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Apparel Ventures’ Koplin Steps Down as President

LOS ANGELES — Lynne Koplin has stepped down as president of Apparel Ventures Inc., one of California’s largest swim companies.<BR><BR>Marvin Goodman, chief executive officer, said he will likely name Howard Greller as president and Bill...

LOS ANGELES — Lynne Koplin has stepped down as president of Apparel Ventures Inc., one of California’s largest swim companies.

Marvin Goodman, chief executive officer, said he will likely name Howard Greller as president and Bill Singletary as chief operating officer in the next two weeks.

“We’re moving forward aggressively, since we have about two months before the Miami swim show, and a lot of the product is already buttoned up. Howie [Greller] is acting as chief design and merchandising officer now, and we already have our superstructure in place.”

Although Greller’s forte is the juniors’-contemporary market, Goodman said the company is looking to grow in all categories, and will announce new licenses in the coming weeks.

“I sensed the company was going in a more junior direction, but I’ve spent the past six years nurturing lines like Ralph Lauren, Anne Klein and Tommy Bahama,” said Koplin, who has been with Apparel Ventures since 1999. “It’s been tough at retail for swim, and I think you look for change in a season like that,” said Koplin.

She is not sure what her next move will be, but she said she hopes to build more swim brands out of sportswear companies. She has previously held posts at Authentic Fitness and Anne Cole.

AVI’s annual volume is about $90 million. In addition to the Ralph Lauren, Anne Klein and Tommy Bahama licenses, the company designs and manufactures collections under the labels La Blanca by Rod Beattie, Playa by La Blanca and Sessa, as well as private label merchandise.

In November, the company acquired Waterfront Design Group LLC, a $20 million young contemporary-juniors’ firm with the license for Rampage swimwear, and renamed the subsidiary Blue Water Design Co. Greller, a 21-year swim veteran and Waterfront’s founder, joined AVI as president of the new division.