Making a Splash
updated 08/30/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 08/30/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT
So he called his friend Moody, 32, an evening-wear designer and fellow Southerner from Lafayette, La., and asked for a favor: "Whip up a suit." Though he'd never done swimwear before, Moody whipped. Three days later, he unveiled a one-piece racing suit that was sexy, sporty, perfect.
More than 300 women who saw the ad that began running in magazines in April agreed—and bombarded Bain de Soleil headquarters in Cincinnati with calls asking where to find the suit. The tanning-oil folks didn't know and passed the calls on to their ad agency, which finally contacted Laney. Soon, Laney and Moody (and a small crew) had cranked out more than 100 replicas of the prototype, at $135 apiece. Now, thanks in large part to Laney's dad, Landy, who is president of a Southern supermarket chain and who kicked in some financial backing, the duo have turned their single sensation into a collection under the SWIM label. With the first wave of designs heading for stores in November, they're hoping for sales of $150,000. At any rate, Laney already has the ultimate seal of approval. "Dad's finally happy with what I'm doing," he says, laughing. "Getting into business."