Over the last decade, there has been a wave of independent swimwear designers and small-scale swimsuit manufacturers, who have catapulted much of the stagnancy in the apparel industry and in doing so, have turned the entire market on its head. Dominating the ‘in-trend’ narrative has seen a powerful uptake and these designers have seen the fruits of such efforts.
In saying so, it has also become easier to enter the industry as an independent swimwear designer because the demand exists and barriers are relatively low.
Regardless of the years of experience you may have acquired, if you’re keen to start and produce your own swimwear line, there are some non-negotiables you need to take into consideration.
Ranging from high level details such as how many pieces to include in your line all the way down to sketching and tech packs are things to keep in mind.
Over time, having earned a reputation as one of the best swimwear manufacturers and designers in the world ourselves, the process is now akin to sleeping – yes, we’ve done it that many times (for over 30 years in fact).
The easiest way to produce a line is go through our Ready Styles process: a no-nonsense procedure to take you from start to finish with all the support and none of the BS, truly.
Planning your own swimwear range – a checklist
If you’re interested in producing and starting your own swimwear line, here are some high level pointers to get the grey matter working and the rubber hitting the road.
A swimwear line typically has 6-8 styles, although it’s not a surprise to see more or less per season.
When planning a custom swimwear or bikini range, your line has to have a narrative. In other words, what theme, story or concept are you basing your range on? Embody the line as much as you can and have your wearers relate to it.
Hot tip: Remove yourself from the inevitable echo chamber when allowing inspiration to flow over you. Your narrative can be found in people, architecture, interior design, nature and anywhere else.
Keeping in mind what’s trending is very important, as well. Pick a trend that mirrors your vision as a brand and the story you want your line to speak.
Hot tip: Trends can shape your silhouette, color palette, prints and the other finer details – so don’t limit yourself.
For example, take a look at design pieces that go off the shoulder or have a halter neck. better yet, clash prints or compliment colors, add knots or be a little cheeky with some strategically placed cuts. add gatherings or ruches – the line is your oyster.
Once you have the foundation built, now you have to think about the swimwear design process. We already have a thorough article on designing a swimwear line . It is a detailed process article written ad-nauseum (the good kind!).
To sum it up, however, is to capture your mood board in the designs. Mood boards are exactly what it says on the tin – boards that encompass all the inspiration, stylistic details and other aesthetics you want your designs to showcase.
Hot tip: When going from one style to another within the same range, have some identifiable details reflected on each style. This ties in the entire range into one line and substantiates the styles even more. Take a look at the range plan below for a little more. #inspo
Ready Styles range plan inspirations
The following example posits everything we mentioned above in an illustration to make things a little easier to absorb.
The following range plan is based on thirteen styles picked and available in our Ready Styles package (and we’ve got range plan ideas planned for you in the coming months). There are 100+ styles to choose from so have no fear you’ll run out of styles.
Some of the trends captured in the following range plan include:
Ruching styles – Ruching helps to conceal, flatter, shape all body types. It is used to accentuate or create the illusion of shape around cups or bikini bottoms. Suns out bums out, ladies!
Scoop back – Scoop back got its love from all the heck yeahs around the body positive movements across the world. Giving off uber chic vibes and keeping things sexy, it’s a must have staple.
Knotted bikini – Knots at the center create flattering gathers. They provide an adjustable fit. Knots can also be used as a non-functional decorative, as well, to give a bit of pizzazz as a fashion statement.
Keyholes – These details give a playful yet sexy vibe. Keyholes also provide enhanced breathability and better water flow within the swimsuit if you decide to dip more than just your toes in the water.
Halter neck – You can never beat a classic style element. Halter styles mainly give a sexy and chic stylistic detail that do no wrong.
So, how are all these styles captured in a range plan using our Ready Styles silhouettes? (Keep in mind you have the complete freedom to use our platform to customize all these styles and put your own spin on it too).
Overlap Crop Top & High Waisted Ruching
– Ruching in both top and bottom
– Tie up functional knot at the back of the top
– High leg cut design on the bottom
Summer Tan One Piece
– Ruching is kept on the sides
– Scoop back details with decorative knots on side
– High leg cut design reflected from the 1st style
Plunge Neck One Piece
– Scoop back detailing
– Tie ups on neck leading to a halter neck style
– Ruching back
Summer High Triangle & Coastal Ruched Back
– Ruching detail in the bottom and the top this is reflected in gatherings
– Plunge neck halter
– Ties at neck and at the back
Deep Neck Halter & Beaching Ruched Bottom
– Ruching on the top including the band and in the bottom
– Triangle shape of the top is carried over from previous style
– Halter tie up and back tie
Overlap Halter & Side Tie Brazilian
– Halter neck with ties
– Side ruching on the top and in the back of the bottom
– A keyhole in the top
– Side ties in the bottom
Summer Bloom Wrap Bikini & Summer Tied Low Rise
– Overlap in previous top is continued here differently
– Ruching in the top and bottom
– Halter neck with neck tie and back ties
Frilled Halter One Piece
– Halter neck
– Ruching coming from top
– Keyhole is brought in
This entire swimwear range has been designed and based off of our Ready Styles package. We are continually adding styles to this range, making it even easier to go to market with your own swimwear label.
Kick start your range with just a few form completions and detail submissions and you’re off to designing your dream swimwear line.
Further, in order to keep your creative juices flowing, we will be blogging about more range plan options for you, inspired by our Ready Styles in the coming weeks.
Want to know more? Get in touch with our dedicated team of manufacturers, designers and technical experts to know how you can leverage multiple decades of experience into your line.
We have also written a companion piece to this article on How to create and design swimwear for manufacturing, which details the steps involved in the swimwear design process.
Runway Kit offers fashion designers and entrepreneurs the option to design, sample and manufacture in smaller, flexible quantities – all at start-up friendly, transparent costs.
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