Dive into Drapers’ edit of rising stars, collaborations and new names making a splash on the swimwear scene.
Originally launched as Hunza in the 1980s, Georgiana Huddart revived the brand for a modern audience in 2014, rebranding as Hunza G. Since relaunch, the brand has become a cult sensation thanks to its flattering cuts and “crinkle” fabrics. The brand has 220 stockists worldwide, including Browns, Net-a-Porter and Mytheresa.
Wholesale prices ranges from £54 for a set to £58 for a swimsuit. 020 7631 1655 hunzag.com
A chat with Georgiana Huddart, creative director and co-founder of Hunza G
How would you describe the Hunza G aesthetic?
Sporty, flattering and sexy in an empowering way. I always hope and strive for women to put on Hunza G and just feel really great about their body, themselves and general life.
They are not meant to be too fussy or complicated, and you are definitely meant to be able to swim, run down a beach and not be too precious when wearing them.
How does your approach to the brand link to the previous Hunza aesthetic?
The [crinkle] fabric is really the key. I always liked the versatility and inclusiveness of it. It means you get a lot of different types of women wearing it.
We try to incorporate the heritage element of Hunza, while making it a bit more sophisticated and current than the 1980s aesthetic.
I love all the high-cut bright 1980s styles. However, they aren’t necessarily right for the women of today. With the new designs and developments, I hope we appeal to a wider, more varied range of women.
Can you describe the “crinkle” fabrics you use on the swimsuits?
Texture adds impact to anything, whether it’s jewellery, interiors or art. Done right, it is incredibly flattering. A smooth, flat fabric is far less forgiving than a texture.
The crinkle is made on a circular loom, so it is actually a knitted weave and can stretch from the size of what appears to look like a child’s babygro to a size 16 swimsuit.
Without the texture you wouldn’t have anywhere for excess fabric and thread to go when it stretches back – so it serves a purpose while actually looking really great at the same time.
What are your bestselling styles?
Currently, our very earthy, metallic tones in simple, sporty styles. Four years ago, when we started, people wanted the bright iconic styles and colours, but it has developed and it’s more my own aesthetic.
It’s a real joy to be able to design instinctively based on what you like and what one would choose to wear. Metallic moss, bronze, taupe, cocoa – these are the colours that everyone is after this summer. But, who knows? I am sure it won’t be too long before everyone wants cobalt blue, neon pink and orange again.
You manufacture in London – why is this important for you?
It allows us great quality control and it means we are all part of one team. We can also do special bespoke pieces and the minimums are low.
It’s really nice knowing the people you are working with and I think that inspires a great work ethic, as everyone feels part of the success. We are all in the same building.
One of the main seamstresses – Sati – has been at Hunza for 35 years. Varvara and Chris (seamstress and pattern cutter) are husband and wife, and Varvara’s sister, Anitsa, is an overlocker.
It makes for a really nice environment. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Initially launched in 2012, Cover Swim creates swimwear designed to protect the wearers from sun damage with more covered silhouettes than traditional bikinis and swimsuits. In addition to those seeking sun protection, the brand has recently gained fans in the booming market for modest fashion.
Highlights from the collection include long-sleeved one-piece maillots and high-neck swimsuit silhouettes in leopard and stripe prints.
The fabric used is made from recycled microfibres and blocks 98% of UV rays. The brand is currently stocked by Net-a-Porter, Neiman Marcus and Shopbop.
Wholesale prices range from £57 for a bikini to £170 for long-sleeved maillots. +1 214 7700368 coverswim.com
SLO Active – SLO for “sustainable, luxury oceanwear” – is the latest women’s swimwear brand seeking to clean up the oceans with its sustainable business approach.
Designs have a sporty style and are made from a plant-based neoprene alternative, with styles manufactured in a small factory in Italy.
Highlights from the seven-piece collection include a zip-front bikini top and high-waist bikini shorts.
The brand launched its direct-to-consumer website in May, and wholesale books open for spring 20.
In line with its sustainable focus, the brand will donate to an ocean charity partner every time a swimsuit is sold on its own website, and aims to donate 3% of all revenue to charity.
Wholesale prices to be confirmed. 07595 003739 sloactive.com
London-based friends Riz Smith and Ali Murrell set up the men’s swimwear brand Riz Boardshorts after coming up with the idea of creating a brand that was the “Savile Row of the Sea”. As such, the brand adopted the moniker “The tailors of sunshine”.
Alongside their tailored shape, the designs feature bold Hawaiian prints with florals and animal motifs key.
Styles are made from 100% recycled and recyclable materials, and the brand offers a recycling (“Rizcycling”) service for customers that encourages them to donate old shorts for a 25% discount off future pairs.
The brand has 10 UK stockists, including Liberty and Browns, and 40 worldwide.
Wholesale prices range from £38 for short styles to £43 for a longer pair. 07813 150855 rizboardshorts.com
House of Holland x Speedo
London-based womenswear brand House of Holland teamed up with Speedo for a spring 19 collaboration.
Comprising 10 pieces, ranging from bikinis and swimsuits to long-sleeve zipped suits and long-legged suits, the eclectic prints give the collection a bold and youthful aesthetic.
Tie-dye and textile prints are inspired by the House of Holland spring 19 collection, which was themed around the idea of global travellers.
The collection went on sale at the end of May, stocked by Asos, Urban Outfitters and Browns.
Wholesale prices range from £30 for a bikini to £110 for a one-piece. 0345 850 8582 speedo.co.uk houseofholland.co.uk
Boardies x Lois O’Hara
British swim brand Boardies has teamed up with Brighton-based artist Lois O’Hara for its latest swimwear offering.
The collaboration, which will launch for autumn 19, features two of O’Hara’s vibrant prints on Boardies’ signature men’s board shorts. The graphic, eye-catching prints are inspired by classic surf and basketball styles.
In the past, Boardies has collaborated with artists and brands including menswear designer Daniel Fletcher.
Wholesale prices range from £12 for childrens’ shorts to £58 for women’s swimwear. 020 3457 0365 boardiesapparel.com
French lingerie brand Aubade is relaunching its swimwear offer for the spring 20 season, with a refreshed, modern and feminine aesthetic.
Vibrant colours such as fuchsia and saffron yellow appear alongside more muted khaki and soft pink shades. Silhouettes are designed to be mix and match, and feature prints such as graphic florals and polka dots.
Highlights from the collection include a block-colour, one-shoulder swimsuit and a floral halter-neck swimsuit.
Wholesale prices range from €6 (£5.27) for a top to €160 (£140.52) for a swimsuit. 07522 222848 aubade.co.uk
With 20 high-profile stockists, including Matchesfashion and Lodenfrey Munich, Uruguayan men’s swimwear brand Marané is building a loyal following for its minimal styles.
Inspired by fishing villages on the Atlantic Ocean, prints reflect the colours and landscapes of Uruguay, which are interpreted as watercolour designs.
Styles feature bonded seams, which are heat-pressed together for a smooth silhouette.
Alongside its wholesale business, the brand operates a store in the tiny village of Manantiales, on Uruguay’s Atlantic coast. The wooden store also functions as an exhibition space and studio.
Wholesale prices range from £52 for block-colour swim shorts to £72 for printed swim shorts. 07760 473071 marane.uy