Juliana Renz Outfits Vegas' Bikini Beauties
by emma trotter
|Locally, Le Doux Swimwear is sold exclusively at Swim inside Encore|
Brazilian sexiness with a sun-kissed California flair describe both the Le Doux Swimwear brand and its co-owner, Juliana Renz. Along with her mother, Marly, the blonde bombshell is one half of the design duo behind the seven-year-old line of fashionable swimwear that combines body-conscious fit with glamorous styles using embellishments, splashy patterns, and lots of color. Her sparkling ideas work so well in over-the-top Vegas, where Renz has lived off and on for seven years, that we are one of her most profitable markets worldwide.
Because local business is booming at Le Doux, Renz is in the process of moving parts of her business here. She’ll start with distribution, which could provide dozens of jobs for locals who will complete training in Brazil under the guidance of her core team. She may also bring to Vegas some parts of the company’s production—mainly hardware and finishing material touches—that are expensive to export to Brazil.
In the meantime, look for Le Doux’s barely-there bikinis and feminine cover-ups at Vegas’s VIP pool clubs. “Swimwear in recent years has become glamorous,” Renz says. “Pool parties opened the door for a lot of embellished swimwear, so you’re ‘dressed’ even though you’re wearing only a bathing suit.”
Although Renz had been designing custom suits for years, that part of her business really took off after she was commissioned to design the pool cocktail waitress uniforms for Encore Beach Club last May. Locally, Renz sells ready-to-wear exclusively at Swim, inside Encore, and often designs specialty luxe suits for the store, as well as pretty tunics that can be worn day or night.
“We started carrying Le Doux at Wynn in February of 2011,” says Alexandra Vasquez, retail buyer for Wynn Las Vegas. “With its use of Swarovski crystals, plus the exclusivity here, the collection has become one of our top sellers.”
In addition to local socialites, Le Doux has become popular with Wynn’s fun-loving guests. “People come here to be something they are not at home,” Renz says. “It’s about excess and allure, and that’s right in line with my product. This is my clientele, this is who I am, and I just love being in Vegas.” Vasquez agrees, adding, “Our guests at the Wynn are looking for exclusive, one-of-a-kind pieces, and that is exactly what Le Doux brings to the table.”
In 2006, celebrity weeklies featured images of Cameron Diaz strutting the beach in a Le Doux swimsuit while on vacation. Before Renz knew it, tabloid darlings Kim Kardashian, Megan Fox, Paris Hilton, and Drew Barrymore were sporting her suits. “Having a celebrity following, so to speak, is necessary,” says Renz, a graduate of LA’s Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. “It’s that aspirational thing.”
As high-end stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue began to carry the Le Doux line, Renz drew inspiration for new swimsuits from the Hawaiian islands and the beaches in her Brazilian hometown. The self-described lover of anything crystal kept adding sparkly touches and metal detailing. “There are so many competing for that basic swimwear market, so there’s so much of the same boring thing,” she says. “So my personal preference is embellished, sparkly, fun, and glamorous.”
Enter Vegas: Our brightly lit city fueled her designs and creativity like no other. “I loved the lights and the energy,” she says. “Everything sparkles. I started looking at showgirls, and I just thought there was a lot of material to work with. I love the sky here, and the sunsets. Then at night, you have all the lights. They are kind of like precious stones in a way.” This impression inspired Renz’s 2012 Sin City Glitz collection, which she calls her “love letter to Las Vegas.” The influence is evident in everything from subtle touches to big-time bling (think sequined zebra print). A particularly fabulous piece is the Showtime suit, a black monokini tantalizingly held together by a flashy crystal hardware centerpiece.
“Fashion allows people to express who they are and communicate without saying anything,” she says. “You can be a chameleon, which I find fascinating.” Swim, Encore Las Vegas, 702-770-5460
photography by jared mcmillen