Photos: Jenavieve Belair
Body Glove 2015 Swimwear Preview
We caught up with Carolyne Deshaies, Body Glove swimwear design director, to hear what’s new for next season.
What trends are at the forefront of next year's swimwear line? (colors, cuts, fabrics, etc.)
Bright colors are always a must for Body Glove. This year we focused on bright green, bright orange and raspberry as novelty colors. We always try to have fun with colors! We went a bit 80’s with some highcuts, colorblocks and cute details. And expanding on retro looks, we’ve added a smocked fabric to our line.
What is the overall state of the swimwear market (size, health, potential to grow, increase revenue, etc.) from your perspective? What changes are on the horizon?
The swimwear market has changed drastically in the last few years. Consumers want much more innovative styling so we need to constantly be on our toes. Jr customers want to look more sophisticated, and traditionally more sophisticated customers want to look more Jr. We have a constant, slow growth strategy where we build our volume with independent retailers instead of big box stores. There is always potential to grow as long as you stay relevant and in tune with the consumer’s needs.
What specific pieces of youth culture, design, and/or other elements influenced your brand’s swimwear collection for next season?
This season, we lost the last of the twin founders of Body Glove, Bob Meistrell. Bob and Bill had a saying that continues to be the main inspiration for our brand: “Do what you love, love what you do.”
Body Glove is one of the original surf brands (1953). We all love the ocean and everything that goes with it. So, naturally, we’re always focused on beach and surf. But, SUP, yoga, and outdoor fitness all go hand and hand with surf and have had a large influence on our design for next season.
What are you seeing as far as sales around the separates category for 2014? Are you expanding this product offering in your line – why or why not?
We only offer separates and stopped selling swimwear in sets in the 1990’s. I could never understand the reasoning behind selling swimwear as sets. No woman is the same. Some need different sized tops than bottoms. Some just want to mix up the colors and prints. Who are we to tell someone how to wear their swimsuit?
How important are one-pieces to your collection? Have you expanded this category or pulled back compared to the last few seasons?
We have seen an increase in one pieces in our collection compared to last year. Its not about trying to cover up, it’s about making a fashion statement.
What changes are you seeing on the business side, as far order sizes, the length of the season, timing for product roll out, sales channels, etc.?
We’re seeing a lot of retailers order less up front and reorder through the season. We carry a lot of stock for just this reason. We focus on independent accounts that might not be able to forecast what the season will bring, so we’re always here to support them with reorder stock. I do see a lot of our competitors trying to force retailers to order earlier and earlier. We would prefer to wait as long as possible before showing our line to customers. This allows us to be as current with our styling as possible.
What were your greatest successes in the swimwear category for 2014?
We’ve always had huge success with our Smoothies line of solid swimwear. It comes in every imaginable silhouette and between 13 and 17 colors (depending on the season). The greatest part about it is that it mixes and matches back to all of our prints. We’re also doing really well with small coverage bottoms. Our new “Beachy” bottom has taken off!
What are your sales projections for next season?
We’re projecting similar growth to this season.
What new elements will be present in your swimwear collection for 2015? What won't we see as much of?
There will still be a lot of fun novelty items, but you’ll start to see more hybrid pieces. Swim tights, and a large Athletic grouping called “Breathe by Body Glove” will be the newest of our collection. All of the items in our Breathe category will merchandise back to our swimwear line. From tanning on the beach, to SUP yoga, to trail running, you’ll be able to mix and match all of your Body Glove product. The category will consist of leggings, sports bras, lightweight tops, athletic tops, lounging sweatpants and hoodies, and much more.
Are prices and margins increasing, decreasing, or flat? What is your brand’s average MSRP and margin percentage?
Our pricing will be flat (in some areas it will be down because of efficiencies in our production department)
Is the number of SKU's in your line expanding or contracting? Why?
The number of SKUs in each of our releases throughout the year will be smaller, however we will have more releases. This will allow us to bring the newest fashions to our customers as quickly as possible.