Niche swimwear label Colors do Brasil was conceived in Brazil, delivered in France and now is bowing in the Americas.

Launched in 2004, the bikini and beach accessories line, which already sells overseas, moved to the U.S. with designer Amanda de Montal in September. It is soft-launching here for summer and then will show in Miami this July. “The brand is quite linked to my personal story,” de Montal said. “I am French, but I had always had a passion, which was Brazil.

“When I first arrived in Brazil in my French Eres swimsuit, I looked like I was completely from Mars — and not only because I was totally white,” she added. “Brazilians go to a beach like we would go to a nightclub.”

After her initial fling with Brazil, de Montal returned to Paris, where she worked as a brand manager at L’Oréal. Three years later she created Colors do Brasil.

“I put all my European tastes into the Brazilian looks,” she said. “They have European chicness. That’s the big limit in Brazil: Sometimes they go a little too far.”

For the U.S. market, the suits will be available in both European and a new American cut. But there is plenty of South American style injected into the more conservative cuts, in the form of color, embellished side panels and thicker Lycra that “gives the impression you have a bit more breasts and a rounder bottom,” according to de Montal. The accessories complete the Latin affect.

“It’s a total-look concept,” de Montal said. “It’s a way of life — a bikini with a tunic, a key ring, a bag, a necklace. And you can get a total look at a reasonable price.”

The bikinis wholesale for $25 to $45, cover-ups for $40 to $50 and jewelry for $20 to $70. The company does about $1.3 million in wholesale volume, with swimsuits making up about 80 percent of business. The company projects it will do about $250,000 in the U.S. this year.

The most recent collection, which the company is booking now, is rainbow-themed, with each color representing a different area of its namesake country.

This story first appeared in the January 17, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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