By N. Jayne Seward
What’s on the “must-buy” list for Cruise 2020? Look for trends to include crochet, crop tops, bandeau tops, high-waist bottoms, high-cut legs, long sleeves, straps, knots, cut-outs, tassels and athletic influences. Prints run the gamut from animal to tie-dye to graphics and florals, while colorations range from pastels to neons to earthy shades to brights and metallics. All in all, buyers are sure to find a lot of eye-catching swimwear this season.
According to designers and suppliers, social and environmental factors will play a large role in consumers’ beachwear choices. Inclusivity, sustainability and versatility should be on every buyer’s radar this season.
When making buying decisions today, according to NILIT, it’s important to keep in mind that the next-gen shopper wants everything—style, value, sustainability, innovation and speed—all at once. The Israel-based global producer of premium nylon 6.6 fashion and performance fibers reveals that this new consumer is not just a passing fad, but the new norm.
MAREDIMODA noted in its 2020 Trend Report that “choices made during the design process ensure that the variety appeals to all consumers, honoring diversity and addressing the importance of inclusivity.” The report highlighted four key swimwear themes for the season: “Paradise Found,” which includes tropical flower, lush vegetation and animal prints; “Iconic,” comprised of classic maritime prints, simple geometrics and comfortable basics; “Deco Lux,” with opulent metallics, art deco prints and bold graphics; and “Activism,” featuring unique mash-ups of social and politically minded concepts.
So how do macro trends such as inclusivity and sustainability shape the swimwear market? According to designers, the key is to keep the needs and demands of the consumer in mind. “We always have our eye on the consumer and focus on what she wants,” said Kelly Summer, global women’s design director for VOLCOM. “Our two lead stories are ‘Volcom for everybody,’ which is all-inclusive sizing, and our ‘Eco-True’ collection—swimwear made responsibly because we love the planet. We’re also seeing a trend of swimwear as apparel, mix-and-matching with street wear.” The hottest colors of the season at Volcom are coral, mustard yellow and steel purple, and directional prints include rainbow stripes and clouded tie-dyes.
For ISABELLA ROSE, influential trends for the season are feminine, with a jet-setter vibe. Versatility is key. “[It’s] the look and feel of creating your own style by combining fashion pieces with vintage and mainstream staples,” explained Nicole Roberts, designer. “Interest in textures, banding and beautiful covers influences the customer to customize their own take on style with layering options.”
Animal prints, tie-dye, color blocking, high-cut legs and bandeau tops should be on buyers’ and retailers’ “must-buy” list this season, according to several brands, including Isabella Rose and BECCA by REBECCA VIRTUE.
The hottest trends for 2020, according to HOLLIE WATMAN, are cut-outs, brights and metallics, including silver, gold, and colorful blue and pink hues. Strapless tops and high-waist bottoms have emerged for the season, but there is still a focus on the unique one-pieces and athleisure.
“Inclusivity is a conversation we have every season, for every delivery,” said Brian Davis, designer for MAGICSUIT. “Beauty comes in every form, and we celebrate that diversity.” For 2020, the brand is presenting a clean, modern yet effortless look, focusing on graphic minimalism. The look includes “sophisticated, bold, graphic prints interpreted into clean, soft silhouettes that wrap, tie, drape and move with the body,” Davis said. Statement prints such as modern, stylized skins and clean graphic stripes will be trending forward. Also look for dressier and polished foil metallics and new, less formal denim-look prints. Overall, Davis said the key is personalization and customizable silhouettes. “Think tie-side tankinis, one-piece styles that strategically wrap and tie, and sleek swim dresses that you can drape and tie to create your own coverage,” Davis said.
Sexy animal prints and ’80s-inspired neon bikinis might catch the consumer’s eye, but this season, the ocean and environment are also influencing the consumer’s buying decisions. “Sustainability has a fast-growing impact on the swimwear industry,” said Rebecca Virtue, chief design officer for BECCA by Rebecca Virtue. “More and more companies are using eco-friendly and recycled fabrications to help the environment and keep our oceans healthy and clean.”
CARVICO and JERSEY LOMELLINA recently debuted new “green” fabrics as a response to the demand from consumers to protect the planet. The VITA by Carvico and RENEW by Jersey Lomellina collections are made of recycled yarns. Latest additions to the RENEW by Jersey Lomellina collection include Renew Techno (in polyester) made from ECOANTEX, 100 percent recycled yarn from plastic bottles; and Renew Folk and Renew Wave (in polyamide) are made from ECONYL, a regenerated nylon yarn derived from pre- and post- consumer waste materials. Carvico introduced Melville and XLAnce Eco, which are environmentally friendly and have performance capabilities, making them perfect for training and competition.
Many brands, including ADIDAS, ALLSISTERS and VITAMIN A, are pioneering sustainable swimwear, and more are incorporating eco-friendly fabrics into their collections. According to Amahlia Stevens, VITAMIN A designer/founder, being eco-minded is the new beach allure. “‘Sustainability is Sexy’ is our mantra at Vitamin A, and we’re excited to see the social movement around this idea growing,” said Stevens. “Fashion’s future is getting brighter, and consumers are becoming even more conscious about what they wear.” Stevens points to such must-have styles for 2020 as high-leg bodysuits, bralettes, the strapless bodysuit, asymmetrical details, playsuits, shirt dresses and dusters in floaty eco fabrics, organic cotton beach tees, and laid-back eco-knit tee dresses and jumpsuits.