Brands at the Swim Collective show were able to show off the latest styles and trends alongside the beach, allowing buyers to view products where they are meant to be featured.
As of Thursday, January 20, 2022
The Pasea Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach, Calif., was the site of the Swim Collective and Active Collective shows Jan. 10–11. Formerly hosted at the Anaheim Convention Center, the co-located sibling shows produced by Emerald allowed attendees to get a look at the latest styles in swimwear and activewear in a new venue. After being held in a convention-center setting in previous years, the shows moved back to a space that truly embodied the spirit and vibe of the event.
Actively engaged in business
Active Collective showcased a variety of brands including Wear It To Heart and FP Movement, which previewed products ranging from tops and bottoms to accessories such as socks and face towels. Men’s activewear and lifestyle brand Rhone came into the event with some prebooked appointments but also enjoyed some good foot traffic.
“We’ve had a mix of buyers who have just dropped their contact information off and will speak with us after they’ve had time to look at the line sheets, and we’ve also had accounts who are full on gung-ho and getting in orders right now and ready to ship as soon as possible,” said Blythe Crasto, account executive at Rhone. “Everyone has been extremely enthusiastic about our collections and colors this season, so we’re really excited about that.”
Amy Kenner, vice president of sales and creative director of good hYOUman mentioned buyers were looking at prints for new activewear styles and designs.
“We primarily do athleisure—loungewear and activewear. People come to us for our positive messaging that we put on our graphics. As far as our activewear, I feel people are gravitating toward colorful prints now,” Kenner said.
Visiting from Milwaukee, buyers Clare Censky and Jacob Bern of subscription-box company Wantable mentioned it was great to be able to see and meet vendors for the first time, in addition to being able to see product in person again. They also noted how perfect the venue and weather were for the event.
“This is the first Active Collective show for the both of us, and it’s been great. The venue here is gorgeous, and we’re from Wisconsin so leaving Wisconsin in January has been great,” Censky said.
As a buyer for the Kona Kai Resort in San Diego, Stephanie Decuir took notes on the first day of the show before returning the second day to finish up some deals. Decuir mentioned she was purchasing activewear for the resort’s fitness program and was looking at a midrange price point.
“We have a membership program and a fitness center where we offer about 38 classes a week, and we’ve decided to add retail to that component to reach an untapped market,” Decuir said.
Attracting the swim set
The beachfront resort was a perfect opportunity for swimwear brands to show off their latest products and styles. Buyers and other attendees were able to envision how the products would look within the environment for which they are intended. Brands including Melissa Odabash, ONEONE, Stone Fox Swim and Sunset Vibes Swimwear were able to show off their latest and upcoming styles.
Local Thread, a Los Angeles–based swimwear brand for women and children, unveiled its latest offerings of swimwear made from sustainable and eco-friendly products. With pieces made from regenerated nylon and recycled plastic bottles, co-founder Yolanda Wynton found a lot of event attendees interested in the brand’s ecologically sound practices.
“I’ve noticed a lot of people are interested in the sustainable fabrics we use. We use regenerated nylon created from things like fishing-net waste, and a lot of people have been interested in how the line impacts the environment,” Wynton said.
The brand has also partnered with Los Angeles–based organizations to help give back as the goal of Local Thread is to create more than just a swimwear brand.
“We wanted to create a brand with a purpose—something more meaningful for us—and cultivating a movement of giving back,” Wynton said. “For the women’s line, a portion of the proceeds go to the Downtown Women’s Center, which helps women experiencing homelessness in L.A., and for the children’s line, we are partnered with Hope in a Suitcase, which benefits children in foster care as they make the transition to joining a foster family.”
Echoing this trend toward more-sustainable goods, buyers voiced their approval regarding brands releasing eco-friendly products. Ana Martinez and Sharyn Bojorquez were attending the event buying for Soto & Sanchez Investments, which owns and operates stores at Los Angeles International Airport and were looking for anything new or eye-catching that would fit in their stores. Recent supply-chain challenges were also top of mind for the duo.
“I was happy to see more-inclusive sizes available at some of the brands as well as a lot of more-sustainable and eco-friendly fabrications. We will definitely keep those in mind as we continue to look around. We’re also looking at products that are locally sourced so that we can get them faster,” Bojorquez said.
Regarding new trends, Erin Davis, sales and operations assistant for ViX Swimwear, said she noticed buyers were trending more toward minimal coverage for bottom fits, something to which the brand’s Brazil-inspired style caters.
“A trend we’ve noticed has been more of a shift to minimal coverage, which we like to see as it is what Brazil is known for. So, it’s good to see the American market getting behind that kind of trend,” Davis said.