13 Latin American Swimwear Brands To Buy Now, And Forever
Courtesy of Juan de Dios
The perfect swimsuit requires more than a beautiful print; it needs to be favorable in the right places and look just as natural on dry land. Who better to consider than Latin American designers? Inspired by their surroundings and rich regional histories, new and established talents create fantastic bathing options that are both functional and fashionable. For many, the core of their fashion philosophy is a passion for the planet, with several designers taking considerable steps to create sustainable pieces using recycled fabrics and biodegradable packaging. Others use ethical factories and workshops with local staff to create circular production that delivers fashion that is both environmentally friendly and socially responsible. The majority of the brands are from Colombia, and it’s no coincidence: Colombia has some of the best swimwear manufacturers in all of Latin America. Below, SHE Handpicked the best Latin American bath designers to take you through the hottest days of summer. From well-known brands to emerging brands, these brands deliver the chicest resort looks Latin America has to offer.
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Adriana Degreas launched her eponymous Brazilian resort clothing line in 2001. The brand’s sensibility? Retro glamor by the pool. Degreas has collaborated on capsule collections with Cult Gaia and Charlotte Olympia and his pieces can be found at major online retailers around the world including Matches, Browns and FWRD, among others. Did we mention that Naomi Campbell and Sofia Vergara are fans?
Agua by Agua Bendita
Agua by Agua Bendita was launched in 2018 as a luxury offshoot of the already established Agua Bendita swimwear line founded by friends Catalina Alvarez and Mariana Hinestroza. With hand-painted prints that range from flowers and palm trees to antique postage stamps, the brand pays homage to Colombia’s rich biodiversity, culture and history. All swimwear is made from recycled polyester and designs are added using sublimation printing and water based inks, making each piece safe for the planet and the team. production. Fun, stylish and decidedly feminine, it’s no surprise that Agua by Agua Bendita has quickly become a fashion favorite.
The 100% sustainable Colombian swimwear and resort clothing line is dedicated to giving back and producing zero waste. Baobab calls itself a “restorative brand” because it uses recycled fabrics and plants a tree for every swimsuit purchased. To date, the company has planted 5,000 trees. Baobab’s signature packaging is a coconut shell that can be reused as a beach bag, leaving no traces of plastic. Not only is the brand more environmentally conscious than most, it offers a very high tension of chic! You will feel great inside and out after purchasing Baobab.
Cala de la Cruz
Founded in Cali, Colombia, by Carolina Lopez Cruz, Cala de la Cruz is a resort clothing line focused on sustainability. Cruz, who is also Creative Director, is a textile designer who brings the brand to life through her bold illustrations and dynamic use of color. Eco-responsible efforts include Cala de la Cruz’s use of organic cotton and recycled polyester, as well as its fully recyclable packaging of paper and cardboard made from sugarcane fiber. All parts are made locally in Cali by a small family business. The resulting designs are simple, cheerful and clever at the same time.
Carolina Kleiman, who is Argentinian, launched her brand Carolina K in 2005 to blend fashion design and artisan traditions. She and her team work with 300 artisans from Latin America and India who bring her vision to life by working with the most natural materials to responsibly and ethically create handcrafted statement pieces. Sustainability is key for Kleiman, and to honor its commitment to circular fashion and reducing environmental impact, the brand has launched its zero waste initiative that uses every last piece of fabric. By creating clever and unique pieces, Carolina K recovers materials that would otherwise be thrown into a landfill. Kleiman is currently based in Miami, where their corporate headquarters and design studio are located. The coastal town is also home to its first flagship store, stocked with clothing, swimwear and home items, in addition to a new collection of ceramics.
Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Marcella Franklin founded Haight in 2014. Through her vast experience in the swimming industry, she realized that there was a void in the market that her aesthetic could fill. . Her motivation to launch the brand was a desire to subvert a woman’s perception of what beachwear is in Brazil. Franklin set out to create high-end minimalist models to wear on the beach, the opposite of Brazilian clichés. Haight is currently sold in over 30 stores around the world.
Comprised of its iconic ruffles, lively prints and sculptural silhouettes, Johanna Ortiz’s eponymous line has become synonymous with Latin American style. The brand and the workshop of more than 350 people are based in his hometown of Cali, Colombia. Beloved in and outside the fashion industry, Johanna Ortiz is in stock at all major retailers and online stores. It remains one of the most successful brands in Latin America.
Juan de Dios
Founded by Maria Valencia, the Colombian resort clothing line Juan de Dios is inspired by the culture, tropical landscapes and beauty of the country. The brand is named after Playa Juan de Dios, a pristine beach on the Pacific coast. All the pieces are made by women in Colombia using artisanal methods and recyclable yarn fabrics. Bonus: The majority of swimsuits are reversible and all bikini tops and bottoms are sold separately to encourage mixing and pairing.
Based in Cartagena, Colombia, Maygel Coronel was founded in 2017. The brand prides itself on its sleek, voluminous swim options that embrace sultry femininity and underline the freedom that the beach brings to every woman wearing the models. Ruffled necklines and straps provide a dramatic take on basic one-piece swimsuits and bikinis, and the fits and colors are masterful. Maygel Coronel is available at several online retailers including Moda Operandi, Matches Fashion, and Intermix.
PatBO was created by Brazilian designer Patricia Bonaldi after the success of her boutique in her hometown of Uberlândia, in southeastern Brazil. Her RTW and swimming have developed a cult following (Janelle Monae and Olivia Culpo are fans). The brand embraces the incredible colors and fantasies that the rainforest and the sun inspire. After deciding to keep the production of her iconic prints and embroideries close to home by opening a school to train local artisans, Bonaldi has become something of a local hero. She has employed over 200 women and men in the region and has greatly expanded their skills, making her an educator and community leader as well as a designer. PatBO ships worldwide and can be purchased from Intermix, Net-a-Porter, and Anthropologie.
Showcasing sensual and minimalist designs, Sara Cristina was founded by siblings Sara Villasmil and David De Lima on the Caribbean coast of Venezuela in 2016. The brand is a true family affair: Villasmil’s grandfather, a jeweler 89-year-old makes beaded bracelets for certain styles. on Margaret Island. The pieces are not mass produced, and only a limited number is made each season depending on the amount of bead bracelets he creates. The samples are made in Venezuela by a group of women who have worked with the brand for years, but the line is made in New York for durability. Another eco-responsible effort for the brand? 90% of the fabrics used are in Econyl. In 2019, Sara Cristina became available at major retailers including Saks Fifth Avenue, Matches Fashion, ShopBop, and Intermix. The pieces have been worn by Chiara Ferragni, Alessandra Ambrosio, Shay Mitchell and Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, to name a few.
Silvia Tcherassi is one of the leading Latin American fashion designers working today, with a career spanning nearly 40 years. Her eye for color, patterns and boundary-pushing design established her not just as a designer, but as an entrepreneur and a fashion icon. The Tcherassi family controls the production and operations of the company, producing everything in Barranquilla, Colombia while designing in their Miami studio. Although the pieces may come from a certain place, according to Tcherassi, “fashion has no age or nationality”, which explains its global reach. Silvia Tcherassi is sold in its eight boutiques around the world, in addition to a multitude of retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.
VerdeLimon consists of playful and whimsical patterns inspired by flora, fauna, beach and forest, all of which makes Colombia the beautiful country that it is. Produced in the south by a team of local artisans and craftspeople, VerdeLimon gives back to the local community. All swimwear is made with responsibly sourced fabrics without compromising on quality or durability. VerdeLimon is sold at 24 Sèvres, Olivela and LuisaViaRoma.
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