NOT THE SAME OLE CARBON38: Carbon38 has joined forces with influencer Shea Marie’s Same Swim to create activewear.
The category is new terrain for Marie, who has built a following for her California swimwear label. Carbon38 founder and chief executive officer Katie Warner Johnson said, “I’m just a big fan personally. She’s a self-starter. She’s doing it all. She just has this wonderful irreverent attitude about life. I have been following her on Instagram for many years [via @peaceloveshea.] That brand has a huge following and terrific traction.”
Starting Monday, the 11-piece “next-generation activewear” collection will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Retail prices will range from $70 to $150. Shoppers will find it at Carbon38’s and Same Swim’s sites, and Carbon38’s pop-up store in Bridgehampton. There will also be limited run swimwear that will be sold via Same Swim’s retail distribution.
“The entire inspiration for this collection comes from her Same Swim line. She’s known particularly for amazing fit, which is the key for everything, especially with active. First of all, it makes you feel better when your pants are on right. More importantly, it’s just about being able to go about your day unencumbered,” Johnson said. “It just seemed like a really natural connection between Carbon38 and Shea. We’re both kind of doing it all. Founding Carbon38, my mission really is to support female-founded companies, and that really is what we do. We support, we develop and we launch women-run companies and brands. This is a new category for Shea and one that we’re experts in.”
In January, Foot Locker took a minority stake in Carbon38, which will mark its fifth anniversary in early November. The label is committed to scaling the business “where the evolution of fashion is going,” Johnson said. Carbon38’s teaming with Foot Locker, a company that has 100 years of longevity through its ties to Woolworth, is advantageous since they know how to run a profitable, multibrand retailer, Johnson said. Noting how some Foot Locker executive team members have more than 20 years of tenure, she said, “I wanted to learn from the best as we forge into this new territory of retail and fashion in creating a new paradigm.”
Carbon38 will open a boutique in Rick Caruso’s Pacific Palisades development, Palisades Village, next month, and a pop-up is set up in Bridgehampton for the summer. “Brick-and-mortar has been a lot of fun. I pride myself in being obsessed with the customer,” she said, adding that the company retreat that she was calling from was rooted in “really connecting back with who she is and how we can support her. Just being a woman is quite challenging.”
As for working with Marie, Johnson said, “She’s just such a pro. And we have a pretty well-oiled machine to help, support and drive these brand co-ops.”