FASHTALKS WITH BIKINI BEACH AUSTRALIA
Designer Interview with Alex Abraham
| Phoebe | Alex Abraham | Hamilton Island
When did you know you wanted to become a designer?
I have always had a passion for the industry. Even as a child I wanted to be in fashion. I enjoy both the business and creative aspects of the role and have always been intrigued by the art of design. We automatically feel better when we are dressed well; it boosts our attitude, self-confidence, and energy through expression. I fell in love with bringing joy to others through my creations.
What is your earliest design memory for your brand?
One of my earliest memories of the brand is firstly designing in my kitchen in Melbourne Australia, covered in fabric laughing at myself and my indecisive mind. Once my very first capsule collection samples were finalized, my small team of two and I went to Indonesia to do our first editorial. We had bumps along the way from finding models, MUA, locations and speaking the language but I can still taste the thrill of possibilities we had during our prelaunch campaign in Bali.
“Every woman should be able to feel sexy and confident at the beach no matter their body type.”
What is your favorite part about designing?
My favorite part of designing and the reason I get inspired is seeing someone fall in love with the way they look in our pieces. I am all about feeling empowered and confident in the way you dress, and I am driven by the customer. I want people to love the way the look in Bikini Beach. This is why I focus on the cut and silhouette of the garment as much as the print. So that the concept is flattering on many body types.
Maddie Neville | Sorrento One Piece
Sorrento One Piece in Marble Reversible
What sets your brand apart from the rest?
We are set apart for other labels by our cut, our combination of mesh, reversible detailing, use of materials and most importantly custom designed silhouette and prints. By creating everything in house, I find that we have an edge in comparison to other designers; we are unique without sparing quality. This customization makes Bikini Beach stand out from other brands and gives a personalized touch to every design.
What made you want to design swimwear?
Growing up with social media, women are shown daily what we should look like. I was a dancer, in a sorority and around fashion and body conscious women most of my life. Seeing negativity toward one’s image through my surroundings made we want to create a design that flatters many body types, hides imperfections but does not spare on quality or uniqueness. Being at the beach, we feel the most exposed as females; showing our body should be something enjoyable and empowering. Every woman should be able to feel sexy and confident at the beach no matter their body type. Confidence is power.
Do you find it difficult to have a brand based in Australia? What are the perks versus the challenges?
Australia is full of perks from the quality of life to the wonderful climate. The friendliest carefree people I have experienced. The country has astonishing beauty and some of the most untouched protected environments I have seen globally. I have a true love affair with the country, but its distance does not make it easy for some parts of my business. Aus is extremely far and makes it difficult for a label with its creative soul surrounding travel to operate. I am inspired to design through travel both in Australia and internationally. This year our label travelled more than in previous years and it inspired me to create four collections instead of two. I grow by learning from my surroundings and take inspiration from new world experiences. For us to continue to grow we have moved our logistical operations to Central America. This allows us to ship more efficiently and keep all customers happy globally while still having our hub on the shores of Bondi Beach. Australia can be summed up in one phrase; No Worries, Mate and I love it for this reason.
Sarah | Bec Hall | Magnetic Island
Magnetic Island Bikini in Liquid Silver Reversible
How has the fashion industry changed since you first started out?
Fashion is ever evolving. It has completely changed from when I first started in the industry, and I have no doubt it will continue to evolve. It is difficult to articulate the power of style through words. What we wear is how we present ourselves to the world and it changes when the world does. It's a language that is always developing; influenced by culture, politics, technology, and our surroundings. I learn something new every day and I can’t imagine that I will ever be satisfied not discovering something new in the world of fashion.
What can consumers expect to see next from your brand?
I have been long overdue with my surprise for BBA. We debuted our men’s collection last month in Central America for Panama Fashion Week. It has been in the works for many years, and I am so excited to expand our range to include men’s. We have started with a capsule collection for the men’s line, also inspired by travel and focused on being bold and strong. Watch out for our launch of men’s coming very soon and don’t think we will lose our edge; half of the line is fully reversible so men can also get two wears in one. Be Ready for BBA Man.
Litzy Del Cid DayDream Island | Miguel Quetglas BBA Man | Roberto Ordonez | Fashion Week PTY
“Our mission is to celebrate the female form; creating pieces that empower women through their self-expression, style, sexuality and all aspects of their swim life."
- Alex Abraham
What is the one piece of advice you would give to a new designer?
My biggest piece of advice is always stay positive and learn from your experiences. There is never failure in your process, only progress and growth. In the beginning as many designers feel I had “impostor” syndrome; that I wasn’t strong enough to go out on my own. Even though I have an apparel degree, have always been working in fashion and am endlessly passionate about designing I was nervous to take it out on my own without a safety net. Deciding to invest in myself and taking that risk has been my greatest achievement. I am so proud of my label and every aspect of Bikini Beach. I truly love what I do. If you are passionate about what you do take the leap, enjoy the fall, and believe in yourself.
How important is social media to your brand?
Social media is essential to Bikini Beach. We connect with our customers through our social presence. My brand’s vision and passion are shown through our social platforms and I value the feedback and engagement we receive from social media. Many of our business decisions are based on the vital information we receive from our customers on what they want. Bikini Beach was shaped through our core customer values and I will continue to respect what people want from Bikini Beach.
How did your brand navigate and overcome the pandemic in 2020?
You can see the glass half full or the glass half empty. I found that in times of struggle we need to pivot our mindset and grow through the process by taking our global situation and emerging from it positively. By changing the way our business operates we can continue to see growth. My favorite quote during the pandemic was “Throw me to the wolves and I’ll return leading the pack”. This gave me inspiration throughout one of my collections; Liquid Animale which launched during Miami Swim Week this July. The pandemic might have been one of my best design years for the label. I had time to slow down, let my mind run wild and create some fantastic looks through this period. I travelled, learned, and opened my eyes to a new view. Each piece I custom make the print as well as the design, so the pandemic allowed me to spent a lot of time discovering new elements for BBA.
Where do you find inspiration?
I have always been inspired by travel. It is a passion that has encompassed Bikini Beach's journey throughout the entire collections since our launch and is our key statement across all platforms; Influenced by Risk Takers | Inspired by Adventure. I believe in taking aspects of my world experiences and translating them into my collections. This can be seen throughout all our collections by the creation of statement pieces. We are not a safe or modest brand; we are Bikini Beach. We are female owned designer label, founded on the shores of Bondi Beach. Our mission is to celebrate the female form; creating pieces that empower women through their self-expression, style, sexuality and all aspects of their swim life. You can see this in all detail features of our collections from the silhouettes to the cuts of each design. Every piece is also named after a beach, island, or paradise location in Australia, keeping our passion for our home a part of each line's design concept.
What are the best parts of being a female-owned company? What are some struggles you have faced being female founded?
Being female owned for me is always a positive aspect of my label. Female consumers care about products marked as women owned because they resonate with these businesses. Women control most household spending decisions, by supporting women owned businesses people are showing the world that you see women for their intelligence, business savvy, and capability. We are the future. I look up to fellow female entrepreneurs, they are driven and inspire me to grow.
What piece of advice would you give aspiring female designers and founders?
Building your business reputation takes time and being a female still has challenges in your journey. My business fundamentals have changed throughout my career by prioritizing my time and energy on the right aspects of my label, while letting go of the fear of failure or rejection. As soon as you believe you can do something you have already won. Womenpreneurs lift each other up and are a fantastic support system for your growth and development join a support group and kill it!
What is the most important thing you would like your brand to be recognized for?
Being Bold. My biggest fear is to be seen as just like everyone else. Take the risk, Buy the ticket, and enjoy the ride.