The swim brand and the influencer first collaborated in 2016 on a capsule collection, and because it performed so well they decided to release a larger collection, which has resonated with retailers and Bernstein’s 1.8 million Instagram followers. This past weekend over the course of 24 hours, Onia sold close to $250,000 worth of product on its e-commerce site.
According to Bernstein, with this particular collection she focused on storytelling and offering her followers glimpses into the production of the line. The campaign was shot in Tulum.
“I think you could see my passion through the collection,” said Bernstein. “We traveled to Tulum and really created a 360-story. I was able to show my followers the sketches and take them through the entire design process and they felt just as invested in it as I am.”
They are maintaining momentum for the line by staggering its releases. Following the initial drop on its e-commerce site last weekend, retailers such as Moda Operandi and Revolve will sell the collection, and Barneys New York will eventually receive an exclusive assortment that comes in different colorways. Bernstein also plans on wearing and promoting the collection throughout the summer and gifting it to fellow influencers.
The success came at an interesting time. Just as the line was being released, Diet Prada, the Instagram account that calls out fashion industry fails, posted images of Bernstein’s new collaboration collection with Lulu DK, which is launching exclusively at Nordstrom on May 9, that looked similar to pieces created by Foundrae, Retrouvaí, Bondeye Jewelry and Tiffany & Co. Bernstein and Nordstrom responded by removing the pieces in question from the capsule.
“I think people pull inspiration from so many different places,” said Bernstein. “There is a fine line and I will make sure that I have the right counsel to guide me through these things in the future.”
Onia has some other collaborations in the works as well. The company is teaming with SoulCycle on a co-branded collection of mommy-and-me swimsuits, which will be released for Mother’s Day, and father-and-son swim trunks, which will be released for Father’s Day. The women’s line also includes a hat, backpack, a yellow bikini and a one-piece suit covered with a multicolored SoulCycle wheel. The collection retails from $45 to $195.
Onia is also growing its relationship with Mr Porter and will release an exclusive lifestyle collection inspired by a Hawaiian jungle this summer. It includes a beach blanket, a nylon tote bag, swim trunks, T-shirts and knit shirts.
“We have our year-round core stockkeeping units that embody the core of the brand but we are also constantly working with our existing retail partners on exclusive product, whether it be special styles, fabrics and prints,” said Nathan Romano, cofounder of Onia. “We work every season with our top partners on these exclusives and they are a huge part of our business. All of our partners want special unique product that they work closely with our design team on.”
This signals a larger move into lifestyle for Onia, which will also launch men’s footwear — espadrilles, sneakers and slip-on styles that retail from $175 to $225 for summer — and come fall, Onia is hoping to dress male consumers for bonfire weather with flannels, heavyweight fleece knits and 100 percent cashmere graphic hoodies. Romano said the goal is to bring the same innovation Onia is known for in swim to the ready-to-wear assortment and expand its offering with its key retail partners.
On the women’s side, which launched three years ago and is almost at the same volume as the men’s collection, Onia is focusing on more lounge pieces.
“We knew eventually we would get into apparel and it just organically happened in a small way and grew from there,” said Romano. “Our customers kept asking us for items that would complement the swim we were selling. So naturally linen, terry and other fabrics and styles were embedded into our collection.”