With summer in full swing that can only mean one thing: lots of bikinis. With what seems like a never ending stream of #BeachDay pics all over social media, posing in your swimwear of choice in front of blue water on a sunny day seems almost like a necessity.
Aside from making some of us who are stuck at work jealous, these exact pictures have had a significant impact on the swimwear industry. During an interview with Fashionista, Shea Marie, the 30-year-old Instagram star and the founder of Peace Love Shea, explained how social media influenced creation of her swimwear brand: SAME.
Describing herself as “the quintessential California beach blonde,” Marie said:
“With social media, [especially] Instagram, girls care more about their vacations and what they’re wearing. Swim was kind of looked down upon in the past, and I was like, it’s really, really going to become big with this vacation craze and this whole resort lifestyle craze.”
Having over one million followers on Instagram, Marie new exactly what kind of swimwear designs would appeal to consumers. She specifically made a brand that would appeal to “the girl on Instagram” that wants to take the perfect pic.
Marie isn’t the only one who’s using social media to figure out a brand. Other bloggers such as Natasha Oakley and Devin Brugman, the duo behind A Bikini A Day, launched their own line, Monday Swimwear, in 2014. Since then the business has grown tremendously and has become a powerhouse in the swimwear industry.
During an interview with Forbes last year, Oakley explained the premise behind their brand. She said:
“When we started, we were a unique platform for swimwear brands to promote themselves — no one was doing what we were doing. The very premise of ‘A Bikini A Day’ allowed us to give a voice to a different bikini brand, 365 days of the year.”
Gabi Gregg, the founder of Swimsuits for All, also used social media to create a line of swimwear for plus-sized women. As a plus-size woman herself, the brand launched effortlessly after the social media hype around her “fatkini” posts on her own blog.
Sara Mitzner, Swimsuits for All’s Vice President of Creative and Branding, told Fashionista:
“It definitely brought in a new customer for us. It was a customer that Gabi believed was out there, and we believed was out there, but you just don’t know until it sells.”
Seeing as social media has become a huge influence for many successful swimwear brands, it more than likely that future designers will take to Instagram to get an idea of what people are wearing. Vanessa Flaherty, the Senior Vice President of talent at Digital Brand Architects (the agency that reps Marie and Gregg) simply summed up the logic behind the marketing strategy used by the brands.
“People have a sort of voyeuristic nature about them. They want to see someone on the beach in Anguilla or on a yacht and looking amazing and flawless in a bikini.”