No summer is complete without the right swimsuit. As the weather gets warmer, there are hundreds of swimsuits to choose from, but how many of them are 1) African owned or 2) African inspired? Since this year has been all about inclusivity, check out these eight swimwear brands that are worth adding to your collection.
Translating to “princess or queen” in English, Olori is a clothing line owned by Los Angeles-based couple Ibrahim Hasan and Dunnie Onasanya-Hasan. Their mission with this line is to celebrate the essence of African/Black and melanin rich queens of all shapes and sizes. Each piece has a nice way of fitting different body shapes and sizes, which is key when buying a swimsuit.
2. Naki Muli:
With its roots birthed in Uganda, Naki Muli, meaning “flower,” is a swimsuit line owned by Brooklyn native Tennille McMillian. This brand aims to go beyond the traditions of women’s fashion with fashion forward designs that incorporate bright colors, shapes, and African/ethnic prints. Naki Muli also includes swimwear for both curvy and plus size women.
3. Aude Swim:
Aude Swim is a swimsuit line owned by Kouakou Djézeahou Aude Elsis–hailing from Côte d’Ivoire, Ivory Coast. Aude describes her collection as a “daring and timeless swimwear styles, utilizing Brazilian cuts, and sexy high cuts while incorporating bold design and traditional African prints.” Aude Swim does a great job with providing a variety of unique styles.
Diarrablu is a Senegalese swimsuit line owned by Diarra Bousso and draws inspiration from travel, architecture, and geometry; all which serve as a point of reference for Diarra’s passions in Mathematics and Modern Art. Diarrablu is the perfect line for someone who wants to stray away from Ankara designs and embrace something new and different. This line also offers sizes from XS-2XL.
As part of a Ghanaian family who already owns a business, for many years, Yasmeen, the youngest member of the family saw swimsuits on runway shows, catwalks, and magazines. However, she noticed that these swimsuits weren’t exactly readily accessible or ready to purchase. So she created her Ashanti Swimwear line with each piece paying reference to a Ghanaian goddess and every pattern and the colors used representing a unique meaning of life.
Exotica’s owner Prudence currently lives in Australia by way of France is originally from France. She found that finding fabulous African print bikinis made of soft fabric without compromising its aesthetic could be hard to find. Luckily, Prudence decided to take things into her own hands and Exotica Swimwear was born.
Owned by Nigerian fashion designer Dumebi Iyamah, this swimwear line fully embraces eccentric, vibrant cuts, and a unique point of view. Located in Ontario, Canada, Andrea Iyamah caters to women everywhere who are looking to rock something fabulous.
Bold, cohesive, eccentric, and consistent, are all qualities that make Bfyne great and match its co-founder, designer Buki Ade. One of Bfyne’s goal is to provide quality products with an exclusive trend setting vibe.
Was your favorite brand on the list? If not, let us know about your favorite in the comments below!
Written by Ajea Nicole and Toyosi