August 8, 2016
Nick Bradley (B.S. ’10) was living in Los Angeles when he realized there was something missing from his wardrobe: a polished, sophisticated bathing suit that would be functional on the beach and appropriate for more professional arenas.
After a quick search, the cheapest men’s swimsuits he could find that had enough class to fit that description were around $400, and he realized he could create an economical alternative.
“I live in a swimsuit,” said Bradley. “Most of the time, I start my day on the beach and end my day on the beach.”
Bradley, founder and CEO of Pangea Swimwear, an up-and-coming brand of men’s swimsuits, got his start in the Darla Moore School of Business, having studied international business and marketing, as well as minoring in Chinese and Spanish.
After graduating college, Bradley worked in advertising with a few different brands before getting into the apparel side of the industry.
“The more I got into advertising and apparel, the more I realized I wanted to own a company,” he said of his inspiration to start his own business.
The company’s first line recently made its retail debut through Nordstrom. The swimsuit has been ranked the No. 1 men’s swimsuit in the country by GQ magazine as well as being featured in places such as Men’s Health magazine and Dapperman.com. This and other press recognition has opened up the international market, according to Bradley, who considers himself the creative lead of the company.
The brand is built on the idea of travel, indicated by its motto: “Premium swimwear for the worldly gentleman.” The different designs are inspired by popular travel destinations nationally and worldwide, not so customers feel they don’t need to travel, but so when they do, they can do so “in style.”
Like any new venture, each day running a business carries with it a new surprise.
“It’s a learning experience,” Bradley said of managing a business that has been built from the ground up. He credits his success in part to the experience he gained here at the Moore School in Nancy Buchan’s marketing class.
“We had this project where we had to brand something and write a business plan,” he said. “It would have been much more difficult to actually do those things without the experience I gained in that class.”
Moore School marketing professor Mark Newsome, who mentored Bradley in his senior internship at Chernoff Newman, has also had a hand in helping Bradley to success. Newsome remains involved with Bradley as Pangea’s company adviser.
Because of how successful the swimwear line is doing, Bradley said the company is looking to expand and put out a full men’s clothing line in the near future.
By Madeleine Vath