Byline: Anne D’Innocenzio

NEW YORK — For four years, Susana Monaco worked hard to fine-tune the fit of her brightly colored signature knit pieces. Now she is counting on that formula to work magic in her swimwear collection, which made its debut this spring at retail.
“With knits, you really have to pay attention to the form of the body,” said Monaco, 36, who works out of her 3,000-square-foot showroom and office space at 263 West 38th Street. She owns a 30,000-square-foot factory in Passaic, N.J., that produces both her swimwear and sportswear lines.
Monaco’s swimwear collection, which this season consists of 24 different pieces, offers python prints, plaids and colorful solids, many of which can work back to the designer’s sportswear collection.
The separates wholesale from $18 to $48; an average swimsuit retails from about $75 to $90; and her swimsuits in Supplex, sold as separates, account for two thirds of the collection. The remainder is in printed nylon and Lycra blends.
Monaco’s sportswear collection wholesales from $50 to $300 and is sold in about 400 doors.
Monaco noted that the reaction to her swimsuits has been strong.
This year, sales of her swimwear are expected to hit $250,000 for the year, and she plans to double that figure next year by expanding the number of colors and prints. She also wants to add one-pieces to the collection.
The swimwear line is sold in about 30 doors, including Henri Bendel, Barneys New York and such specialty stores as Scoop and Raphael in Honolulu, according to Jeanine De Franca Nugent, sales director.

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