Swimwear Bucks the Tide

While many apparel categories continue to struggle at retail, the swimwear buyers and exhibitors heading to Miami for this week’s market can bask in the sunshine of robust growth.
Total U.S. swimwear dollar sales increased 13 percent in the 12 months ending in May to $6.1 billion, according to The NPD Group Inc. The firm reported all wearer segments grew, with women’s accounting for the majority at 65 percent. Marshal Cohen, NPD’s chief industry adviser of retail, cited versatility, comfort, color, fit, year-round travel and the Millennial-charged experiential movement as selling factors that captivate customers.
“Swimwear is like the smartphone — it’s a universal product with a lot of uses,” he said of the category, while sportswear struggles. “Sportswear isn’t getting the reaction from consumers, so swimwear is taking the lead in trends and innovation.”
Smart fabrics are central to reinventing swim, ath-leisure and their hybrids, which are creeping into Miami Swim Week more each year. Invista will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its Lycra brand with a cocktail party at W South Beach on July 15. Though the company doesn’t exhibit during swim week, its Lycra Xtra Life fiber will be represented through Speedo’s resort capsule collection that will be shown in

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