, she said, adding that they are her best-selling items. Shopping price points of $30 wholesale and up, the two ordered tops and bottoms from Sunsets Separates and Ritchie. "Business is excellent," Rio Locatelli said. "We have more than doubled our 1993 [year-to-date] sales. Through word of mouth, people are finding out that we carry a variety of swimwear, including custom-made suits for women who have undergone a mastectomy and suits at up to size 46. We also have a seamstress who custom-tailors the suits that we sell."
The buyers' only complaint was that the show ended too quickly. "We felt we needed more days here to see all the lines," Locatelli said.
Another edition of Splash is scheduled for August 1995, to coincide with the WWD/Men's Apparel Guild in California show (WWD/MAGIC) at the nearby Las Vegas Convention Center. Exact dates, site, and whether Splash and FAE will team up again are details yet to be determined, said Barbara Brady, an organizer of the show along with Gary Abeyta.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye