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Meet the Man Behind the BlueMan Brand

bluemanlogo.jpgThe longevity of the brand could be enough evidence to recognize him as a man with rare talents. After all, it’s not easy to maintain the freshness year after year that David Azulay seems to bring to each summer with BlueMan swimwear. What’s really amazing about David however, is that he’s triumphed in a milieu that is so foreign to him. He’s not a stylist, never studied design, is not considered the most personable guy (which at times gets him in trouble in the Brazilian fashion industry), doesn’t like working too hard and has little patience for marketing. And yet, he’s managed to be solely responsible for starting numerous trends in beachwear--especially when it comes to women’s (launched in 1972, his denim bikini was the hit of that summer’s collection).

It was quite a start for a brand that got its name from a drug trip. At 19, after dropping acid and going for a stroll on Ipanema beach in Rio, David started hallucinating while trying to envision his future as a fashion king. The acid was called Blue and his favorite brand at the time was New Man. With one foot in la-la land and one foot in reality, the brand BlueMan was born.

David arrived in Rio in the 60’s with his brother Simao and right away knew they were not destined for the career in medicine their father had envisioned for them. Instead, they took after their mother and both had a way with the sewing machine. David focused on beachwear, while his brother became the creative genius behind the denim brand Yes, Brazil through most the 80’s until dying from AIDS-related complications in 1988.

Personally, David is also not your traditional CEO. His critics say that he could double his business with a stronger focus on marketing and international sales. But David sticks to his guns, “People only think about increasing marketing and boosting sales. I now have 3 times as much as I ever dreamt of having. I have a successful business. Now, I want to enjoy life.” For the owner of BlueMan, now at 49, enjoying life includes spending quality time with his daughter, going to the beach, drinking coconut water and hitting the gym. “I’m an addict now. I can’t miss a day at the gym or I go nuts.”

See David's latest collection.

-- Ricardo