I checked in the other day with Lian Murray, an owner and founder of emerging brand Aqua VI. I'm sure most of you know Lian was the creative design force behind the ground-breaking Hurley product in the early years of that company.
Lian told me her latest venture has a lot of exciting things happening.
- The Buckle has placed an all-door buy of Aqua VI product for men's and women's. The first shipment except to five West Coast stores will be sent at the end of May. For holiday, Aqua VI will be in all doors. Currently, The Buckle operates 374 stores.
- Aqua VI is expanding into a full sportswear collection for holiday, including cotton cashmere sweaters, pea coats, puff jackets (photos).
- Aqua VI's boardshorts are recording 86 percent sell through at its collective retail accounts.
- The company is exhibiting at ASR for the first time at the ASR holiday show this week.
- People Magazine is featuring Aqua VI on its website on June 16.
I asked Lian, right, some follow-up questions.
What kind of merchandise did The Buckle buy?
The Buckle bought T-shirts, fleece, and thermals.
Why did you decide to launch a full sportswear line? Is that the first time Aqua VI is doing a full sportswear line?
We started to get into a creative groove with the brand. It is so much fun to develop the categories and really get to express ourselves. The company grew to a point where we could, financially.
Are you financing the expansion with existing cash or is there more investment?
We are growing our business organically. That means we are using our own money. We are not taking any more investors at this time.
Just to review, who are the partners/investors in the business?
The partners are myself, Ziggy Williams, Barry Perlman (a founder of Lucky Brand Jeans), Leslie Rubin and my mom.
At ASR, are you going into Gold Box or a bigger booth?
We are going into the Gold Box. That's a great name, don't you think?
Why is People Magazine putting Aqua VI on its website?
They noticed us as a new emerging talent.