The men and women’s activewear and yoga brand is launching a limited-edition women’s swimwear capsule collection with swimwear brand Frankies Bikinis.
“Frankies has done a good job of being in front of the trends in fashion when it comes to bathing suits,” Danny Harris, cofounder and co-chief executive officer, told WWD. “When our customer is not wearing Alo and she’s on the beach, she’s wearing Frankies. So we couldn’t have thought of a better swimwear brand to collaborate with. And Frankies [the business], aside from being great people, they’re very in line with our values.
“And we really believe, to get your beach body or to get back in shape for summer, everyone’s wearing Alo,” Harris continued. “It’s just a natural progression to have Alo bathing suits as well.”
And there’s plenty of room for growth in the swimwear category. Sales of swimwear were up 32 percent in March 2021, compared with March 2019’s pre-pandemic levels, as vaccines continue to roll out and consumers plan their summer getaways, according to The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service.
Harris said the inaugural swimwear assortment will serve as a test run, with a swimwear collection launching each summer from here on out.
“It’s just [a matter of], how do we do the bathing suits?” he explained. “Do we do it more from a performance, or more from a fashion standpoint? Do we do it more from a collaboration standpoint? Or do we do it more from an Alo brand standpoint?”
For now, the new 28-piece collection is definitely fashion-forward, Harris said, with things like checker-print string bikinis; one-piece, high-cut suits and barely-there thongs in four color ways. Each piece will also have the “Alo Yoga” stamp.
The collection, which comes in sizes XS to XL, ranges in price from $50 to $185 and can be found at aloyoga.com, frankiesbikinis.com and all Alo Yoga stores starting Thursday.
But the latest assortment likely won’t last long, Harris said.
“We buy stuff that we believe is going to last three months and we sell out in three days,” he said. “It’s absolutely insane. I just can’t believe it.”
In fact, even during the pandemic — or perhaps because of it — the Los Angeles-based brand has been in growth mode generating “significantly more than $200 million annually,” Harris said.
There are also about half-a-dozen Alo Yoga stores under construction, Alo Yoga’s first restaurant, Sutra, located in New York City and the growing digital business. Alo Yoga has also expanded into beauty and accessories, such as jewelry, and is growing its men’s wear division.
“We wanted a brand that really spoke to who we were and our lifestyle and our values,” Harris said, about the brand he cofounded in 2007. “Some people think of us as just a clothing company. But really, the whole thing is a vision that we have of our ethos. That there is a better way and a better quality of life that can be lived [than the conventional]. We march to the beat of our own drum. I think the people who live our lifestyle choose to wear the Alo brand.
“What happened [during the pandemic] was a shift in behavior and a shift in thinking,” Harris said, regarding the continued momentum. “People aren’t going to go back to wearing stiff and uncomfortable clothing. [Now] demand for the Alo brand and our products is unprecedented. It’s just getting it out there. That’s our biggest challenge. When you look at some of our competitors, they might have 500 stores. We’re going to have maybe 12 or 13 open [by the end of] this year. So, it’s really hard to get the brand out there in the way that people want.”
Frankies, meanwhile, continues to crank out collaborations. In April, the California-based swimwear brand, which was founded by Francesca Aiello while still in high school, tapped professional tennis player Naomi Osaka for a swimwear collaboration. A month earlier, the brand teamed up with actress Hailee Steinfeld for a swimwear and apparel collaboration. It has also worked with streetwear brand Kith and model Sofia Richie.
“This Alo x Frankies Bikinis collaboration is a perfect mesh of two like-minded brands at the forefront of immersing fashion trends into their respective categories — activewear and swimwear,” Aiello said. “In my eyes, Alo showcases the Southern California lifestyle in the activewear category the same way that Frankies Bikinis highlights the California lifestyle in the swimwear world. We have merged the two to create a fashion-forward, inclusive, active inspired swimwear collection that we hope everyone loves.”