NEW YORK -- There's one simple, if unconventional, strategy behind Swim New York Ltd., a designer swimwear firm that was founded a year ago.

"We ignore the trends in swimwear," said Loren Laney, 29, a former fashion stylist. With his partner, Bradford Moody, 32, and a former designer of eveningwear, Laney has built the company into a $250,000 business.

"We are a real designer firm that looks to trends in ready-to-wear. We want our swimwear to reflect what is happening in fashion right now," said Laney.

For example, last August, the collection -- sold under the Swim label -- heavily featured silver before SA tapped into the look.

"Ready-to-wear designers were showing a lot of gold then, so we knew that silver would be next," said Laney, who said he gets his inspiration from a variety of sources, like the street, art books and travel.

For cruise 1995, the young design team is introducing lots of vinyl, patent leather and suede fashion looks that are hitting the ready-to-wear scene right now.

The Swim line, which primarily had featured Lycra spandex, has expanded to include french terry, sueded fabric and stretched leather. The collection, whose average wholesale price is $50, includes a black tank suit with a blend of Lycra and suede; a neon yellow and pink halter tank with mesh overlay, in a raschel knit of Lycra; a sueded leather high-neck halter belted suit in brown, black or burnt orange, and a black patent leather suit featuring a scooped back and front.

Tank suits account for 85 percent of the mix, with 10 percent in string bikinis and the remainder in two-pieces.

"We want to be sexy without being sleazy," said Laney, whose line is sold in 40 accounts, including Neiman Marcus and R.H. Macy & Co. Their designs have also been splashed on the covers of Cosmopolitan and Shape and have been featured in Vogue, Elle, Town & Country and GQ. The Swim label has also been showcased on MTV's House of Style with Cindy Crawford, The Rikki Lake Show, and ESPN's Hot Summer Night with Elle Macpherson. NBC's "Today" show recently did a 5-minute segment on the company.

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