Swimwear With a Plus
For a long time, plus-size women were the equivalent of forgotten souls in the swimwear department. “There were very limited resources in style, fabrication and contemporary looks. And there were literally no two-pieces,” says Peggy Roudebush, president and co-founder with Terrie Anderson, vice president, of the Cincinnati-based Anne Terrie Designs. Inspired by their own futile shopping experiences, the two women started the business a year ago to manufacture swimwear specifically for women size 14 to 24. With a 1994 sales goal of $5 million, the company plans to extend its size range to 28 next year.
Designed by Diana Altemuehle, a former intimate apparel designer, the line consists of eight different nylon and Lycra styles (including one two-piece) available in five different colors. They wholesale for approximately $50 each, Roudebush says.
Top sellers in the main line are a tunic style with a keyhole back and a romper. A black and gold combination called Madrid, and a purple and blue floral print called Floral Seas are the most popular.
The company also plans to launch a miniline of three junior styles, sizes 14-18, this month. Each will be available in cotton and Lycra in a choice of two colors. The wholesale price is around $30.
The line is currently carried by about 40 small specialty boutiques across the country, although Roudebush is hoping to win some major stores soon.
“There’s a big need for [these suits],” says Elizabeth Osborne, owner of Elizabeth’s Boutique, a women’s specialty store in Princeton, W. Va., which carries the line. “They have good color, they’re fashionable and the quality is unreal.”
Jay Levy has very definite ideas about who “the modern woman” is. And he created the swimwear line Southern Exposure just for her.
“Today’s women are into health and fitness. They’re into looking good and feeling good,” says Levy, who is owner and president of Snapshot Fashions, which produces Southern Exposure. He expects the line’s wholesale volume for 1994 to top $2 million.
According to designer Kay Arnold, styles range from fairly tame to extremely sexy and are frequently decorated with beads, mesh, fringe or grommet braids. But while creating something exotic was the original goal, the company acknowledges the need for a certain diversity.
“We do sexy suits, but we also recognize the more mainstream customer,” says Levy. As a result, the company has added a group of suits that offer fuller coverage to target that market for cruise ’95. Manufactured in Miami, the line now sells in stores like Joppa, Md.-based Merry-Go-Round, and New York-based Wings, along with many specialty swimwear stores. Wholesale prices for most suits are between $19 and $32.
Going Wild on Long Island
The Hamptons club scene seems to improve with each passing year, and Wild Rose Cafe is out to anchor the 1994 effort. Its eclectic furnishings — a speak-easy mix of cushy Deco couches, L.A.-inspired red vinyl booths, SoHo cafe tables and romantic nautical-inspired lightings — match the East End’s relaxed, funky-but-chic atmosphere. When it’s time to order, there’s a deep selection of wine by the glass and a light menu that changes daily to take advantage of local bounty. On a recent visit, Wild Rose was serving romaine, radicchio and tomato salad ($5), spicy chicken pizza ($11) and roast chicken breast with wild rice and asparagus ($12). The kitchen is open until 3 a.m. daily. A weekend menu of music, dominated by jazz, is booked through the fall. Slightly off the beaten Hampton path, Wild Rose is a hidden treasure with a driveway to match, so slow down when making your entrance. The address is 203 Sag Harbor Turnpike in Sag Harbor. Phone 516-537-5050 for details.
For many visitors to Nantucket, The Tavern restaurant is the first stop off the ferry. Located steps away from the docks, this harborside spot is the perfect place to toast your arrival on the island — and prime real estate for people watching. What better place to sip a Seabreeze and watch the sailors step ashore? The scenery is so picturesque that Talbots, L.L. Bean and Neiman Marcus have used the nearby docks for catalog shoots.
By sunset, it’s standing room only in The Tavern’s gazebo bar, where the toughest decision you have to make is whether to order an Amstel Light or a Bloody Mary. The patio and the two-story restaurant offer a calmer setting, perfect for digging into the steamers, grilled swordfish, shrimp cocktail or stuffed quahogs that are the highlights of the menu. And don’t forget to stop by for one last farewell drink before you head home. As one New Yorker noted, “It makes it easier to leave. Not much, but it helps.”