By  on January 6, 2005

NEW YORK — It’s a new year and a time when fitness pops up on everyone’s resolutions list. No surprise, then, that it is also when new labels flock into the already crowded activewear market. Here, a look at three newcomers hoping to cut a dash in active. Purp7e Agua

Accessories firm Purp7e (pronounced Purple 7) is offering a fresh take on Brazilian swimwear with its new line of bikinis and cover-ups sold under the label Purp7e Agua.

The Venice, Calif.-based firm, the brainchild of the design team of Brazilian native Vera Ribeiro and Andrew Kohler, offers glamorous and glittery looks, most of which have more generous cuts than traditional itsy-bitsy Brazilian swimwear.

“We have incorporated Brazilian styles for the American market,” said Ribeiro, who met Swiss-born Kohler a few years back at an L.A. art exhibit. The duo launched a weave-knit top line two years ago, and named the company after Ribeiro’s favorite color. “We thought swim would be a nice addition to our line.”

The initial swim collection includes five top styles and six bottoms that can be mixed and matched and are available in 25 colors. A number of styles are reversible and some have metallic sequins and prints. Among the silhouettes are low-rise bottoms, HotPants, halter tops, string tops and bottoms and bandeau tops. Cover-up styles include hand-painted sarongs with tropical motifs, as well as caftans and tunics. The pieces are designed in-house but are manufactured in Brazil.

Ribeiro said the collection is designed to feel comfortable and, to that end, Purp7e suits come in a nylon spandex blend.

Most of the tops and bottoms wholesale between $25 and $30, while the sarongs are about $50 and the caftans wholesale for $62.

The swimwear has already been picked up by the Bliss Spa catalogue for spring, and the company is looking for distribution in swimwear specialty shops, high-end department stores and boutiques. In New York, the line will be sold out of the swimwear showroom By The Sea. The duo expect first-year sales of about $1 million

Now that swimwear is getting rolling, Purp7e is also eyeing its next area of growth.

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