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Ocean Clothing on 5th

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Major league sportswear conjures up  an image of a macho, scruffy man in a grungy logo t-shirt and baseball cap with a can of beer in one hand and a hotdog in the other. In order to clean up this image on January 16, 2002,  the Major League Baseball Properties licensed 5th and Ocean to develop a line of  official team sportswear geared towards women fans. Before this Florida-based sportswear manufacturer came onto the scene, official sports logo women’s t-shirts were non-existent, and women were forced to wear  men’s small t-shirts or worse teen’s and kid’s apparel.  Now, women would have more feminine choices””women’s t-shirts that were form-fitting,  women inspired  fan merchandise for all 30 teams and logos.

Formerly known as South Beach Apparel, Inc. before August 1996, 5th and Ocean Clothing (sometimes mistakenly called 5th and Ocean Apparel) began as a resort wear manufacturer which then branched out into junior sportswear. It soon became a leader by establishing itself   for its high quality products and fashion-forward designs.  By using  ingenious marketing strategies of small minimum orders  and a quick turn-around of the stocks, retailers could  try out the sell-ability  of the merchandise first before committing to the bigger amounts of stock. Many times the stock ran out because of the high demand for their women’s t-shirt line of sportswear.

With 5th and Ocean”™s work in resort wear,  they  realized there was a whole untapped market in female sports clothing especially for women’s t-shirts. About 40% of football fans are women, all of whom were setting attendance records for those sold-out games. These women football fans were ready for new, stylish clothing sports inspired clothing. They wanted women’s t-shirts designed to fit the female body so that they didn’t have to borrow husband’s or boyfriend’s grungy sports t-shirt to wear to the next game.

Co-founders Alex Leiter, CEO Ralph Garcia, Senior Vice President of Sales Al Derago, and Vice-president Luis Leiter went out to design more stylish and attractive merchandise that had fashion sense for the sports fan. They also recognized that women purchase more clothes than men, who tend to “wear [them] to death.” Women prefer to change outfits and are more influenced  by  fashion trends than men.  These forward fashion thinkers chose to create stylish sports inspired women’s t-shirts since they believed women would be a more lucrative market. If women  could purchase more sexy, stylish sportswear.

In a 2004 interview for the publication Sporting Goods Business, Sergio Rubollo, VP of sales and marketing said, “They”™re older, but they still want to look stylish. They don”™t want to look like grandma.” Cute, comfortable, classic, and stylish are words now being used to describe the sports inspired women’s t-shirts. These women’s t-shirts are assembled and finished in the Dominican Republic. There are now so many women’s t-shirt styles to choose from such as: front-center splits, one shoulder jerseys, baby dolls, sheer tanks, and halters. All of these women’s t-shirts are made in luscious  feminine colors like soft pinks, brilliant blues, vibrant tangerines, and delicate lilacs. Intricate details like piping, stitching, vintage prints, rhinestones, and glitter on ultra-soft fabric ensure these female fans don”™t look like tomboys. While their women’s  t-shirts remain the most popular item, 5th and Ocean also offer other clothing option such as shorts and pullovers for women.

Before you think this company is all about women’s t-shirts, 5th and Ocean did not completely ignore its male audience. They designed new multi-media designs and foil application prints for their new men”™s fan merchandise t-shirts. Currently, manufacturing sports and fashion apparel for men, women, and kids;  5th and Ocean has been able to also close deals with NFL apparel, several major US sports leagues, K2 Sports, Victoria”™s Secret/Pink, Disney, Walt Disney world, Universal Studios, Planet Hollywood, Hard Rock Café, Las Vegas Properties, and numerous national and theme parks. The company also designs and manufactures uniforms for team sports leagues, colleges, universities, auto racing, and postal services.

Most recently  on August 18, 2009, New York-based headgear company New Era Cap, purchased Miami-based apparel manufacturer 5th and Ocean in an undisclosed deal. New Era Cap is the official on-field cap manufacturer for Major League Baseball that just branched out into apparel in 2007. New products from the partnership were available at the end of 2009.  This led to a major launch of tees, polo”™s, and cut and sew pieces will be formally launched at industry shows in the Spring of 2010 for team concessionaires, fans, and the urban fashion market. Their latest collection for the Miami Heat feature a fresh new look at the teams with classic cartoon icons of Betty Boop, Snoopy, and Woodstock to cater to their female and junior customers.

Now, with 5th and Ocean”™s form-fitting, chic, designer sports inspired women’s t-shirts, female fans can throw away their pseudo-nightshirt jerseys and finally say, “Sportswear is sexy.”

5th and Ocean Clothing can be found at:

590 West 83rd Street

Hialeah, Florida USA

Phone 305-822-4604

FAX 305-822-4665

Available online at Amazon, TheFind, Buzzillions, Dealtime, Lids, Finishline,, wrigleyvillesports, Cubworld, and Stylefeeder, 5th and Ocean also sells to department stores, sporting goods stores, mass merchants, and sports specialty stores.

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