By Tracey Smith
While a woman’s silhouette contributes to her beauty, the confidence she evokes adds to her appeal. To help women of all shapes and sizes look and feel their best, Leonisa—a Colombian manufacturer with a distribution facility in Norcross, Ga.—offers a wide range of swimwear and shapewear products. Leonisa’s body-contouring designs elevate a woman’s self-confidence through enhanced figure-shaping.
The Swim Journal recently spoke with Octavio Quintana, vice president of Leonisa USA, about the company’s 60th anniversary, and the innovative fabrics and designs launching this year.
TSJ Tell us about your design team.
Quintana We have a team of six creative designers; a total of 85 designers make up the entire Leonisa design team. The team has been with the company for years. They understand the DNA of the company and what our customers want. They’re always testing new design innovations and fabrics in our labs so that our designs maintain a higher-quality standard and are true to their innate benefits. Our fabrics won’t fade, shrink or misshape through washing.
TSJ Describe what types of styles are in the line. Are there any accessories, such as cover-ups?
Quintana Our lines are different because we have distinguished benefits within each swimsuit style. For example, our new high-waist two-piece swimsuit offers moderate control with a booty lift. We specialize in giving the best contouring shape to women. For the first time, we are offering extra-firm control so women can choose between three tummy-control levels (moderate, firm and extra-firm). This year we are also offering extended plus sizes (up to 4XL) to accommodate market needs. We have stepped up our styling in cover-ups by offering higher-quality fabrics along with posh detailing. Our premium line will feature a variety of cover-up styles with contrast gold piping, ethereal prints and breezy chiffon fabrics.
TSJ Who is the target customer of Leonisa?
Quintana Women between the ages of 25 and 65 who want comfy yet stylish designs that have benefits such as versatility and control. This could include moms, professionals, and women looking to show off their curves or maybe smooth them out a bit.
TSJ Which came first—the shapewear or the swimwear?
Quintana Control girdles came first, swimwear came later. In the beginning, we only designed bikinis and monokinis, because that was what our market wanted. In the last several years, the market has changed, so now we include and sell more of our one-piece swimsuits with control.
TSJ We’ve read that you offer your customer a “great choice and different flexibility.” Could you explain that?
Quintana Our swimwear line offers a variety of choices for women with different wants and needs. We have suits that have adjustable coverage, removable push-up padding, removable straps or multi-way straps, a one-piece suit with a skirt that can be worn three different ways, three tummy-control levels and suits that offer booty lifts.
TSJ Do you have any new plans for the line that you can share with our readers?
Quintana Yes, 2016 will be a very big year for us! We will be celebrating our 60th anniversary as a company and our 10th anniversary in the USA. We are super excited about our extended plus sizes (up to 4XL), our extra-firm control made with our exclusive PowerSlim® control fabric, and our new matching Mommy-and-Me swimsuits (one-piece suit for mom and matching bikini for daughter). We will also start our year-round swimwear launchings; designs will be updated continuously throughout the year.
TSJ How many retail stores do you currently own, and where are they located?
Quintana We have 144 boutiques around the world selling only the Leonisa brand and two stores in the United States, at the Mall of Georgia and North Point Mall in Atlanta. One new store is currently opening in the largest mall in Puerto Rico. We have four distribution channels, including our website, boutiques, wholesale and catalog sales. Leonisa is a vertically integrated company; we design, create, produce and distribute 90% of our products.