(Filed Under Wholesale Swimwear News). At the Miami Swimshow from July 19th through 21st, Opera Fashion Group, a wholesaler based in New York City and manufactured in Brazil, is debuting its newest swimwear line: Gabikini, in booth 880. Running in sizes XS through L and wholesaling for $20 and up, the line's designer, Gabriela Pires, reported that it is geared toward the women's 15 to 30-year-old market.
Pires is not only the designer of Gabikini, but also the daughter of Opera Fashion Group founder, Sueli Costa, who started the company 30 years ago as a retail business but over the years switched to wholesale. The mother/daughter team currently partners on both design and business management. According to Costa, Pires brings contemporary, casual sensibilities to Gabikini, as well as the company's preexisting lines, Opera Swimwear and Opera by Sueli Costa, while Costa favors sophisticated designs. Costa reported that the company produces 100 to 120 new styles per year.
"Gabikini is a contemporary line: very girly and sexy, but at the same, it has an innocence. It is perfect for the hip, young, American girl," Costa said. "Gabriela went to a very prestigious fashion school in Milan, and she has been around the fashion industry since childhood. She's a brilliant designer."
Opera Swimwear, the company's signature line, was launched in the 1990s to "fill the gap" on the market between American full back bottoms and "South Beach" thongs. Made from hand-crafted lycra and stretch cotton with embroidery details, the line wholesales at $35 and up and running in sizes S through XL. It has been featured in Sports Illustrated, Cosmopolitan and other consumer magazines. Costa called Opera by Sueli Costa "ageless." The company described the line as "full of glamour," and "perfect for a yacht or cruise ship." It features semi-precious stones like Swarovski crystals, and wholesales for between $45 and up in sizes S through XL.
In other news, Costa is seeking investors to assist her in bringing some production to the United States, although her mass production will still be based out of Brazil. Her and Pires plan to open a showroom in August, which will double as a fashion lab, through which they will work with new and established designers, including students from the Fashion Institute of Technology.
"With my and Gabriela's experience in the industry, we can help up-and-coming designers get their product out there," she said. "I would love to pass along my knowledge from 30 years in the fashion industry."
In Brazil, Costa already collaborates with nonprofit organizations, employing low-income seamstresses to sew designs for Opera Fashion Group: "sometimes their only means of employment," Costa said. According to Costa, the company also works with eco-friendly suppliers whenever possible.
To reach Opera Fashion Group, call Sueli Costa or Gabriela Pires at (212) 202-1627.
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