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Poko Pano Expands Into Activewear

Drawing on the success of its stateside swimwear launch three years ago, Brazilian brand Poko Pano is introducing an activewear collection to the winter/resort market.

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LOS ANGELES — Drawing on the success of its stateside swimwear launch three years ago, Brazilian brand Poko Pano is introducing an activewear collection to the winter/resort market.

Based on the popularity of dance-inspired styles, the collection includes Lycra blend pants, shorts, tanks, jackets and hoodies that feature appliqués, sequins and silk screens, as well as the Poko Pano logo, which means “little cloth” in Portuguese. The color palette ranges from black and white to eggplant and olive.

“I designed the active line for the woman who wants to ‘have it all’ — the line is a fresh, wearable combination of urban sophistication, performance-based fabrics and fashionable embellishments,” said designer Paola Robba, who designs the swim and active lines from Brazil.

While U.S. swim lines have yet to expand into activewear, Poko Pano’s North American president, Amy Snyder, noted that brand extension is a trend in Brazil. “It’s really common for swim brands to do fitness, since they are experts at fit and the use of Lycra,” said Snyder, adding that the line was set to launch last year but the company held off in order to perfect the product for Aug. 1 shipping.

“We are glad that we waited. Now we have a product on par with Nike, Adidas and Puma,” Snyder said. Pieces will wholesale from $9 to $32.

While she declined to give first-year sales projections, Snyder said: “We hope to exceed $250,000 for the holiday ’06 buying season.”

In addition to UV protection and wick technology, the line is tailored to fit women with curves. For example, the backs of pants are gathered with extra fabric. “Paola really considers women’s needs in her designs, and she wanted a line that was functional yet still cute enough to wear on the street.”

The pieces offer more fashion attitude than typical active lines, yet are priced attractively for retailers. “The collection is really more upscale, but I didn’t want us to be priced in the premium category,” said Snyder, who has shown the line to swim shops, yoga shops and fitness chains for fall and plans to launch into the majors for spring.

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