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By TIFFANY MONTGOMERY
I stopped by the L*Space offices the other day to get a quick update on how the swim season is going so far and what the brand has planned for 2011.
L*Space founder Monica Wise told me sales so far this year are up double digits for the company, whose fiscal year runs from October through September.
She attributes the growth to several things:
Monica said because of her partnership with C&C Companies, she was able to hire a production manager and now has other backend support to ship in September to catch the early cruise season. That allows the company to get an early read on what is hot and to get more reorders.
Monica used to handle everything – from collecting money from late accounts to helping with shipping in a crunch.
I asked her if C&C now helps her with operations. She said, “They don’t just help me. They handle it all. I love my partnership with Dac and Paul.”
That support has freed her to focus on designing and branding, though she still is involved in operational meetings as well.
This season, hot styles include L*Space’s eco line, bandeau tops and geometric fabrics with bright colors.
For 2011, L*Space will have about the same number of bathing suit SKUs, but will greatly increase its resort wear with jumpers, dresses, cover-ups and loungewear.
L*Space will also introduce a larger cut bottom that will appeal to curvier figures. That will give the brand a full range of cuts from skimpy to fuller.
L*Space will also introduce some new silhouettes, new hardware and a few edgier, fashion-inspired pieces.
“(2010) has been a great year,” Monica said. “If the economy recovers in 2011, I can’t imagine what it will be like.”
In marketing, L*Space is focusing its efforts on consumers and retailers.
Last swim season, Monica spent every weekend doing fittings and appearances at swim stores around California.
And L*Space is doing a lot with social media, with giveaways, fitting tips and other brand updates.
Monica interacts a lot with fans on Facebook and through bikini-giveway contests on L*Space's Facebook page.
“It’s the best part of the day,” she said. “I thrive on it.”