Jantzen, the Portland, Ore.-born brand that first coined the term swimsuit, will head into its second century in business next year and is commemorating the occasion by reflecting on its first 100 years.
Under the design direction of head designer Lisa Dixon, Jantzen dove into its archives to identify iconic swimsuits of the brand’s past in order to reinterpret them for modern consumers. The resulting Heritage Collection contains suits evocative of significant styles from each decade from the Twenties on, and the relaunch of Curvallure, a line popular in the Fifties for its glamorous bras and shapely fit, targeted at swimwear shoppers who want slimming features.
To promote the new swimwear, Jantzen is rolling out advertising in December speaking to its legacy and drawing upon the tag line “Just Wear a Smile and a Jantzen,” which was first introduced in the Sixties. On July 10, a 13-week exhibit called “Beauty on the Beach: A Centennial Celebration of Swimwear” will kick off at the The Wolfsonian–Florida International University to showcase classic artwork, memorable advertising, emblematic bathing suits and celebrity swimwear standouts.
Jantzen’s objective is to educate a younger audience about the brand’s heritage, which began when the Portland Knitting Company, founded by partners Carl Jantzen and brothers John and Roy Zehntbauer in 1910, developed stretchy, unisex knitted one-piece wool bathing suits for the Portland Rowing Club. The Portland Knitting Company, which became Jantzen in 1918, then began to promote recreational swimming as a way to popularize lighter versions of the garment — which it labeled swimsuit — with the general public.
“The owners were very gutsy,” said Jantzen archivist Carol Alhadeff, referring to the company beginning a national advertising campaign in 1921 and creating the International Set, a line in the Fifties gleaned from designs from across the globes. “They took risks and were visionary.”
George Feldenkreis, chief executive officer of Perry Ellis International, which purchased Jantzen in 2002, said Jantzen is doing well, and believes future growth for the brand could come from a premium line aimed at stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom. And he suggested the brand has to make itself as well known to women under 40-years-old as it is to women over. “While keeping that [misses’] customer, we are trying to bring in a younger demographic,” he said. “We are making inroads.”
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)