This is the real reason behind the cost of designer swimwear
Every summer women in changing rooms around the world wonder why they feel compelled to pay hundreds of euros for a suit that covers just a few centimeters of skin.
I can assure you, as a designer, that engineering a swimsuit is every bit as challenging as a shirt or dress.
'It can take up to five machines to make one swimsuit and the price of the swimwear fabrics is a little bit higher than normal clothing fabric. This is because these fabrics need to resist to sun, chlorine and salt water and are severely tested.
Swimsuits are like lingerie - except that, unlike underwear, designers also have to make sure that it holds up while running into waves and jumping off diving boards. Also creating a garment that looks great and stands up to salt, sand and chlorine presents additional design challenges.
'We’re working on a small canvas, so it’s more challenging to create a suit that feels good and … is innovative and fashion-forward,'
Anecdotal evidence suggests that cheap swimsuits fall apart after one season, while higher-priced ones are built to last. But is this true?
The fabric in high end swimwear lasts and a lot of cheap swimwear companies either don't line [swimsuits], or do a straight stitch, which is faster to sew.
We do self-lining which means the outside fabric is mostly the same color as the inside lining, and use very expensive hardware that goes through testing to make sure it does not change.'
Then there is the spandex factor. The stretchy staple fabric remains more expensive than, for example, the sturdy nylon or cotton used in men’s swimwear. Bear in mind that for most designers it is impossible to negotiate the same discount that bulk manufacturer (like H&M, Zara,…) are getting from there suppliers.
But when shopping strictly based on fabric it can be tough to spot the difference between the low and high end bikinis - especially when shopping online.
Keep in mind that the ratio needs to be around 80-85 percent Polyamide (Nylon) and 20-15 percent Elastane (Spandex).
Also a very important factor is the weight of the fabric. It should not be to light (because of wear and color loss), and not to heavy (because of fitting and comfort). But this you cannot see if you buy online…
On an average, woman own four swimsuits. Realizing we only have a short window of time to get the garments manufactured and shipped to sale, is also reflecting on the production cost.
´I think being in a swimsuit is daunting enough – women want to feel confident that everything will be held in place, lifted and not loose´