1980 - ’85
In 1981, Marta Bhathal and her family visited Greece for the first time where she was inspired by the story of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, strength, and the arts. The name was perfect for a new swimwear line that would focus on elegant and contemporary looks for the growing women's swimwear market.
It didn't take long for Hollywood and the social elite to gravitate toward ATHENA. From Kim Cattrall (who initially modeled the line) to Elizabeth Taylor to Ivana Trump, high profile trend setters donned our stylish silhouettes and top sellers.
ATHENA – in collaboration with Belk, one of the top regional department stores in the US – was the first swimwear collection to launch a designer separates program. During this period, "Pick Your Fit" was added to the ATHENA moniker while celebrity clientele like Kathy Ireland, Naomi Campbell and Nicole Kidman became collection evangelists.
The signature double loop enhancer bra was introduced in 1996. This silhouette offered women with extra lift and support creating the illusion of a fuller bust line, quickly becoming the best selling bra top in swimwear. The tankini was first introduced as part of the 1999 collection. The new silhouette offered more coverage – and confidence to those seeking a modest look – than a traditional two-piece swimsuit.
In 2001 ATHENA's photo shoot was featured as a "behind-the-scenes" segment on the newly launched television network, E! Entertainment Television. ATHENA continued gaining prominence in editorial features including a Vogue spread with Amber Valetta and a Shape cover showcasing red-hot Rebecca Romijn.
Athena makes waves within the swim industry once again with the introduction of a brand new style: the bandini. The Athena bandini went on to become one of the top selling styles in swimwear and was produced in a multitude of prints and colors, offering a flattering and functional look for women of all shapes and ages.
Athena today is all about flattering fit, California made, & forever fun. The 2016 collection builds from the recent brand makeover and will showcase new brand packaging, extensive bra construction for enhanced fit support and an elevated color and print palette for today’s modern woman.