Marvin Goodman, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of swimwear manufacturer Apparel Ventures Inc., died of lymphoma Nov. 30 at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California. He was 76.
Goodman started Apparel Ventures in 1976 and made the Gardena, Calif.-based company a leader in the swimwear sector. Apparel Ventures manufactures women’s swimwear and beach accessories under the La Blanca by Rod Beattie, 2 Bamboo, Ralph Lauren and Ralph Lauren Blue Label tags, among others.
In 2004, Goodman spearheaded Apparel Ventures’ acquisition of Waterfront Design Group LLC, a young contemporary-junior swimwear firm that became the company’s Blue Water Design Group division. It produces swimwear for the Puma, Local Motion, Trina Turk and A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz labels.
Goodman began Apparel Ventures with three employees — a designer, secretary and fit model — to market junior swimwear and sportswear, which it abandoned in the Eighties, under the Sassafras label. The small staff notched $4.5 million in sales in its first year. Apparel Venture’s hire of designer Rod Beattie, who honed the La Blanca brand, buoyed the company and that brand alone was a $25 million business by 1994.
Beattie said Goodman pushed Apparel Ventures to continually improve its swimwear. “One time, I walked into his office and said, ‘How have you done this for 35 years?’ He said, ‘Every day is a new challenge.’ He just loved the challenge and, at the same time, he was having fun making the best swimwear on the U.S. market….For me, as a designer, he was always supportive of what I did.”
The company extended its reach abroad. In Europe, Apparel Ventures Europa Textila LDA produces private label swimwear. And the firm manufactures swimwear from subsidiary AVI De Mexico facilities.
Bill Singletary, chief financial officer of Apparel Ventures, has been appointed interim ceo. He described Goodman as a “mentor and a good friend” and the “industry’s most preeminent executive.” “He was a pioneer in the expansion of the swimwear industry,” he said.
Goodman is survived by his wife Melinda, and his children Gregory, Dean, Rebecca and Jessica Goodman and Brandon Schiffman.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
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Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast