RACHEL PALLY LAUNCHES SWIM: Jersey queen Rachel Pally is diving into new territory. The Southern California contemporary designer’s debut swimwear collection is set to hit stores by June before the height of the beach season. Produced in-house, the collection consists of four one-pieces, six bikini tops and four bikini bottoms in solids, stripes and leafy prints. “We made sure that we have everybody’s body type covered,” said Pally, whose namesake brand has developed a reputation for easy-fitting dresses in its nearly five-year history. Pally called the swimwear an “experiment” for the boutiques that carry her signature line, estimating that 100 boutiques have expressed interest in her swimsuits, which wholesale for $38 to $82. For herself, Pally is likely to choose the Belize, a cleavage-exposing blue-and-white striped one-piece that mimics a two-piece from the back, because, she said, “You always have to consider your tan.”
PULL-IN PUSHES SWIMSUITS: When French intimates brand Pull-In started seven years ago, it targeted surfers and other water sport athletes with its sports underwear, so its entry into swimwear in the U.S. this season is only natural. Wholesaling from $19 to $33, the women’s line boasts the same wide waistbands from the underwear collection in many of the 34 swim styles. Distributed only in two boutiques in Miami and New York initially, the company projects the women’s, children’s and men’s swim lines will do $600,000 in wholesale volume in the U.S. in its first year. The brand will open its own boutique in Saint-Tropez in March, followed by a Los Angeles opening this fall.
This story first appeared in the January 30, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
TYR OLYMPIC SUIT: It’s still six months before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but TYR Sport has already tested its newest elite swimsuit in competition. The Tracer Light, named because it traces the muscles of the body with compression panels to reduce drag and increase muscle oxygenation, will be available in late April at swim and triathlon specialty shops, and will wholesale from $35 to $150. The company is marketing the campaign with regional hometown tours of its athletes — like Atlanta with Olympic silver medalist Amanda Weir — in addition to traditional ad placements.
JEFFREY DOES GANT, PART II: Gant is enlisting Jeffrey Kalinsky, director of designer merchandising for Nordstrom, to design a limited edition men’s 30-piece sportswear collection for fall. The line of preppy classics, which will retail from $125 to $900, will be available at the Jeffrey boutique in New York, as well as upscale specialty stores and premium department stores nationwide. A portion of wholesale sales will directly benefit amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research. Kalinsky first collaborated with Gant two years ago, re-creating products from Gant’s Fifties archives.
K-SWISS WOMEN’S APPAREL: With Anna Kournikova as the face of its women’s apparel line, which launched this spring, K-Swiss promoted the sophomore season of its active apparel line with its first fashion show Monday in the Garment District. The inspiration for the line, which wholesales from $25 to $200, is “beautiful sport” that is as appropriate on the tennis court or gym as in Starbucks “après-sport,” said Jennifer Weiderman, vice president of marketing for K-Swiss. Sold in about 50 doors for spring, the line features one-shoulder tennis dresses and tiny tennis skirts (reportedly a request from Kournikova, who is helping with the fit of the line).
CYCLE CHIC: Forget Beijing, Londoners are rapidly swapping public transport for their bicycles. More than three million cycle journeys are made in London a week, according to a Time Out London magazine survey this summer, and now many retailers are spotting the market potential. This month, Cyclefashion.co.uk launched hand-decorated helmets for women, and later this year plans to add women’s cycle apparel and accessories. “Forty percent of London cyclists are women. I cycle every day, and lots of my friends do too,” said Sawako Furuno, designer and founder. “I don’t power-cycle, and I don’t want to wear serious fitness gear. I want to look stylish.” The Web site sells six styles of helmets at 60 pounds, or $119 at current exchange. The new apparel range will most likely run between 30 pounds, or $58.50, for a T-shirt, to 100 pounds, or $198, for a jacket. Furuno said she was approaching fashion boutiques and cycle stores in London about selling the line. “Half of people cycling cycle for less than 30 minutes for fun. I want them to enjoy that 30 minutes.”
CELEBRATING SINGLEHOOD: Can’t meet men? Maybe it’s your outfit. Kristin Moore and Tamera Lawrence, who are both about 40, have created SingleTease, a line of T-shirts, called SingleTees, to “let men know we were available and approachable.” Sold at Singletease.com for $25 and $28, the shirts boast six slogans, including “Boy scouting (are you prepared?),” “Support your local library (check me out)” and simply “Single.” Just in time for Valentine’s Day.
— W.B., with contributions from Rachel Brown, Los Angeles, and Lucie Greene, London