How to Design a Swimwear Collection

How to Design a Swimwear Collection

A collection comes together after months and months of hard-work. I'm excited to walk you through our process for bringing 2020 to life! Make sure you tune in to instagram on January 10th for the live release of our Explore More Collection.

Does anyone else feel like 2020 just snuck up on us? 

That's just about how I feel every year when it's time to start designing our next season's collection. We typically launch one big collection a year, in January, followed by individual print and product releases. It's fun to develop new body styles but it certainly adds to our production costs. We develop every body style from the ground up, which means that we create the pattern from scratch or based off of one of our existing styles. Then it's a matter of cutting a sample, getting that sample sewn up and testing it for fit and function. We usually make between 2 and 5 samples of each new body style (rarely do we get it right on the first try!). Oftentimes, we are making 1/4" changes to the garment to ensure the perfect fit. 

Therefore, we usually only introduce two to four new body styles per season. For 2020, we have three new bottoms, a new top and a new one piece!

Throughout the year, I make notes on what's missing from the line, what new pieces I'm loving and what would be a good addition to our website. I make sketches, mock up patterns and then we begin the sampling process. 

In addition to sketching body styles, I also keep snapshots of prints I like, colors I'm inspired by, textiles, tiles and anything I see out and about that's beautiful or interesting. I keep photos on my phone and compile boards on pinterest to keep track of ideas. 

I also poke through fabric books and pick out colors I like. Eventually a theme starts to emerge. But the design process is legitimately a PROCESS. It takes time. It's not something that can be rushed and I refine, refine, refine until I've narrowed down my print and color choices. 

For the past few seasons, I've worked with graphic designer Hayley Russo to develop prints for the collection. I put together the concepts I want to see, we chat about the direction and then Haley comes back with some beautiful iterations. From there we refine more and narrow it down to our final choices. Some of the eye prints that didn't make the final cut are below:

Then I mock up our top prints on some of our body styles so that I can see how the collection will look together. 

Finally, after we've developed our prints for the year and narrowed down what body styles we want to carry forward and which new body styles we like enough to keep, I mock up CAD's in our new prints. This sounds easy enough but with four prints and four solids, it takes me a LONG time to mock up CAD's for each body style in each color we want to move forward with. This happens before we pull the trigger on sewing so that we can make sure we like the combination of print and body style enough before wasting time and money sewing it up.

From there, we make final adjustments, cull the line even more and finally come up with a selection of goodies that we think you'll love! High-performing, great-quality, well-fitting, awesome-looking suits to help you live your best damn life. Can we get a heck yes?!


Interested in seeing the final result?

The Explore More Collection launches January 10th! Sign up now and we'll let you know when it's live.

We created this collection to deliver better bikinis. Bikinis that make you feel good in your body and encourage you to get out there and explore.

And bikinis that are our most eco-friendly yet. So that we can preserve the places we love to explore.

Our 2020 collection is produced in the USA from recycled plastic bottles and reclaimed fishing nets. We off-set all of our carbon, package our swimwear in compostable poly bags and compostable shipping bags and use recycled paper hang-tags and cotton labels.

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