Monday, August 25, 2008



OUTDOOR RETAILER MARKET S/S ’09, Salt Lake City, August 10th

Words, Images Judith Ecochard

Well, we had our eyes opened when we walked into the - packed with retail buyers- booth of Carve Designs. We may have messed up our appointment time, but wouldn’t miss this collection for anything.

It is terrific.

Maybe it’s all that good karma emanating from the ocean and mountains that “humbled” founders Jennifer Hinton and Thayer Slyvester. It was also a Mexican surfing trip in 2003, when these two athletes/grown-ups “realized they were sick of squeezing into junior sized boardshorts”-that got them to quit their day-jobs and launch Carve Designs.

For S/S ’09-the collection has blossomed into a complete line of technically superior separates for surfing…and everyday wear that should give fashionistas a reason to smile and swipe those credit cards.

And, we note, all styles come in wide size ranges (XS-XL)… which we think is important…as women do too.



Dax, the super friendly sales guy took us through the whole line from action wear to loungewear as street wear… and easy wear as whenever wear worthy clothes.

For surfers (and aspiring types like us) the crew neck semi- fitted Trestle Tank Top with Rash Guard and closely fitted Bells Beach top with one inch neck for sun protection and to avoid chaffing, with cap sleeves- both offer high UVA/UVB protection, feature neat beachy silkscreen designs across the front, and come in lots of color options like Leaf Green w/ white, Navy with pool (blue) …and Confetti with light confetti or Milk Chocolate and latte- respectively. ($46 each).

There’s also a Sands Raglan Short Sleeve top (two inch neck) and the ‘we will wear’-the Sunblocker (three inch neck, long sleeves).

Board short styles that will fit a women’s curves include the loosely fitted through the leg Liquid ($54) - with a low front rise and a trendy three panel color contrast pattern on the side leg. We also see the longer leg, high front rise Waikiki ($58-in six colors like Leaf green and a Citadel grey) surviving our wipeouts in a proper fashion-with the zipper and double snap closure.

Other cross-over shorts that are water friendly include the solid color Marin ($56) with contrasting piping and a back zipper…and the hipster plaid print Pipeline ($54).


The seamless Bondi two-in-one reversible bikini ($46 top, $42 bottom) was getting nods of approval from buyers, particularly in the sunny green hibiscus pattern that reverses to a solid bold orange.

We liked the adorable Rincon boy short ($38) and Rincon Tankini style ($46.00) that had flattering ruching details and could mix and match with any of the aforementioned separates.

For pool denizens that have no intention of moving much beyond lifting a martini cocktail to their lips, the Palm Beach full piece maillot in a pale apricot ($68) with adjustable four way stretch tricot for shape retention- will do.

Lastly, ladies wanting support should check out the sexy Ibiza top ($52-matching bottom -$38) with wire bra support and remove able padding.


Ha-Tory Burch listen up…Carve Designs tunics- in the flattering crew neck, long sleeve Sunshine-with hibiscus burnout patterns ($52) and longer A-line Avalon Cover –Up are made of 100% certified organic cotton…and are for real lives.

Breezy sheer voile/cotton tunics appropriately named St. Tropez ($62) and Tahitian ($64) can work with a pair of strappy sandals on their own…or over jeans for cooler temps.


We love that carve Designs is committed to using eco-friendly alternatives whenever possible. We think the semi-fitted Newport tops (in a bra-friendly sleeveless ribbed combed cotton scoop neck tank $34, a open scoop neck elbow length sleeve $38), and the crew neck Newport Rouch dress with a straight fit ($64)…all made from 100% Organic Cotton are as nice as anything else comparable on the market. And the colors like cloud, black, white etc work with everything.


The Ocean Beach hoodies for men ($74) and women ($72) with wave graphics and colorful pattern print linings have roomy front pockets. And gals’ wrinkle proof Motion Cargo Shorts ($36), Rouch Skirt ($62) and Capri ($58)…in shades-army green, orange milk chocolate… complete any wardrobe destined for exotic vacations, and staycations to the local mall.

RETAIL: Lots of boutiques in practically every State, plus Canada and England …and online at:

Activa Activa Sports ,
BackCountry ,Bog Sports
Bog Sports, Core Action Sports
Core Action Sports ,Summit Hut
Summit Hut, Terry Precision Cycling for Women
Terry Bicycles, Title Title Nine, and Zappos