LOS ANGELES — More than 100 manufacturers are gearing up for the next International Swimwear and Activewear Market, slated for July 11-13 at the California Mart, with textures and racing stripe designs slated to be two of the big stories.
The athletic influence continues to be strong, with some resources showing suits reminiscent of football jerseys. Denim is also making a resurgence in bikinis and maillots. Lastly, the bust, which has been played down in recent seasons, is back. Many bikini tops at market will be padded.
Robin Piccone, who produces a namesake contemporary swimwear line here, will unveil her new swimwear designs for Guess at ISAM. The Guess line will wholesale from $26 to $42, compared with $32 to $64 wholesale for Robin Piccone.
Geometric patterns will be part of both collections, she said, as will padded busts. Textured knits, terry cloth and appliques will create surface interest in the Guess suits; the designer line will rely more on bright colors for newness.
Mossimo Swim — the hot junior line by licensee Lunada Bay in Anaheim, Calif. — will introduce at market a collection of women’s swimwear separates called Moss Singles. Featuring four tops and three bottoms that are mix-and-matchable, the group will wholesale from $12 to $24 per item.
La Blanca, which is owned by Apparel Ventures, Gardena, Calif., will be introducing two new divisions — La Blanca Beachwear, a coverup line, and La Blanca Juniors.
“We are trying to expand our customer base,” noted Stephanie Bakalich, executive vice president for La Blanca. “There’s a certain segment out there that has the sophisticated taste of La Blanca who is a younger customer.”
The junior line will feature one-piece and two-piece suits in neon colors like lime and hot pink, though it will focus on black and white, as well. The line will feature athletic-inspired suits, floral prints and denim textures.
“We’re looking to the key sportswear trends to develop the line,” she noted, adding that the wholesale prices range from $28 to $38.
La Blanca, which experimented with coverups three seasons ago, plans to reintroduce them at ISAM. The line includes shorts, which wholesale from $12 to $18, and rompers, which wholesale from $30 to $36. The line features sheer and sexy clothes to be worn by the pool or on the beach and includes mesh T-shirts and tank mesh dresses.
“There is a market out there for women who want to wear stylish clothing over their swimsuits, but at reasonable prices,” she noted.
As for the La Blanca swimwear line, Bakalich noted that the company is focusing on back details, like back straps on its one-piece suits, and will introduce a variety of bra styles, both constructed and unconstructed.
Jill Bender, an independent sales representative for Backflips-Sushi, Stockertown, Pa., a junior swimwear resource from New York, said there has been strong reaction to the line and she has already received some orders for next year.
“We are interpreting sportswear and streetwear looks in textured fabrications, such as ribs, velvets and crocheted knits,” Bender said, adding that denim and plaid suits are also part of the collection. She noted that the line will feature bust emphasis. Wholesale is approximately $20 to $36.
Fantasie of England — an English misses’ swimwear resource in Bender’s stable — will introduce a new division at ISAM: swimwear for the fuller-figure woman. Suits featuring cup sizes D, E and F will be priced at $35 to $45 wholesale.
At Raisins and Radio Fiji, both junior divisions of the Raisin Co. in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., textures and sportswear influences will be all the rage, according to vice president of sales Brian Ivanhoe.
“There is a patchwork texture with top stitching in the Raisins line that is already phenomenal at retail,” he said. “Vintage floral prints will also continue, but we are trying to put a novelty spin on them by incorporating the patchwork effect.”
Both labels will feature athletic details: a football jersey fabric, side stripes and sporty logos.
“Ribbed fabrications with an active workout feel, ribbed stripes and textured stripes are other examples of the activewear influences,” he said. Both collections will wholesale from $29 to $31.
Lots of textures and mixing of patterns and prints will be seen in the swimwear lines Athena, Barefoot Miss and Beach Lingo — all divisions of Raj Manufacturing in Tustin, Calif. Color stories in junior labels Beach Lingo and Barefoot Miss will be brights, offset by indigo, plum, berry, rust and bronze. Athena, the misses’ collection, will feature vegetable shades such as eggplant; jewel tones such as sapphire, teal, garnet and azure, and primary brights including red, blue and black.
Michelle Munson, merchandiser for Raj, said, “The bust is a must in all three divisions.”
The Athena line will wholesale at $30 and up, while the junior lines will wholesale in the mid-to-high $20 range.