NEW YORK — Brazilian swimwear firm Rosa Cha now has a home in the U.S. to display its full range of sultry suits and bright-colored cover-ups.
The company’s first U.S. store, an 800-square-foot boutique, recently opened on a busy retail stretch on Lincoln Road in Miami’s South Beach neighborhood. The store was feted last Tuesday night at a raucous party hosted by the ubiquitous party girls Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie that included a runway show and drew a range of celebrities and starlets.
In addition to swimwear and related apparel, the boutique, operated by franchisee Janette Leal, sells a selection of accessories, including jewelry and handbags. Retail prices range from about $90 for a simple bikini up to $220 for a crocheted style, said Leal.
The $12 million firm now has 20 stores in Brazil and one in Portugal, in addition to the Miami location. Rosa Cha, which means tea rose in Portuguese, has been working to build its distribution and expand its business in this country, said U.S. sales manager Jutta Kurtz, who is based in New York. Founded 15 years ago in Brazil by husband and wife team Amir and Rivi Slama, Rosa Cha began selling wholesale in the U.S. five years ago and is now available in about 80 stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Scoop and Barney’s.
“There is so much interest in Brazilian fashion and culture right now,” Kurtz noted.
The company shows its swimwear on the New York runways each September and its lively presentations often draw a high-profile crowd; in the September 2003 show, attendees included Venus Williams, Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z. — M.K.
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