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Article from The Virginia Pilot by Lee Belote
May 26, 2017 | Virginia Beach
I still remember purchasing my first bikini from WRV.
I know that must sound odd to most men, but women store events like this in their memory. Prom dresses and deals on designer clothing can also be added to this fashion file of nostalgic events.
My first bikini was emerald green with a jeweled brooch in the center of the bandeau top. I sported it at my favorite beach spot at 76th street and at the East Coast Surfing Championships.
It was extra stylish because it came from WRV. I was recently told by L.G. Shaw, general manager of WRV, that Beyonce bought a few bikinis from the surf shop when she was recording at a local studio. Wow! This may be the only time Beyonce and I can say we shop at the same place.
Shaw said he helped Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam in his Hawaii store, too.
As a Virginia Beach local, I remember doodling the cool WRV logo on my notebook during class. From an artist’s perspective, I always loved the simplicity and design of the iconic logo.
I assumed the logo was created by a local artistic surfer, but it was designed on Madison Avenue in New York by an ad agency.
These are just a few cool facts about WRV, which opened first in 1967 as a surfboard business and later moved to Norfolk Avenue to open its first retail store. In 1986, WRV expanded to a larger retail store on Cypress and 19th Street. Because the store is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, I’ve listed a few fun facts that you may or may not know:
- Best selling item is the WRV brand T-shirt.
- Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger wore a WRV polo in a Vanity Fair magazine photo shoot.
- There are four locations: Virginia Beach, Kitty Hawk, NC; Isabella, Puerto Rico; and Chiba, Japan.
- The Hawaii store recently closed, but there’s still a WRV house on the North Shore that hosts athletes and guests.
- All WRV merchandise is designed in-house.
- Women’s clothing was introduced in late 1970s.