The Edit: 3 Swimwear Brands to Have on Your Summer Wish List
Words by The Folklore Team
Every summer closet needs a swimsuit—a reliable one that looks stylish and feels comfortable at the same time. But what to wear to the beach or pool is one of the most fraught fashion conundrums for many women, usually leading to agonizing over “bikini bodies” or “summer bodies”. Needless to say, the perfect swimwear should be the one that you feel confident in and comfortable, wherever you are spending your summer.
But when it comes to swimwear from African brands, modern designers are elevating their creations by including elements that are inspired by their heritage, from vibrant colors to intricate embroidery and sustainable fabrics.
Below, we’ve selected three African brands that you can rely on for all your swimwear needs, without compromising on style or practicality.
Nigerian fashion designer Andrea Dumebi Iyamah’s eponymous label Andrea Iyamah has become a byword for elegance. Season after season, the brand delivers colorful pieces that balance African design sensibilities with modern femininity, creating stylish swimsuits, dresses and separates for the discerning woman. The brand’s signatures include motifs inspired by nature, delicate draping and sleek silhouettes rendered in vibrant mood-boosting hues that inject a touch of glamor into any wardrobe. Andrea Iyamah’s resortwear range includes one-pieces swimsuits, bikinis, coverups and accessories.
Salt and Sunscreen
Founded in 2019 by Pinghwa Okorie, Salt and Sunscreen is a swimwear brand based on the beauty of an African woman. Designing with the physique and curves of the Nigerian women she comes across every day in mind, Okorie crafts swimwear to suit and flatter all body types, with an emphasis on comfort and style. “Growing up in Lagos, it was hard to find swimwear that I loved and felt comfortable in. I wanted to create something that was soft on the skin, that was high quality and sophisticated, and that’s how Salt and Sunscreen was born,” Okorie says. Specializing in one-piece swimsuits, bikinis and coverups, Salt and Sunscreen offers flattering, versatile and chic pieces rendered in bold colors, florals and abstract prints.
The brainchild of model-turned-designer Liya Kebede, Lemlem was founded as a way to preserve the centuries-old weaving techniques of her native Ethiopia while also creating jobs for local artisans and inspiring economic growth. Lemlem’s resortwear pieces, which include bikinis, gauze dresses and kaftans, are each crafted from cotton that’s sourced locally. The pieces are made unique with vibrant prints, colors and embroidery that draw from centuries-old weaving techniques practiced in Ethiopia.