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For the in between

After 15 years of working with top designers in her family’s swimsuit business, RAJ Manufacturing, Laguna resident Lisa Vogel has launched a personal line, Luxe by Lisa Vogel, which debuted in July and has already become popular with celebrity clients like Jennifer Lopez.

The richly toned separates, each embellished with their own unique detail, are designed for the women ages 29 to 49 who are going for a sexy yet sophisticated look.

Vogel, also a mother of two small children, said the idea came to her one day while trying on swimsuits.

“It’s so hard for women to find a suit that’s a [flattering] fit and makes them feel good,” she said. “You’ve got teeny bikinis or full-coverage, but nothing really in between.

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“My collection fills an important niche that I saw as a void in the market.”

Vogel paired with RAJ Head Design Director Katty Mui to produce a chic new collection for this overlooked demographic.

The line, inspired by contemporary sportswear combined with elements of international travel, offers a variety of silhouettes that are designed to “accentuate the positive and camouflage imperfections.”

“Some things we’ve added are lower-cut necklines, longer tankinis and more coverage to the ‘Brazilian’ bottom,” Vogel said.

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The 2009 collection is based on brown, olive and black tones, with turquoise and coral accents. A skin print, ombre piece (a print in which the color is graduated from light to dark) and metallic stripe have also been incorporated into the line to meet the latest trends.

RAJ Manufacturing, initially a pant company, was established in 1967 by Vogel’s parents, Raj and Marta Bhathal. The couple switched to swimwear and quickly became the leaders of fashion in the swimwear industry with its Barefoot Miss initiative.

The Athena line, introduced in 1983, grew popular with fashion icons like Elizabeth Taylor and Ivanka Trump and soon the demand motivated RAJ to produce swimwear collections for women of all ages.

The vision set by the Bhathals more than 41 years ago, is still carried out by Vogel and her brother Alex, who manages the company’s financial department.

Vogel said much of her design inspiration derives from European travel, and her love and appreciation for art and culture.

Vogel plans to launch a collection of cover-ups and accessories including footwear, hats and bags in the near future.

Raj Manufacturing remains one of the only 100% domestic swimwear manufacturers, making it economically trendy as well.

Luxe is sold in high-end resorts and boutiques, and will appear in shops in March.

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Visit www.rajman.com for more information.



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