KEEPING IT SIMPLE
TNA OPTS FOR UNCONSTRUCTED DESIGNS AND UNCOMPLICATED DESIGNS AND UNCOMPLICATED DISTRIBUTION.
Byline: Emily Holt
LOS ANGELES — It might come as no surprise that a swimwear line called TNA would be featured in the Victoria’s Secret catalog.
However, designer Lisa Luzano’s motivation in creating the line was, to some extent, to lash back at the pushed-up, padded-up obsessions rampant in swimwear designs a couple of years back.
Tired of what she believed was a saturation of padded floral numbers, Luzano set out in 1996 to develop suits based on simple, clean designs. Her trademark: string-tie bottoms and unconstructed triangle bikini tops.
“I’m not small-chested. I don’t need to push anything up,” said the 27-year-old Luzano, who modeled for five years before launching her swimwear business.
Luzano’s preference for simplicity extends to her strategies for growth and distribution, both of which she intends to keep firmly under control.
Besides the trademark string bikini, Luzano’s collection for cruise 2001 includes a bandeau top with detachable straps and conventional bikini bottoms without strings. The suits are featured in 13 color combinations, such as brown suits with pink binding, a pink gingham suit with cream binding, and a leopard version with periwinkle binding.
In addition to the bikinis, cruise will also include one-piece suits, and lightweight pants are offered as coverups. Staying clear of sarongs because “they’re too outfit-y,” Luzano is nonetheless excited about offering pants; “they are more my style,” she said.
Luzano said that her business rang up $500,000 in sales last year. She works out of her home in West Hollywood, Calif., and, wary of too-rapid growth, she said that for the time being she does not want to expand her business beyond $700,000 in volume.
“I don’t think I could handle over $700,000, unless I throw myself into another realm of the industry,” she said. “I don’t want to do that.”
Luzano also said she prefers to be involved in all aspects of the business, from boxing and shipping her suits to even modeling her own designs. She will seek a sales representative next year.
The line is sold in such stores as Canyon Beachwear, Barneys New York and Bloomingdale’s. And yes, it is also featured in the Victoria’s Secret catalog.
Cathleen Mudd, owner and buyer of Canyon Beachwear, a Los Angeles-based swimwear specialty retailer, noted, “It’s a great line, because the styles are simple. The customer can know that a body will always fit and then just choose it in a couple of different colors.”
Mudd added that she likes TNA, because it is not overly distributed.
“Her being a small company is good, because it makes her exclusive. She can make sure she’s only in the best stores. She can be particular. And you don’t have to worry about seeing it all over the beach.”