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Rip Curl, whose swimsuit business is one of the fastest growing divisions of the company, was able to capitalize on the fact its swimsuits were featured on Rip Curl athlete and model Alana Blanchard not once, but twice inside the latest Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
“It was a fantastic opportunity for us, especially since Alana is a Rip Curl athlete and the magazine has a circulation of 70 million,” said Rip Curl Marketing VP Dylan Slater.
Other industry brands featured in Sports Illustrated's swim blitz according to the buying guide on the magazine's website include Billabong, Beach Riot, Tavik, and Nike Swim.
This year, Rip Curl launched a program with 25 of its top swim retailers called the “My Bikini Premium Retailer Program” that links up an in-store fixture program with Rip Curl’s new swim ad campaign, while providing a GWP program for the top stores, according to Dylan.
When the Rip Curl team learned Alana would be included in SI’s Swimsuit edition, they met with the folks at Sports Illustrated in October and were able to design a few new suits just for the shoot.
“Alana was one of four athletes chosen to appear in the magazine. The timing couldn't be better, as she has also just re-qualified for the 2013 ASP Women's WCT kicking off this month,” said Dylan.
Once Sports Illustrated chose which suits were featured, Rip Curl offered their top accounts exclusive picks at all top three styles, two of which appeared on Alana inside the magazine.
One was the “Sun Ray” bikini and the other was a Brazilian cut called the “Island Dreams” bikini.
Rip Curl also made a different version of the Brazilian “Island Cut” version that was more commercial and offered more coverage than the featured Brazilian bikini that Alana wore in SI.
In 24 hours, Dylan said Rip Curl completely sold out of all inventory to all of their premium retailers.
“It was a whirlwind of a week to rush produce and get all the suits out there,” said Dylan.
“SI was great to work with. It was a pretty unique opportunity not only to have our swim featured, but to have it on the face of our women’s business and to be able to share that with the retailers,” he added.
Dylan said over the last 12 to 18 months, swim has been one of the fastest growing divisions of Rip Curl.
Rip Curl’s swim business is up 47% this year for Spring 2013, Dylan said. The brand will expand the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit offerings to all swim dealers that carry Rip Curl. A reorder is already scheduled.