Designing an American Made Swimwear Line

During the depths of the winter, come thoughts of summer, sand and sun. Right after the holidays, swim line development should be starting. The bone chilling temps seem to be a motivating factor in prodding emerging designers to get moving on their new swim brand.

Here are some points to remember in launching a new swim line that could help you stay focused, on point and successful:

The Story Behind the Brand

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Customers and buyers in today’s market are looking for a reason to buy your product. Whether it is the feel-good, give–back feature that you can offer your customer, a usage of eco friendly and recycled fabrics and trims, or the grass roots motivation behind your designs. The story behind your line is crucial in holding the interest of today’s consumers as well as buyers. Swimwear has been around for a very long time so how you differentiate your brand will be a major asset in the growth for your line.

The Buying Cycle

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The bulk of swimsuit delivery will be done from February 30 to April 30 for colder climate stores for swimwear and to a lesser extent for resort delivery 10/30 – 11/30. For warm weather stores such as those in Southern California and Hawaii, buyers request deliveries monthly so there are consistently fresh offerings for their customers year round.

Designers need to be aware that line samples must be ready the year prior. Most swim shows take place in July and August when retail buyers begin planning out new and re-orders for the following resort and spring/summer seasons.

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The Design and Development Cycle

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Keeping your buying cycle in mind, designers need to plan their design and development timelines accordingly, with enough time to work through all of the patterns, fit samples, prototypes and fabric testing and trim development needed. Ideally for new lines, you should start the process in September so that the sales samples, line sheets and press kits are ready for the July shows.

Most factories are fully booked or closed for the holidays from December 15th – January 15th – so that cuts out a full month of development time during the holidays. If you’re trying to launch a swimwear line now, you have plenty of time to flesh out your designs and ideas for Spring 2016!

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