ATLANTA — A confirmed nondancer, Tolbert Yilmaz could have created a problem for himself when he married a ballerina. But motivated by love — or the desire not to spend his life watching Nancy from afar — he created a dancewear line. That’s how Eurotard got its start 12 years ago.
Based in Alpharetta, Ga., about a half hour from downtown Atlanta, the company posted wholesale sales of more than $3 million last year. It now makes dancewear for adults and children, along with a complete line of aerobicwear, all designed by a team headed by Yilmaz. Everything, including production and shipping, is done out of Eurotard’s 10,0000-square-foot warehouse.
The line is known for its textured fabrics and intricate back treatments. Trends Eurotard is showing for fall include cap sleeves, drawstrings, earth tones, ribbing, mesh cutouts and stretch velour. These take shape in an oatmeal ribbed suspender catsuit, a hunter green top in four-way stretch velour and black and ivory patterned bike shorts with a matching bra top. Boxer shorts, drawstring pants and wrap tops are also available. “There are customers who will buy a sweatshirt and shorts at Target, but our customer isn’t like that; she wants to look good in the gym,” Yilmaz said. “We’re also doing a lot more crossover looks that can be worn in the gym and out at night.”
The line wholesales from $10 for a bra and goes to $22 for a catsuit; leotards wholesale from $12 to $18. The pieces are sold to major department and specialty stores in the U.S. and to specialty stores in Europe.
Yilmaz and his wife may be their own best customers. In addition to running a thriving dance studio in nearby Roswell, Ga., they run the 10,000-square-foot Dance Fashions Superstore. About 30 percent of the merchandise is Eurotard and the remainder a mix of vendors such as Danskin, Capezio and the licensed Baryshnikov line by Weekend Exercise Co.
Eurotard, the studio and the store are all nicely complementary. The dance students are used as models for the catalogs and, of course, they also shop at store.