For over 65 years, Body Glove has been an innovator in the water sports category. Founded in Redondo Beach, CA in 1953, by twin brothers Bob and Bill Meistrell, Body Glove gained recognition for designing the first neoprene wetsuit. Steeped in the history of surf culture and adventure on the ocean waters, today the brand is revered by watermen and waterwomen around the world.
In 2016, Marquee Brands, manager of a portfolio of luxury world-wide retail brands, acquired Body Glove with third-generation Meistrell’s Nick, pictured below left, and Jenna, pictured right, with her Uncle Bob (Meistrell), leading the helm as marketing director for Body Glove (at Marquee Brands) and brand director (at Marquee Brands) respectively.
The new generation for the brand—working with best-in-class partners—continues doing things that have never been done before from a technical standpoint using Body Glove branding and athletes to support the brand’s message.
Although the brand’s roots are based in water, the trajectory is set to become everyone’s outdoor lifestyle brand starting with the 2019 collection shown at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market last week.
We spent time talking with Nick Meistrell and Peter Maule, Senior VP, Sports and Active Brands, Marquee Brands, pictured below left, at the show to learn more about the brand’s growth trajectory, collection and upcoming initiatives.
To start, the Body Glove collection is huge and includes everything from technical aquatic apparel and hardgoods to down jackets—all designed for today’s elite athlete, weekend warrior or outdoor enthusiast—to wear in surf, sand, street or the local coffee shop, no matter the weather conditions.
“Now everyone gets to wear Body Glove—a recognized, cool brand … a brand to trust and at a fair price, with our brand athletes helping us market us as a lifestyle brand.” — Peter Maule
Body Glove works with vendor partners who are already doing great products and who pass the strict quality testing of Body Glove prior to leaving the factory. It’s a big part of the decision criteria at BG is to make sure the vendor partners are best-in-class in their category before they are given the tools and the inspiration to make Body Glove-branded products.
Women’s Swim is the jewel in the crown for Body Glove. Kim Kardashian West is a huge fan, phoning in unsolicited requests for swimwear every six weeks or so because of the incredible technology and design features the brand offers. And although she has not publicly endorsed the brand, and you may not be a fan, KK is a branding and marketing genius and with over 110 million Instagram followers; that’s a big win for BG.
Body Glove Sport will launch in 2019. The collection is less technical, offers a range of sizes for all body types and will retail in the mid-price point range.
Pushing even further into the active outdoor space, Body Glove has a grassroots event yoga tour they are doing called ‘Create Happiness.’ They will be on the road locking down specialty retailers, so when they place their orders, Body Glove will come to their store and host a yoga event, bringing with them celebrities, social influencers and athletes to work with the retailer in-store and, in general, to get back in front of the customer at the retail level.
Retail events have already been held at Macy’s Herald Square; Miami Swim Show in Miami, FL; Canada, California and Nevada.
Sprigs is one of the newest brand partners for Body Glove. An accessory manufacturer offering a collection under the Body Glove branded label that will open a lot of big-box retailer is the perfect POP to offer the consumer the head-to-toe BG outdoor look. All the packaging will be templated and pre-approved by Body Glove to represent the brand in the accessory space.
On the horizon for Body Glove? Distribution at all retailer levels from Costco to Neiman’s.
Today, Body Glove can live in so many different retail spaces. Why? Because the brand has 60 years of know-how innovation, working with best-in-class industry partners to bring to market products from the highest level of technical fabrics and construction for the elite athlete to embracing the consumer with a Sport Collection that addresses all body types at a mid-range price point, and attention to detail that is unmatched.
Photos courtesy Body Glove