METRO MANILA / FASHION / Swimwear
Founder: Lourdes Sanvicente
1. What got you started with this brand? What was your inspiration? What is the idea/concept behind it?
I’ve always had an affinity for fashion, and my creativity is always in hunger for expression. Swimwear, athletic wear, and comfortable everyday wear are what I’m mostly drawn to. Swim Lourdes started with me personally wanting certain fits or specific designs, but could not find, or they were just not available in the market.
Also, I’m more on the petite side, so finding swimwear in my size was a constant struggle. So I decided to just go for it and bought my first sewing machine; I started with just one staff, and I am actually self-taught in pattern-making and sewing.
2. What is your personal favorite product from your brand?
That would be difficult to narrow down because I love all my brand’s products. My favorite product would depend on my mood for the day or what activity I will be doing for the day.
Swim Lourdes’ latest collection taps more into the feminine shape and lines, which is in contrast to our usual athletic-masculine pieces.
3. What do you want people to experience with your brand/product(s)?
I want everyone to experience what it feels like to wear a proper-fitting swimsuit. I really worked hard on each design–developing, fitting, and adjusting the patterns myself. Most people don’t realize that your swimsuit stretches in water–you know that “wet diaper” feeling that leaves you feeling uncomfortable and has you constantly worrying about how your suit might come off anytime? We don’t want that for you. We don’t want you to constantly have to worry about fixing your swimsuit. We want the suit to fit perfectly and accentuate your body just right. It’s really all about that fit!
As for our clothes, I want everyone to experience the beautiful fabric of our designs. The silk we use is exquisite! And perfect for the tropical weather here. I always end up using the most presko fabrics for Swim Lourdes’ designs. Our weather here is humid, so I know our clothes have to be suited to that. We also have some pieces that don’t come with the high price tag of silk, but are still made out of beautiful presko fabric–I came up with these designs thinking about clients who want something really nice and comfortable to wear without having to spend too much.
Overall, I must say that the craftsmanship of our pieces is in itself an experience.
We also started experimenting with natural dyes. I am a big fan of Vivien Ramsay, who is a good friend of ours. Her naturally-dyed garments are so beautiful. I am mostly drawn to the nude shade that comes from the acacia tree bark. I started trying my hand at natural dying, and let me tell you, it is a tricky job. Getting into natural dying only grew my admiration for Vivien’s work.
Achieving beautiful earth tones from synthetic dyes is impossible. You can’t ever compare natural dyes to synthetic dyes. Not to mention, synthetic dyes are also incredibly toxic.
4. What tips and advice can you give to entrepreneurs who are just starting out or are planning to start their own brand?
Do not give up. But know when to cut your losses.
5. What’s next for your brand?
More athletic pieces, but with a wider range of workout gear. We are also working on one-piece swimwear designs due to increasing client requests. We have a few other things coming up, but I’ll keep that as a surprise for now.
6. What other additional information and details would you like to share?
Swim Lourdes also has an accessories line. We work with a local goldsmith who creates every piece by hand. He’s already past 60 years old and he is truly an excellent craftsman. We do silver pieces dipped in gold as well as fine gold pieces. We are coming up with a few more selections that I designed using opals and other pretty gems. I’m hoping you’ll like them as much as we do.
Follow Swim Lourdes on IG!