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Inside Coolibar

Inside Coolibar

Coolibar Clothing Designer Alicia Pizzo Shares Her 2012 Sun Wear Inspirations

Coolibar clothing designer Alicia Pizzo came to Coolibar in 2011 with the goal of bringing excitement to our sun protective line. This role is extremely personal to Alicia as both her mother and grandmother battled skin cancer, so she works hard to create sun protective clothing people will love wearing. Alicia shares her inspirations for Coolibar’s summer 2012 UPF 50+ women’s line.

1. What Coolibar piece are you most excited about this summer and why?

So many! I’m excited about our ZnO Summer Skirt in particular as it offers the same waistband as our ZnO Beach Pants that our customers love. It’s also the beginning of our expanding sun protective bottom collection. In the future, I look forward to introducing a maxi skirt and capris as well. For tops, I’m thrilled to offer thumbholes in the Harbor Hoodie and the Stash Pocket Swim Shirt since it provides more coverage and keeps the sleeves in place when moving or swimming.

2. What trends are hot this summer that you’ve incorporated into Coolibar wear?

We’ve been seeing a lot of nautical stripes, so we’ve incorporated this timeless look into numerous ZnO pieces such as our Harbor Hoodie, Henley, Polo Dress, Henley Dress and Summer Skirt. We also used a bright color palette, and bright colors are huge this summer. I’d also like to point out that sun protection is on-trend, as we’re seeing pale toned models and celebrities protecting their skin with hats and more cover-ups.

Collage of New Coolibar ZnO Stripe Prints

3. How do you come up with new ideas? What inspired you in Coolibar’s current designs?

I find inspiration from many different sources: travel, people watching, and this year attending the American Academy of Dermatology conference to gather feedback from dermatologists. Right now I have a postcard from Brazil and a birthday party photo on my desk wall along with other inspirational photos.

4. Has keeping sun protection in mind throughout every design been a challenge this first season? If so, how have you overcome this challenge?

Definitely! Balancing coverage with an exciting look and fun shapes has been a challenge, especially working with new necklines that provide coverage. Having great fabric to work with really helps! Trial and error always helps too.

5. Do you believe part of your personality shines through any one Coolibar piece in particular?

I would say all of them to a certain extent. If I had to choose one in particular, it would be the Harbor Hoodie because of the fun pattern, comfy feel and casual look that can be worn practically anywhere.

6. Anything else our readers should know about fashions this summer or Coolibar pieces in particular?

Have fun and mix it up! Focus on adding color in new ways. I love mixing blue, yellow, green and coral together during the summer. Pairing stripes with solids is a classic as well.

Alicia's inspiration board
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Inside Coolibar New Products

Hot Hats of the Season

Summer is nearing, and if you’re in the market for a new show-stopping wide brim hat we want to let you know what to look for this season. Coolibar trend seeker and buyer Amy Jo Henriksen has spent several months looking for hats that not only look great, but provide sun protection to keep your skin looking flawless!

Amy Jo, where do you look when deciding what hats to buy for upcoming seasons?

We review the current trend forecast for colors and shapes and travel to trade shows to see what is new and exciting for the coming year. We also watch what is out in the current market by spending time at other retailers.

What do you see being trendy this summer in hats?

We are seeing animal print accents. Wide brims continue to be popular and a nautical feeling has come to the foreground in color blocking and stripes.

Do you think we’ll see a lot bigger brims out this summer?

I believe there will be a great mix of brim sizes this summer. For those who want great sun protective coverage the wide brim hat is the best accessory in the market. For those who are active the 3”+ brim width allow for more function and versatility.

What would you recommend wearing to a summer wedding?

I love our Monaco Wide Brim Hat in toast or the Oceanside Sun Hat in black with white banding. Both are outstanding and would make a great accessory for day of dress-up.

What would you recommend sporting at the beach?

Our Chlorine Resistant Bucket Hat is a customer favorite. It’s easy to pack, easy to adjust and you can wear it in or out of the water without worrying about it fading or getting crushed. It’s a go to piece that coordinates great with our sun protective swimwear.

What Coolibar hat style are you most excited about?

Our Fedora Sun Hat for ladies is a great style that is on trend but offers a 3” brim which is difficult to find on most Fedora hats in the market today. Traditionally, the fedora has a small brim width which does not offer the optimal sun protection. We are excited to have an updated modern shape which can offer the level of protection our customers expect from Coolibar.

What is your favorite Coolibar hat of all time and why?  

I love the Shapeable Travel Sun Hat. It’s constructed of ribbon which allows it to be packed flat or rolled for travel but always returns to its original shape without looking damaged.  It’s lightweight and offers great coverage with its 3¾” brim. I think the size and shape look great on everyone and love the wonderful colors its available in.

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Expert Rx Inside Coolibar

The Best Dermatologist Recommended Methods of Sun Protection

For the past 9 years Coolibar, the nation’s leading sun protective clothing manufacturer, has conducted a survey among the nation’s dermatologists during the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), to determine their recommendations for the best methods of sun protection.

Research results from the 70th Annual Meeting, the largest meeting on record, held in San Diego, CA, March 17-19, 2012 revealed a unified response. The overwhelming majority of American dermatologists now believe that UPF clothing should be the first line of defense in sun protection followed by sunscreen.  This attitude is held by 95.1% of American dermatologists (+/- 1.2% at the 95% confidence level) and is based on 1,265 survey participants.

“We know that the most effective sun protection comes from using a combination of methods including sun protective clothing and hats as a foundation plus sunglasses and sunscreens,” said John Barrow, founder and president of Coolibar.  This year’s survey results highlight the importance of including sun protective clothing in summer wardrobes and come on the heels of the new guidelines for sunscreens from the FDA.

In addition to clothing, the top 10 sunscreen brands recommended by U.S. dermatologists were revealed.  A mix of mass market brands combined with specialty brands are listed in order of the frequency with which they are recommended to patients:

  1. Neutrogena
  2. Aveeno
  3. Elta
  4. La Roche-Posay
  5. Blue Lizard
  6. Coppertone
  7. Vanicream
  8.  SolBar
  9. CeraVe
  10.  Eucerin
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Inside Coolibar New Products What's Hot

Coolibar in the Big Apple

Last week spring was in the air.  With temperatures in the 70’s in New York City, it felt more like June than March.  The cherry blossoms were in bloom and New Yorkers were out in masses soaking up the summer sun– grabbing their shades and leaving their jackets behind.

This was perfect weather to introduce Coolibar’s spring and summer line to fashion, health and beauty editors across the city.  Carol Schuler (of Schuler Publicity) and I hit the Manhattan streets and hauled our oversized bag of Coolibar goodies to the “big books” at Hearst, Meredith and Conde Nast, in addition to meeting with some of our favorite bloggers.

The new line and fabrics were met with great enthusiasm.  In fact, a new hat was called in immediately for consideration.  We heard ooh’s and ah’s as editors felt the silk like texture of our aire SUNTECT® fabric and tried on fabulous hats with an 8” brim.  “The big brims are glamorous and keep your shoulders protected too,” exclaimed on editor (she got to keep that hat).  Look for Coolibar products in your favorite magazines this summer.

What does this all means for you, our dear customer?  It means you are in for a real treat!  Our new catalog hits homes next week and is bigger and better than ever with over 32 new styles to keep you cool and protected this summer.  We’ve introduced new fabrics and fitness gear alongside our customer favorites. 

So get out there and enjoy life in the sun, Coolibar will keep you safe! 
[nggallery id=27]

 

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Inside Coolibar What our customers say

Dermatologists Agree We Need to Prevent Skin Cancer in Style

Dermatologists agree that style is just as important as long lasting UPF 50 coverage when it comes to choosing sun protective clothing. This was a frequent comment at this year’s American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting in San Diego, California. Dermatologists often recommend sun protective clothing to patients with sun sensitive conditions, such as skin cancer, but claim patients more often comply when sun protective clothing looks like normal clothing that’s “in-style”. After hearing numerous comments from dermatologists at the AAD Annual Meeting last weekend, Coolibar sun protective clothing has great news for those looking for “stylish” sun protective clothing.

Sun protective clothing has evolved over the last decade. What was once seen as a medical device for those with sun sensitive conditions is now common practice for families and individuals looking to stay healthy and covered under the sun versus using sunscreen alone. Coolibar has spent 10 years producing moisture wicking, breathable, natural feeling fabrics along with stylish fashions for people to wear during outdoor activities.

Coolibar clothing designer Alicia Pizzo has over eight years of experience designing women’s clothing. Since coming to Coolibar in 2011, Pizzo has worked to create more flattering styles that still provide the skin coverage people want. Pizzo says, “During the AAD Annual Meeting, we wanted to get as much feedback as possible from dermatologists on our new UPF 50+ styles.” New styles showcased, available on www.coolibar.com starting tomorrow, included nautical print dresses, skirts, and tops for women and girls. “All feedback was extremely positive,” says Pizzo.  Dr. Michelle Tarbox, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Saint Louis University, liked the new styles so much that she purchased a new UPF 50+ Polo Dress on the spot.  “I love this polo dress, it has a flattering feminine fit  and modern styling with a young hip look to it, but still provides full sun protective coverage of the upper body and the legs down to the knees. You would never guess looking at the garment that it is designed for sun protection. After the Meeting, I wore the dress all day and was impressed with how comfortable and cool it was and also by how many compliments I got on it!”

Julie, Heather, Alicia AAD12
Coolibar employees Julie Ziminske, Heather Olson, and Alicia Pizzo at the AAD Meeting.

Other dermatologist who stopped at the Coolibar booth continued to express their excitement toward the new sun protective styles. Some women even debated how to accessorize the new looks. Ideas included wearing the navy stripe pattern with red wedges, red jewelry accents and a simple white sun hat.

Collage of New Coolibar ZnO Stripe Prints

Paralleling dermatologists’ interest in stylish sun protective clothing at this year’s AAD Meeting, skin cancer prevention was a hot topic. SPOT Skin Cancer™, a new initiative designed to raise skin cancer awareness to a new level while positively positioning dermatologists as uniquely trained doctors treating life-threatening diseases, was introduced during the Meeting. The campaign is using an attractive bright orange on all campaign material versus the color black that’s currently associated with skin cancer and “spot” patterns that represent moles.  The Academy says, “With SPOT, the Academy is bringing all of its skin cancer public education efforts under one consistent brand identity for maximum impact.” SPOT will be launched to the public on Melanoma Monday, May 7, 2012.

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Inside Coolibar Wear Sun Protection What's Hot

Hats – How to get the right fit

Coolibar hats not only express personal style, they protect your precious noggin from the sun’s harmful rays.  Comfort is important too.  You’ll know when you have a hat that fits well because you’ll forget you have it on!

Here’s how you can measure your head to ensure you have the right fit:

1) Hunt down a tape measure – yup over there in the “junk drawer”- this is the case at my house anyway. 

2) Starting at your forehead, measure around your head where your hat would normally sit –about 1/2″–1″ above your eyebrows and about 1/4″ above your ears, then continue around the back of your head and back to your forehead. Pull the tape snug but not tight, as you would like a hat to fit (measuring errors occur from pulling the tape too tightly).  Measure to the nearest 1/8″ a couple of times in front of the mirror –smile, say cheese! 

* If you don’t have a flexible tape measure, a piece of string (non-stretchy) can be held around the head and then measured on a yardstick.

Measuring head for hat size
Measuring head for hat size

Measure your head. Then check out our collection of UPF 50+ hats at http://www.coolibar.com/sunhats.html.  If you have size questions, please call Customer Service at 1-800-926-6509 or email us at service@coolibar.com.

-Allyson, Customer Service

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Inside Coolibar

Hats ON to Dermatology Nurses

When you visit your dermatologist, you may often find yourself spending a lot time with your dermatology nurse. Let us tell you, these nurses know their stuff when it comes to skin and sun protection!

During the 30th Annual Dermatology Nurses’ Association (DNA) Convention in February, Coolibar had the amazing opportunity to spend a moment with almost 500 dermatology nurses and better acquaint them with Coolibar. Despite the fact that the conference took place in Denver, CO, and not a warm weather destination, we had 40 degree weather, lots of sun, and lots of interest in our big brimmed hats and new spring line of UPF 50+ clothing.  

Of the dermatology nurses who were long time Coolibar patrons, a few shared their thoughts on Coolibar with us:

“I love my Coolibar hat so much, I wear it all over the place – in the garage, while mowing, in the attic. Not only does it protect me from the sun, it protects me from falling creepy crawlies.”

“How did you get the Princess Kate Middleton to be your model?! That’s great for sun protection!” (Side note: she wasn’t really our model, the model on our recent catalog cover just happened to look like her! Great observation!)

We want to thank all dermatology nurses and the DNA for the wonderful things you do to help treat skin conditions and for spreading the message about the importance of sun protection!

Coolibar Booth - DNA 2012 Convention Coolibar Booth – DNA 2012 Convention
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Inside Coolibar

Helping those with Albinism and Cancer Patients in Tanzania

A few months ago, Coolibar employee Ben Socwell was sitting down to dinner at Dr. Michael T. Nelson’s home, a long-time family friend, when the conversation turned to Coolibar sun protective clothing and the East Africa Medical Assistance Foundation (EAMAF). Dr. Nelson is a Professor of Radiology and a Board Member of EAMAF, a Minnesota based nonprofit dedicated to supporting and enhancing radiology services (cancer treatment) at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC).  KCMC is a 500-bed teaching hospital at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and is the site of the first radiology residency in the country. In Tanzania, the sun is unrelenting and people have little escape from it. There are also very high rates of skin cancer among Africans, especially for those who suffer with albinism (a deficit of melanin production that results in little or no pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes and makes skin ultra sensitive to the sun).  After their conversation over dinner, Ben returned to work with a mission to help find sun protection relief for patients at the center.

“After my dinner with Dr. Nelson, I invited him to tour the Coolibar building and look at the items we sell,” says Ben. “To my surprise Dr. Diefenthal, the creator and head of the department of radiology at KCMC in Tanzania, was in town and came with us, along with Dr. Shavon Flanagan who teaches at Northwestern and has worked at KCMC in the past. We talked at length about the technology of our fabrics and the goals and intent of Coolibar. They were impressed with our fabric technology and our focus on getting Coolibar products into the hands of medical professionals,” says Ben.

As they say, the rest is history. Approximately 800 sun protective items were shipped to Tanzania in October with the help of Global Health Ministries in Fridley, MN who arranges the safe arrival of the EAMAF supply containers in Africa. Among the variety of garments were also 300 hats. “The EAMAF believes the Tanzanian women suffering from albinism will especially benefit from the large brims,” says Ben. The items should be arriving any day now and will be given to the dermatologists who service local villages to be distributed to those in need.

“As you can read on the EAMAF website or in the brochure, Dr. Diefenthal is an amazing man who has not only devoted his life to radiology and the detection and treatment of cancer, but has done much of this work in Africa, including starting the EAMAF,” says Ben. “In the picture below are Dr. Diefenthal and Dr. Flanagan and myself during their tour of Coolibar’s headquarters.”

From left: Ben, Dr. Diefenthal, Dr. Flanagan

Thanks to Ben for making the world a more SunAWARE place!

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Inside Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing

Packing for a Warm Weather Get Away

Economization is the keyword when planning for any vacation. Many of us go through exhausting efforts to spend less, carry less and worry less. Accomplishing these three objectives doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you know the pre-travel task to focus on – your packing list.

New York Style Expert Bridgette Raes agrees that packing less and focusing on bringing versatile items is important. In an interview with She Knows Beauty and Style on packing stylish for an international beach getaway, Raes says, “Remember very little of what you pack should only be worn once. Keep pieces simple so that they have more mix and match ability and don’t forget accessories either.  They can easily take a look from day to evening, or change up an outfit when you wear it more than once.  Plus they take up very little space.”

With this in mind, our designers at Coolibar devised some simple warm get-away travel solutions that will save you the packing space, checking that extra luggage and of course, keep you covered from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

 

1. A single Packable Wide Brim Hat is a must whether you’ll be spending time on the beach or sightseeing.  Look for a hat that’s crushable, has a high ultraviolet protection factor (UPF), and can be paired with beach, casual and even dress wear. Floppy brim hats tend to be the most versatile.

2. Pack one bottle of broad-spectrum sunscreen to apply to exposed skin, including your face.  In order to prevent having to pack multiple bottles for multiple purposes, find a sunscreen such as Cotz that’s oil-free and won’t clog pores so you can wear it on your face as well. Also, make sure the sunscreen you bring is water resistant and blocks both UVB and UVA rays (or contains ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide).

3. UV Swimwear is a necessity in sunny climates. Bring your bikini, but look for a cover-up or a Swim Jacket that can slip right over your suit. Cover-ups also work for bumming around the local town.  If you want more leg coverage, pack a pair of Swim Capris to match your cover-up.

4. A packable dress can be accessorized to look different and be worn more than once during your vacation. It should be made of a wrinkle resistant fabric that can easily hang in the bathroom while showering to release the wrinkles. Something like a Shirt Dress will fit right-in at the resort night and day.

5. Both sun protective and chic accessories including a colorful scarf and a variety of jewelry will help you make outfits look a little different each time you wear them. Having a scarf handy is also an easy way to get instant sun protection for your décolletage, which is often neglected and vulnerable to sun damage . And don’t forget a good pair of sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection.

Now get ready for a great vacation!

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Inside Coolibar

Happy Holidays from Coolibar

The holidays create such excitement here at Coolibar. Chances are you’ve probably talked with one of our cheery customer service gals on the phone or chatted with our social fanatics on Facebook, but now we want to take a brief moment to let you get to know some of the people you’re dealing with (and we mean that in the nicest way).  Let us preface this by saying we work VERY hard, but we like to have a little bit of fun too.

A little friendly competition never hurt anyone –right? Our tremendously smart accounting team (or should I say Ben?) decided to arrange an ugly holiday outfit contest.  The competition was fierce, as you can see from the group photo, but our customer service extraordinaire Peggy took home the ‘prize’ for this one.

Ugly Shirt Day

Then, who can resist homemade cookies, candy canes and boxed chocolates that seem to make their way into the office every day during the month of December.

The holiday treats are almost gone!!

This holiday season, we decided to sponsor a family through the East Metro Women’s Council. Many of us took an hour out of an afternoon to neatly wrap all of the goodies we went out to find and top every last package off with a bow.

Wrapping presents for the adopted family

Finally, as a fun little activity, everyone had to reveal what the BEST gift they ever gave was. Answers included:

“Dog sledding in Jamaica.” – Alicia, Coolibar Merchandising

“I surprised my husband with a piece of artwork that he really wanted.  He thought I wasn’t listening when he spoke of how much he liked it.  I had to sneak around to connect with the artist, pick it up and keep it hidden – not an easy task.” – Jennifer, Coolibar Marketing

“A toaster. Long story.” – Seth, Coolibar Warehouse

“The first year Aaron (my boyfriend) and I celebrated Christmas together, we gave gift cards to a Hibachi restaurant to each of our families and some of our closest friends, and planned a date where we all came together for a meal. There were probably about 25-30 people at the dinner, and it was a great chance for our separate friends and family to finally meet and mingle.” – Rose, Coolibar Administration

“Two diamond rings…long story.” – Lu, Coolibar Creative

“My step mother has been going to a vacation house in northern Michigan since she was young. Often I have joined them in the summer. There is an old abandoned barn in a field that she loves to spend time looking at and getting lost in the beauty of it, and the picturesque scenery. One summer I took my 35mm camera and tripod and snuck out to take black and white photographs. I kept this a secret until Christmas. I had the picture blown up and framed in a mounting that resembles old planks of wood. Now she can look at the barn set in a field of high wheat any time she wants to.” – Ben, Coolibar Accounting

“Happiness and smiles.”  – Oumkarn, Coolibar Information Technology

“I gave my husband a hot air balloon ride over Lake Minnetonka.  He loved it!” – Pat, Coolibar Customer Service

Let us know on the Coolibar Facebook page what the best gift you ever gave was. We hope you enjoy celebrating the holidays as much as we do. Happy holidays from the Coolibar family to yours!

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