By N. Jayne Seward
Sustainability, hybridization and performance are just a few of the overarching trends shaping swimwear for Season 2020. Creating beachwear that meets the demands of today’s consumers is more challenging than ever, and that means suppliers have to be innovative. We checked in with some of the swim industry’s top suppliers to find out what fabrics, textures, colors and prints are trending and leading the way for the upcoming season.
MILLENNIALS & THE EVOLVING MARKETPLACE
At the recent MAREDIMODA event held in Cannes, trend forecasting experts David Shah and Anne Marie Commandeur presented a preview of the major swimwear, intimate and athleisure trends with the launch of the MarediModa Trend eBook. Swim trends for 2020 range from high-tech sensory stimulation and bold digital prints, to opulent Art Deco-inspired designs and provocative silhouettes fit for a swim activist. Overall, the message is that we are in a time of change, and there has been a shift from specialized to hybridized design—the merging of distinctly different categories and design components. Athleisure opened the door for disruption by bridging the gap between activewear and leisurewear. Now the lines are blurred as the hybrid design concept crosses over to such categories as swimwear and intimates, creating a versatile fusion that offers more options for consumers. Shah and Commandeur identify four swimwear trend categories for 2020:
- Paradise Found: eliciting sensory stimulation through digitally generated patterns, which blur the line between real and illusionary
- Activism: using fashion to communicate rather than to simply cover up or provide pseudo enhancements
- Deco Lux: Art Deco-inspired fabrics that express excitement, exclusivity and individuality
- Iconic: a new twist on retro classics, with modern performance features and characteristics
In part, the market is shifting as a response to Millennials and Gen Xers, who are demanding more from brands than ever before. “These consumers want it all, and they’re willing to pay a little more for it,” says Pierluigi Berardi, vice president of global marketing and R&D for NILIT. This global producer and marketer of high-quality 6.6 nylon fibers created Sensil to answer the demand for beautiful, high-quality, multi-functional fabrics. Benefits include comfort enhanced by Sensil Breeze and Sensil Heat fabrics, which provide cooling and warming effects. Performance and environmental responsibility are teamed up in Sensil EcoCare fabrics; Sensil Aquarius provides drying capabilities, and Sensil Innergy has unique energizing effects.
PERFORMANCE IS PARAMOUNT
Seoul, Korea-based HYOSUNG CORPORATION, the leading global textile manufacturer offering top-selling creora performance-driven fabrics for swimwear and beachwear, highlights three key trends for 2020. Alluring and refreshing, the “Horizon” direction features retro-inspired prints, strong graphics, and textures including openwork jacquards. Beach-to-street dressing is key, and there is a strong focus on sustainability, utilizing recycled synthetics and low-heat-setting creora eco-soft fabrics. The “Enlightened” direction utilizes second-skin fabrics that offer high compression and strong shaping effects; creora highclo offers super chlorine resistance and power retention, while creora Color+ enhances colors that range from subtle to vibrant and overtly glamorous. Inspired by the active lifestyle, the “Soul” trend offers high-level performance, including quick dry and UV protection. A “surfer dude” mood is carefree yet conscientious, reflected through softly aged and sustainable fabrics created with energy-saving processes and recycled yarns.
PINE CREST FABRICS utilizes creora highclo in its Spectrum Pro Matte Tricot fabric line in bold solids, including watermelon, turquoise, bright pink, purple, royal, teal and black. Based in Portland, Ore., the family-owned and -operated company’s key trends for 2020 range from “Retro” influences to “Globetrotter” ethnic-inspired prints for the luxury swimwear market. A “Floral and Leafy Greens” trend combines nature and technology, creating statement botanicals; visualize chic floral prints with bold, distorted and pasted flower motifs in saturated colors. Cloudy and blurred patterns are utilized in “Abstract Fusion” to offer dreamy prints as an alternative to tie-dye; think ’90s revival and acid-house effects. Sustainability is embraced in the “Eco and Naturals” trend, with a shift to natural qualities and simple, timeless appeal.
EUROJERSEY’s high-performance Sensitive Fabrics swimwear collection for 2020 is characterized by four creative themes, which accentuate a modern concept of femininity. They range from “Beating,” which features an elegant animal-inspired theme, expressed with three-dimensional textural effects and light-dark contrasts; to “Whispering” in soft, delicate pastel shades and foliage motifs, which reflect relaxation and a peaceful existence between man and nature. Modern art and luminous colors and patterns merge in a fun, energetic spirit that characterize “Swinging.” Finally, the “Parley” trend, inspired by the “Parley for the Oceans” movement promoting ocean preservation, is functional and sporty, with ocean-influenced prints ranging from shades of sand to a full spectrum of blues.
SUSTAINABILITY IS KEY
Many companies are focusing on sustainability, including 85-year-old Italian textile company TESSITURA TAIANA VIRGILIO, which has a tradition of excellence and a historical commitment to ethical and environmentally friendly production practices.
The increasing demand for eco-friendly fabrics prompted MAGLIFICIO RIPA to invest in and develop its “Earth” collection, which debuted at MarediModa last November. Created from an intensive design and development process, the collection includes fibers such as the premium, high-performance and highly modern Roica EcoSmart; the Fulgar-patented Evo yarn, made from organic 100% Nylon; and the Qnova by Ripa range of fabrics, made with recycled nylon. Sensil Ecocare by Nilit Fibers is currently under development.
Los Angeles-based TEXOLLINI’s specialty is fine-gauge knitting, and its premiere offerings include its Superfino and Ultrafino fabric brands. According to Sherry Wood, Texollini’s director of merchandising, the top trends are sustainable fabrics, textured mini jacquards and ribs, and new takes on 20th-century styles. Eco-minded, next-generation consumers are inspiring a focus on sustainability. Texollini is offering Repreve Nylon and Polyester for swimwear, and brands are utilizing its recycled cotton/Tencel blends for resort wear and beach cover-ups. “Trendsetters are utilizing textured jacquard patterns, both tonal and two-toned, to create surface interest with ribs in all sizes, blending stripes with prints to craft novelty swim styles that pop,” says Wood. Retro styles from the ’80s and ’90s continue as a strong influence, with shiny fabrics, surface textures, and high-cut suits in bright colors and neons.