Swimsuits are not just for the beach. That's the message promoted by several brands at the Swim Collective trade show on Wednesday in Huntington Beach. Among the companies showing their Spring and Summer 2013 collections were L*Space, vitamin A, Vix, Beach Riot and Tavik.
L*Space National Sales and Retail Marketing Manager Debby Martin said the brand has a new thing they're calling "swim to gym" for active women who can wear the L*Space swimsuits to a yoga class as well as to the beach for some paddleboarding or surfing.
"It's our same swimwear, we're just taking it to the next level," Martin said.
She said business has been very strong out of the gate this season and the company has seen strong growth in online sales. Although she declined to provide specifics, she said the business went from single to double digit percentage growth.
Tavik is also going with the lifestyle approach, although the target customer for the music inspired line will leave the beach to head to a music festival. Marketing Coordinator Irene Seelig said the company has adjusted its cuts based on feedback to accommodate more women of different shapes and started adding more edgy yet still girly prints for Summer 2013.
Women's Sales Director Jenny Moreno said Tavik went through a phase of growing pains after being bought by Incipio, but sales are better this year. The company is also getting more into accessories, such as cell phone and tablet cases, which Seeig and Moreno said would raise brand awareness.
Beach Riot's customer can head to the music festival straight from the beach as well. This is Beach Riot's first year, and designer Nicole Hanriot said they're doing well and expect to make a profit. Beach Riot's key pieces include 80's style neon bikinis, leopard print one-piece suits, and crochet details.
"I see really good future for the brand," said Sales Manager Kyla Brennan.
Meanwhile, Vix is going to the Carribbean with its summer collection of bright bikinis, reminiscent of the ocean. The brand is sticking to its signature metal detailing, but the inspiration comes from big fashion shows, such as New York and Paris Fashion Week.
Sales Manager Gwen Pavlick said business has been good, in part because of their loyal customers.
"We're where we want to be, we're seeing growth," she said.
Another established brand showing at Swim Collective was vitamin A. Unlike in the past, the company decided to split up its spring and summer lines between the July and January shows, rather than showing it all in July, said Sales Representative Monica Olvera.
Some of vitamin A's key pieces for summer include a braided bikini, which Jenny McCarthy wore for cover of the February issue of Shape magazine and a coverup, which can be worn in several different ways as a top or a bottom. Bikinis are the brand's better selling styles.
See photos from the Swim Collective above in our slide show.