STYLE AND CULTURE
ASOS MEETS MONTANA BROWN
By Alice Doleman, 26 March 2022
Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration for the brand?
M: Swim Society was born out of wanting to champion women wearing what they want. We’ve been socialised to believe that skinny is beautiful. So, we’re really trying to rewrite that script by saying every body is beautiful, regardless of so-called 'imperfections'. We really showcase that by not retouching our pictures, and by showing the texture of real skin.
L: A lot of brands offer plus-size ranges that are very different to their core products. That’s where our 'no categorisation' idea came from. The decision on what you wear shouldn’t be defined by what a brand thinks you want to wear as a size 18 or as a size 8. You should be given that choice.
What has been your proudest moment while running the business so far?
M: Our open castings. We feature women from all over the UK on our website, in our campaigns and on our socials. It’s always an empowering day because you’re connecting with like-minded people who have all got a story to tell – whether it’s to do with body confidence or body shaming or whatever. It’s amazing to come together in a room.
L: Meeting people in person really helps you to understand the impact that you’re having as a business – you never truly know until you meet somebody who tells you.
Who are some of the dream people you would love to see in your swimsuits?
M: Michelle Obama. Imagine Michelle snapped walking on the beach in our swimsuit, she’d be epic. Serena Williams. Jessica Ennis-Hill.
L: Yeah, I really want to see some female athletes wearing our swimwear. Natasha Jonas. She’s a great boxer, and Katie Taylor. I'd like them to be our ambassadors.
Do you have any favourite styles from your ASOS drop?
Both in unison: The Carmen! The Carmen!
M: Definitely, it’s my favourite. Or the Roxy.
The pics (and costumes) make us want to book a holiday... What are some of your favourite holiday destinations and memories?
M: We did our first campaign in the Maldives, and it was sensational. We were by the ocean, it was so picturesque – I just felt liberated and blessed. It was such a penny-drop moment where I realised that wow, we’re doing this thing.
Montana in the Carmen, top £30 and bottoms £20.
We’ve got a couple scenarios for you – let us know how you’d style your swimwear for each. First up: a romantic date by the beach.
M: I'd get my cans out in the Carmen. [Both laugh] It’s such a bold colour and it really hoists up your boobs. I’ve created swimwear that is very good for small boobs, as well as big boobs. So, if you’re looking for a push-up, the Carmen’s the way forward. I'd put a dress over the top or some linen shorts.
L: Oh yeah, with white linen trousers and a white linen shirt. Then you’ve got the Carmen underneath with that little pop of green. Love it.
Sounds hot! Next scenario: a boat party.
M: I’d wear the Tania or the Myla. I’m obsessed with hats, too. So, I would wear either with probably a white fedora and some nice sunnies.
L: I’d go for the Myla. I really like the green – I think it fits well with my colouring. With those swimsuits, I’d go for a basic pair of denim shorts and a nice oversized white shirt.
Have you ever had any embarrassing holiday moments?
M: My first ever girls' holiday, I bought a cheap bikini. There was a group of lads by the side of the pool at our hotel and I thought, I’m gonna dive in and come out and be sexy. As you do as an 18-year-old. And my bikini was just completely see-through. My friends were trying to give warnings, but I didn’t realise. Then I looked down and could literally see my nipples through my bikini. It was so embarrassing. But do you know what, it’s good, because now I know what quality swimwear is, and I know that we’ve got it.
L: We’re really testing those white bikinis hard to make sure that does not happen 😉
Montana in the Tinea cut out swimsuit, £60.
What does body confidence mean to you? And what advice would you give to those looking to feel confident in themselves?
L: Just do what you want to do and what makes you feel comfortable. If you feel a certain way about your boobs and you want to wear something that's more covered up, go for it. If you feel a certain way about your bum and you wanna wear a thong bikini, that’s also your choice. Wherever you are on your body-confidence journey, it’s totally up to you – don't feel pressured either way. That was quite profound, wasn’t it?
M: Really profound.
L: It’s because I've been reading my Power of Now book. [Both laugh].
Love it! Last question, where would you like to see your brand take you in the future?
L: We'd defs like to do a One Direction and break the US.
M: We wanna tap into markets where representation isn’t as good as it is here, like Australia. I don’t see a lot of diversity with swimwear brands over there. I feel like we’d really disrupt the industry if we had a presence.
Shop the latest Swim Society drop below 😎🌸