As safety becomes more stylish, swimwear brand Snapper Rock is carving out a large area of the swimwear industry for its line of apparel, which offers UPF 50+. While the company was founded in 2003 as a juniors line of protective sailing apparel for kids up to 16 years of age, it expanded to include adult offerings in 2016.
With greater awareness placed on skin health, consumers are searching for ways to enjoy their lives yet remain protected from the damaging effects of the sun. “The swimwear industry is a very exciting one to be part of. It’s fun but competitive,” said Liz Eglinton, the company’s founder and chief executive officer. “The year 2019 for Snapper Rock is ensuring the building blocks are in place so we can scale up as needed. We will continue to place a big emphasis on growing our family range while being true to our core kids’ range.”
To prepare for its next stage of growth, Snapper Rock is also expanding its executive leadership. The Auckland, New Zealand–based company recently announced it hired DeAnna Lamphere as its new president. This new role complements the work of Eglinton and Julie Rich, who is director of sales and of U.S. operations at the company’s Annapolis, Md., office.
“DeAnna’s deep insights into the United States apparel industry will help shape the next 10 years of our brand positioning as we continue on our journey to become the leading UPF swim and beach lifestyle brand,” Eglinton said.
An apparel-industry veteran, Lamphere, based in Tampa, Fla., served as president and chief executive of Naked&Famous Consulting, the brand and retail-strategy firm she founded in 2016.
Focused on men’s and women’s apparel, Lamphere said she felt the calling as a fashion merchant early in her life. She has worked with major industry leaders such as Macy’s; the TJX Companies; Ross Stores, Inc.; White House Black Market; Nordstrom; and BCBG.
“This is a great time to join Snapper Rock, and I am glad to be part of the family,” Lamphere said. “They’ve built a valuable brand that is highly recognizable.”
While making the transition from the men’s and women’s apparel field into swimwear might seem to be a stretch, Lamphere has experience in the swimwear segment. During her time with White House Black Market and Nordstrom, she developed swimwear for the two major brands.
“Women’s swimwear isn’t a stranger to me,” she said. “I don’t think it’s something that is terribly different from fashion overall. It’s another category with a different set of intricacies, whether it be fabric, fit, needle or technology.”
With a mission to create classic styles that protect its customers, Snapper Rock will allow Lamphere to work with clothing that relies heavily on sun-protection technology. Fashion elements remain important, but the brand is continuing to examine how trends such as UPF 50+ swim leggings—introduced in 2018—and one-shoulder styles fit into its long-term goals.
“The trends that are relevant to take the brand to the next level are the coordinates and prints,” Lamphere said. “We want to make sure that we’re representing the trends in the right way that is best for our brand.”
Introducing fresh designs that nod to trends, which have the potential to become classic features in swimwear, is important to this brand , which serves a high-end clientele. With wholesale price points for its women’s and men’s pieces ranging from $25 to $46, the Snapper Rock brand counts big names in apparel and tourism among its customers.
Snapper Rock currently manufactures its women’s swimwear, swim leggings and men’s rash tops using a blend of 80 percent nylon and 20 percent elastane. Manufactured with a dense fabric composition and tight weave, the pieces yield the UPF 50+ rating for which the brand has become known. Under Lamphere’s leadership, Snapper Rock is looking to serve as the authority for this type of protective swimwear.
“Snapper Rock is in the game to build dominance in the industry with UPF 50+ and fashion for a lifestyle brand in all the areas of the business,” Lamphere said. “2019 will be spent building that base of operational excellence to take on a huge scale.”