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In early 2001, a test line consisting of three pairs of shorts and one polo was developed. The brand approached buyers from American Rag, Fred Segal, and Barneys with what Whiledge has described as "two vintage suitcases" full of samples. Barneys bought the polo shirt in all available colors, and Trovata shipped its first collection from a Claremont College dorm room later that year.
In 2002, DNR described the brand as a "Hot New Label", while GQ picked Trovata as one of "today's best emerging designers." Vogue described the brand's creators as "four surfers hanging ten in the fashion waters." During much of this this period, the label was still being run out of a small room in Halmos' father's office in Florida.
In the summer of 2002, with a short video in hand, Halmos and Whitledge set out for Europe, Asia, ...