After recording its first $1 million month in November with momentum continuing through the Australian summer, the home-grown Adelaide fashion success story of Vacay Swimwear continues after the brand officially launched yesterday in Hudson's Bay, a Canadian department store retailer with double the footprint of David Jones.
Founded by Jordan Kallios and Corey Decandia in 2017, Vacay is already the number one men's swimwear brand in David Jones and The Iconic while domestically it is also stocked in around 50 boutiques, although the Australian market now only accounts for roughly 30 per cent of total sales, with around 50 per cent sold in North America and 20 per cent in Europe.
"In Australia we’ve got the market down pat as one of Australia’s largest swim and resort brands, we can confidently say, but now our main focus is obviously growing in international markets," says Kallios.
He says landing a deal with The Iconic early on in Vacay Swimwear's journey was a catalyst for global expansion.
"It was eight months after launch that we were the youngest brand ever to be stocked in The Iconic, so when you’re stocked in Australia’s largest online retailer, you think you’re on to something," he says.
"That moment was when we found that we had potential and we could keep growing in the Australian market and the global market."
Decandia explains Vacay Swimwear, with its unique, versatile style aimed at "the man who likes to travel" for "going out for dinner, jumping in the pool, or going to the beach", has attracted interest and shelf space in a number of Four Seasons hotels in the US, Nikki Beach hotels in North America and Europe, and many boutique stores in the US.
While the company is hunting for a US department store deal breakthrough, the Canadian deal with Hudson's Bay - which has 85 stores as well as e-commerce companies Saks and Saks off 5th - marks a key milestone the South Australian founders believe will be a "fantastic success".
"We're already selling a great deal to Canada as well, so that was a good way of going to Hudson’s Bay with a bit of a track record, showing the numbers of what we’re currently doing in Australia, in Europe," Decandia notes.
"It was really a no brainer for them. Obviously the North American market loves Australian brands, loves the Aussie culture, so when we jumped on a few calls with them and they learnt who we are as people and what we’re doing as a brand, they were pretty stoked to jump on board.
"So once we jumped through all the logistics and loopholes of being able to send product to and from different countries, we were able to launch."
Kallios adds Hudson's Bay is quite picky about the brands it chooses to put on the shelves.
"We found that especially Hudson’s Bay were very particular with the brands they bring on; they only bring on brands that they know are going to have great success," he says.
"We started talks with them in December, so it was all planned to launch just before the North American summer, familiarise ourselves with the platform and get the brand out there a little bit further," Decandia adds.
"Let's hope that come the North American summer things are really popping off."
Ultimately, the hope is that the Hudson's Bay deal brings the validation needed to secure a department store partner in the USA as well.
"We’re not trying to grow into too many categories. We know what we’re good at, and there aren’t too many swim and resort specialists out there," Decandia says.
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