Friday, December 07, 2007

Le Doux

Mention Brazil and thoughts fly to Rio de Janeiro and Carnaval, the Amazon and gauchos, flame-grilled churrasco and flaky empanadas, Pele and Portugese, and, of course, the nation’s signature bikini wax. Now, another Brazilian export has hit American shores – Le Doux Swimwear. Combining unabashed Brazilian sexiness with the relaxed California lifestyle, Le Doux is a unique, high-end swimwear collection debuting just in time for Summer 2007.

Inspired by the passion, sensuality and beach culture of Brazil, most suits are low-cut, Brazilian style, yet with a little extra fabric for the “cultural adjustment.” All styles are made in either crochet or lycra fabric, and hand-embellished using semi-precious stones, crystals, wood, shells, mother of pearl, or embroidery. During the few months Le Doux has been available, its best-sellers have come to include Femme Fatale (black with white pirate on breast, or opposite colors) and Flora (separately attached, six-petal flowers embellished with Swarovski crystals). Each suit is made in Le Doux’s manufacturing facility in Brazil by a team of expert seamstresses, emphasizing design, quality and ultra-comfortable fit.

Le Doux is led by the mother/daughter team of Marly and Juliana Renz, who wanted to create a swimsuit collection “for the style-conscious who want to lounge around looking beautiful.” While Marly, a former leather goods producer, runs the factory back home in Brazil, the FIT-trained Juliana has spent the last decade in the U.S. and spearheads design, distribution and marketing for Le Doux. Stars such as Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz and Evangeline Lily have already shown appreciation for the new brand, its Carmen Miranda style recently graced the cover of Surfing Magazine’s 2007 Swim Guide, and Le Doux has also made a splash in the pages of WWD, WWD Magic, Apparel News, Foam, Swim Journal, Us Weekly, People, Life and Style, 944 and the Ne-Yo video “Because of You.”

Three dozen swimsuit styles and several silk tunics populate the company’s maiden collection, augmented in May with the roll-out of Le Doux Intimates, a lingerie/sleepwear collection, and swimwear for girls in July. Available in Brazil, Mexico and the West Indies, Le Doux maintains a Los Angeles showroom, and its creations can be initially found stateside at Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Dillards and in California (Rumors Boutique and Gone Bananas, San Diego; Denim Bar 493, Los Alamitos), Florida (Shoreline Co., St. Augustine, University Surf and Skate, Orlando; USS Extreme, Oviedo), Hawaii (Enchantress, Kihei-Maui), and even a few states that don’t have an ocean, including Arizona (Triangles Boutique, Scottsdale; Pitfall, Lake Havasu) and Nevada (Amore, Las Vegas). or