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Raisins Swimwear, a division of Breaking Waves International in New York, recently opened a design studio at The Lab in Costa Mesa and the brands are geting a makeover.
Formerly owned by Quiksilver, Breaking Waves bought the portfolio of bathing suit brands including Raisins, Raisins Girls, Leilani, Island Soul, and Island Escape in April.
Along with the sale, Executive VP of Raisins, Brian Ivanhoe, along with the Raisins team from Quiksilver, went to Breaking Waves in New York with the sale.
He said while the transition has been great and Breaking Waves has been an incredible parent company, the team was excited to get back to Orange County. Ivanhoe was with the brand even before Quiksilver bought it in 1993.
“The Raisins brands were born on the beach, in a garage in Laguna during the early 70's, and we are taking them back there, to their roots, to the salt and the sand, where they started,” Brian said.
Brian calls the new design studio the brand’s “design/vibe quarters.” Three designers will be based in that office.
(Right: Raisins EVP Brian Ivanhoe.)
The transition from Quiksilver to Breaking Waves, he said, has been extremely positive. Despite the economic hardships that most swimsuit companies are facing, the Raisins brands are getting refreshed.
“Quik was a phenomenal parent, but it was time for the kids to leave the nest. That’s kind of how we saw it. Quik was our parent for 17 years, and since we are 18 now, it was time to get out of the house.”
Under Breaking Waves, Brian said they are turning the design loose and creating a broader line assortment for all brands, as well as increasing their presence in new media, especially with their contemporary brands like Raisins and Leilani.
Breaking Waves is also adding a few new lines to the collection. R Collection is a new contemporary line that will debut at Surf Expo. Brian said it is very similar to Radio Fiji, a line Quiksilver kept but is not doing anything with at the moment and whose designer came over to Raisins under Breaking Waves.
The company will also launch Island Waves, a new Missy counterpart to Island Soul in New York City in August. Its Island Escape brand will become exclusive to Macy’s.
At the Miami Swim Show, Breaking Waves will show the 2011 line for Raisins, Raisins Girls, Leilani and Island Soul.
“We know it’s been a tough year for swim brands and core shops, but we are just totally energized to re-imagine our brands back in Orange County, where the brands first started,” Brian said.