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HEARD ON THE BEAT / RETAIL

A Very Long Ride in the Surf-Wear Business

August 27, 1996|Greg Johnson | Greg Johnson covers retail businesses and restaurants for The Times

In the surf-wear industry, 25 years is a lifetime. But that's how long Ocean Pacific, one of the industry's oldest names, has been around.

The Irvine-based company will celebrate a quarter century in the apparel industry with a birthday bash tonight during the Magic menswear trade show in Las Vegas. The Hawaiian-themed party will feature the Brian Setzer Orchestra and a swaying group of Hawaiian dancers. "Think classic Don Ho Hawaiian luau, powered by Brian Setzer's new-edge swing," quipped OP Marketing Vice President Bonnie Crail.

During 25 years, Ocean Pacific has seen it all. It was one of the strongest brands in the industry during the 1980s, but an ill-advised decision to build a manufacturing facility resulted in OP entering bankruptcy court in May 1992.

The company subsequently forged a successful reorganization plan and exited bankruptcy proceedings.

Greg Johnson covers retail businesses and restaurants for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-5950 and at greg.johnson@latimes.com

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