Warrendale-based Rue21 dives in with debut swimwear line

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Monday, March 10, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Rue21 has taken the plunge with a swimwear line.

Called Ruebleu, it's the first of its kind for the Warrendale-based company.

“Our Ruebleu swimwear will be a terrific complement to the fun warm-weather fashions we will be offering in our stores and online this spring,” says Bob Fisch, Rue21's president and chief executive officer. “We are committed to growing our store base, our brand presence and our merchandise categories in 2014, and this swimwear collection gets us off to a great start.”

The line has been in the works for a while, says Kim Reynolds, senior vice president and general merchandising manager. Customers had asked for fashion-forward swimwear at competitive prices.

So Rue21 delivered.

The collection features separate tops and bottoms in a variety of fun prints and styles designed to flatter any figure.

Through market research and teen surveys, the company found that most teens no longer want a matching top and bottom, but the freedom to have multiple mix-and-match outfits while buying only a few suits. The target age for the bathing suit is the teenage consumer as well as the customer who wants to be 21 or younger, as “everyone wants to be 21,” Reynolds says.

Rue21 has 1,002 stores in 47 states, not only in shopping malls but also in outlet and strip centers.

In the swimwear line available in stores and online, bottoms retail for $14.99, while tops are priced from $14.99 to $19.99. There also are matching accessories and footwear. These items include short-shorts, high-waisted shorts, backpacks, nail polish, cover ups, maxi dresses and sandals — everything needed for spring break at the beach and summers spent by the pool.

The fiesta tribal prints were chosen because they are vibrant and fun — it really captures the Aztec trend that has exploded all over the marketplace, Reynolds says. Also, they chose crochet and fringe styles because textures and new silhouettes are taking swimwear to a new level.

“Swimwear is the No. 1 requested category online and through our social-media sites,” Reynolds says. “We have been working on developing the category over the past 12 months and are thrilled with the end result.”

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at jharrop@tribweb.com or 412-320-7889.

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