Vancouver is home to a handful of exceptional swimwear designers. It’s definitely worth taking a dip in the local pool when hunting for a new suit for summer. Here are three I suggest trying before summer arrives.
More than just a swimsuit, Nettle’s Tale (prices range from $59 to $227) is a brand with a holistic ethos that celebrates every body shape – not just with its swimwear, but beyond to its marketing materials. The West Coast-shot lookbooks include women of various ages, shapes, and sizes. Julia Church launched the Vancouver-made Nettle’s Tale through a crowdfunding campaign, and eventually opened a brick-and-mortar location on Main Street, where she sells her versatile and flattering swim collection. Church’s concept for Nettle’s Tale was born out of personal experiences with body image and swimsuit shopping.
Vancouver swimwear (and sportswear) designer Beth Richards is a Toronto transplant who brings a hit of edgy street style to her stunning swimwear line, which ranges in price from $75 to $265.
“I've always been drawn to the Bardot era of beach culture and wanted to infuse my love of art, design and architecture into a garment,” Richards states on her website. “As a whole, when I looked at the designer swimwear industry, I felt it had a lot of growing up to do. There was a lack of sophistication and unfiltered cool but mostly I was hoping to create something interesting and versatile that I could wear out after a beach day.”
Ethically made in Canada from Italian fabric, the suits are engineered for athletes and include UVB protection. Richards’ reputation goes beyond her adopted hometown with a line that is carried in the United Kingdom, China, France, Russia and beyond, as well as through the mega-online retailer Revolver. Standouts from this season’s robust and most exciting collection yet include the soft sky-blue darling ruffled one-piece called Sophia. The suit is also available in black or white. Her trademark knotted bikini tank tops are also still available – with a flattering fit and an urban feel, the suits offer a tough-yet-sexy alternative to the typical two-piece. The designer also sells a range of sportswear, including the Cara top and the Pilar dress, in an expansive collection that is not to be missed in the hunt for quality summer swimwear.
This sultry and sophisticated Brazilian-inspired line (think a hearty dose of cheek popping out) is the brainchild of designers and sister duo Robyn Fenner Rush and Cami Tessa Rush. Known for trademark high-waisted styles, this season’s collection includes ruched bikini fits, reversible bottoms, and simple-but-sultry one-pieces (I’ll be scooping up that basic one-piece in black at Charlie & Lee for $70).
The streamlined collection of sleek and sexy swimwear continues to make waves at local boutiques, including El Kartel, Charlie & Lee, Still Life For Him & For Her, and more. The collection of suits, which feature well-crafted two- and one-piece suits, are sure to brighten up the beach this summer.