‘Tis the season of swimwear – and this year is more important than ever. Likewise with how influential the back-to-school season is at the moment, the year of ‘vaxcations’ means quite the opportunity for the swimwear market, too. According to StyleSage data, there has been a significant percentage of product introductions of swimwear this year at 23% while 2020 saw 6% and pre-pandemic levels in 2019 still only reached 12%. In addition, our Trend Radar confirms that interest in swimwear is up across categories. Below, we can see “Women’s Swimwear” is up 16% compared to last year, “Men’s Swimwear” is up 42%, and, notably, “Plus Size Swimwear” searches are up 128% in comparison to LY – all of which, proving the importance of this market to consumers right now and moving forward.
Looking outside of the retail industry, the summer of 2021 has already seen an incredible spike in travel; plus, with restrictions still certainly in place, we’re seeing many U.S. travelers especially opting for tropical locations like Mexico or Hawaii where resortwear is undoubtedly key.
This travel surge is predicted to be a trend well into the coming years; but, don’t fear as it momentarily slows due to countries’ currently finding a solution to mitigate the Delta variant. With that being said, it’s essential that brands and retailers are preparing for 2022 when travel will be top-of-mind once again; a Flywire Survey reveals 7 out of 10 travelers will spend more on travel in 2022 than in the past five years.
So, in order to be prepared for this positive and inevitable influx ahead, let’s review five brands who are staying ahead on innovation in the swimwear market.
Frankie’s Bikinis - The Trendsetter
Frankie’s Bikinis (who retails with major partners like Nordstrom, KITH and Lulu’s) may just be the ultimate trendsetter in the swimwear market. Founded in 2014, the brand has already been worn by influencers like the Hadid and Jenner sisters. Designed in Malibu and made in Los Angeles, the brand embodies the ultimate ‘cool girl’ sentiment. This year, it’s hard to even scroll the ‘Gram or TikTok without seeing their crochet bikini. This brand is a key player who’s not afraid to try out trends from psychedelic prints (which you can check out our Trend Report on here) to daring cut-outs and colors. Keep an eye on them for what’s next as their customers are surely on the beginning of the trend bell curve!
Hunza G - The Sizing Savant
One size fits all, especially in swimwear? Anyone would be skeptical, but Hunza G has proved everyone wrong. Hunza G (retailing with partners like Intermix and FWRD) has developed a material that’s used in one-pieces and even bikinis with intricate silhouettes that are actually one-size-fits-all. This material and sizing strategy is quickly on the rise and we’ve outlined what’s next in this sector of the market in a Trend Report that can be accessed by StyleSage subscribers here.
Heart of Sun - The Femme Fatale
Heart of Sun’s Instagram bio boldly leads with “designed with your curves in mind” and that’s certainly clear from their products to marketing; plus, the line is designed by a female team who clearly knows what works for real women. Trends they drive into include high-cut hips, waist-emphasized details, and sultry cut-outs. Interestingly, they use a different approach than we often see for promoting body confidence in swimwear that still feels empowered in its own right. Who doesn’t want to feel like a femme fatale on their next beach vacation?
Mirror Palais - The Rising Star
Mirror Palais is an independent brand that has quickly grown since its inception in 2019 – but that’s not without its hurdles. Founder and designer Marcelo Gaia uses social media to depict exactly what it’s like to grow a brand, especially during COVID. He inquires for audience input while sharing his values for limited drops, pricing and diversity. Between the brand’s values, impressive growth, and, not to mention, forward yet original aesthetic, Mirror Palais is certainly one to watch.
Summersalt - The Surpassed Status Quo
Between their body positivity and sustainability missions, Summersalt is clearly a values-driven brand. According to their website, they’ve taken over 1.5 million body measurements from 10,000 women to inform their fit as well as utilize “luxurious fabric that is crafted from 78% Recycled Polyamide. These fabrics are crafted from post-consumer materials and nylon waste—like old fishing nets—that are literally pulled from our oceans.” Plus, their packaging is made from recycled materials and they use sustainable UPF 50+ fabric. We’ve seen sustainable materials as a growing trend amongst all categories but it has reached a 13% sell-out rate in swimwear last month as compared to only 3% pre-pandemic in 2019. All in all, they’ve surpassed the status quo.
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