"Javanne" was founded by Jacques Van Oost (JAVANNE), a native of the region, in 1946. The company was a knitwear manufacturer whose main business was producing knitted fabrics and then using them to make pullovers. At the time we only had around ten or so customers, who were mainly wholesalers or department stores.
At the end of the nineteen fifties the company was taken over by another of the Van Oost brothers – Alain. Gilles then joined a few years later. Together they developed their own trademark called AGIVA (Alain Gilles Van Oost). At the end of the nineteen sixties, following a request by a Dutch customer for a leotard, the company gradually moved into making sports clothes by developing a product line for gymnastics. A swimsuit line was added soon afterwards. The first swimsuits were actually made from a wool-based fabric and took a very long time to dry.
The fabrics used became increasingly high-tech, elastic and skin-tight and also used famous artificial fibres such as Lycra, which revolutionised the swimsuit because it offered better hold and dried much more quickly. We then started knitting using huge amounts of cotton-Lycra, an elastic cotton which was incredibly popular during the aerobics craze.
The fabrics used then became increasingly specific and the complexity of the materials led AGIVA to focus on the actual manufacturing of sports clothing from elastic fabrics and to source its products from the very best European fabrics suppliers.
Nowadays we have around a thousand customers made up of sports retailers, specialist dance and lingerie shops and department stores. We export 50% of our products (France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the French overseas departments and territories). You can also find AGIVA products in Tahiti!
Our customer service department is amazing because, thanks to the enormous flexibility of our manufacturing process (computerised cutting), we are able to produce very small runs (3 or 4 items) in just 3 weeks.
We can manufacture clothes to meet the customer’s exact requirements in terms of shades.
We employ 35 people in Mouscron and produce 150,000 units per year. One-third of these are swimsuits and the rest is made up of clothes for gymnastics and dance.
All of our staff are women: the cutting and making of the clothes, the packaging and the shipping.
updated thanks to requests from our customers, displaying professional documentation (fashion design book), information from our fabric suppliers, visits to trade fairs across Europe and frequent shopping in cities to keep a finger on the pulse of the latest trends.
We also set great store by new technologies through our website at www.agiva.com which shows all our dynamic and very up-to-date products. It allows us to provide the consumer with as much information as possible (catalogue, sizes, company history, an up-to-date list of our distributors) but it also means that we can be contacted by new professional customers from all over the world (essentially from abroad).
In order to remain competitive and to manufacture products offering real added value we have an ongoing policy of creativity. We bring out 2 collections every year in our summer (150 swimsuit models) and winter (gymnastics, swimming pool and dance) collections.
We are making the most of our production system and our know-how to develop the export side of the business aiming mainly at countries with real purchasing power such as the Scandinavian countries and the UK, but also at non-European countries such as Japan, Taiwan and the United States.
This is why we are taking part in the first international trade fair for sports (ISPO) in Munich.