IN THE SWIM: Express is jumping into the swimwear business next month.
Geared for fashion-conscious juniors, the line offers a metallic gold bikini, a crochet string bikini and a black bikini with gunmetal shoulder straps and a belt. “It’s a natural evolution for Express to design a swimwear collection,” said Kady Dalrymple, executive vice president of design at Express. “We know our customer looks to Express for fashion-forward, modern styles for both her innerwear and outerwear, and now for her beachwear, too.”
The chain plans to unveil its eight-style collection in 250 of its nearly 600 stores. Retail prices will range from $58 for the crochet bikini or backless one-piece to $98 for a leopard-printed bikini.
Carmen Kass, who was photographed recently swimming with sharks for a British fashion magazine, will model the swimwear in Express’s point-of-purchase material, but advertising is not planned. The company plans to broaden the collection in future swimwear seasons, a company spokeswoman said.
ONLINE SWEATSHOPS: Nike isn’t about to stamp anything on its customized footwear.
The sneaker giant rejected an order from Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate student Jonah Peretti, who wanted to buy a pair of sneakers imprinted with “Sweatshop” through Nike.com’s customized I.D. shoe program.
A Nike.com spokeswoman said Wednesday: “Nike does not put something on our products that could be interpreted as derogatory to our company.”
Peretti forwarded his controversial e-mail exchange with Nike to 10 friends, unwittingly starting an online chain letter.
Students Against Sweatshops are among the antisweatshop groups that have since received copies of the e-mail and have been trying to recruit Peretti. Reached at the MIT Media Lab Wednesday, Peretti said he receives about 200 e-mails a day from people who have read the exchange.
“I’m a grad student working on educational technology,” he said. “It’s not like I know all these people in the antisweatshop movement.”
Peretti said he was drawn by “the irony” of Nike’s invitation to consumers to make their own shoes, even though he claims they are made in sweatshops overseas. Another ironic twist is that Peretti is a student in MIT’s Media Lab, which Nike used to sponsor. He said his actions do not reflect the lab’s.