Swim into September

Words by Sandy Aziz

SOS. The 2020 sum­mer diag­no­sis is far from stel­lar. With the pan­dem­ic and trav­el bans, sum­mer 2020 has been large­ly dif­fer­ent to what we know and love to be sum­mer: sun, sea, and sand. How­ev­er, I have set sail to find a way to still expe­ri­ence a sun-kissed sum­mer even with­out jet­ting off to, say, the Mal­dives. If you are like me, find­ing the per­fect swim­suit nev­er comes easy to begin with. Adding addi­tion­al require­ments such as sus­tain­abil­i­ty and trendy? Well, that makes it feel like the per­fect swim­suit is real­ly unat­tain­able. Let’s meet the two brands who will give us the best of both worlds for the Mal­dives sun­shine and sus­tain­abil­i­ty.

Kan­du­mathi

Kan­du­mathi Swimwear. Cour­tesy of Char­li Fish­er.

In real­i­ty, sum­mer is a feel­ing. And for me, find­ing a per­fect swim­suit is part of what brings that sum­mer feel­ing to life. No, real­ly. Find­ing a good swim­suit is an accom­plish­ment in itself but is also a main ingre­di­ent in bring­ing sum­mer to life. Oth­er ingre­di­ents nec­es­sary for the sum­mer feel­ing include a large straw hat and a super fruity, ice-cold bev­er­age, of course. But back to swim­suits. While there isn’t an exact sci­ence when swim­suit search­ing, there are a few things that def­i­nite­ly make it hard­er. For exam­ple, one of my key require­ments in secur­ing the per­fect swim­suit is mak­ing sure that is authen­tic and dif­fer­ent. Why, do you ask? Because we have all prob­a­bly at some point bought a stan­dard swim­suit from a mass retail­er and found our­selves match­ing at least a few oth­er beach­go­ers around us. That wasn’t suit­able for me. So, I learned the hard way. But it is exact­ly that expe­ri­ence that has led me to search far and wide and to stum­ble across a one-of-a-kind gem: Kan­du­mathi. This swim­suit col­lec­tion brings you authen­tic, Mal­di­vian sum­mer vibes wher­ev­er you may find your­self this sum­mer. And all with­out the added has­sle of phys­i­cal trav­el. 

Found­ed by Lon­don-based sib­lings Yas­ra and Yus­ree Jaleel in 2016, Kan­du­mathi is a Mal­di­vian swimwear brand that cel­e­brates local Mal­di­vian artists and is inspired by work to con­serve and pro­tect the oceans and endan­gered reefs in the Mal­dives. The word Kan­du­mathi stems from the phrase “kan­du” (ocean) and “mathi” (in it) which togeth­er make the phrase in the ocean. This Mal­di­vian phrase embod­ies the col­lec­tion and brings the ocean to us while also bring­ing us local, Mal­di­vian art and cul­ture. 

Kan­du­mathi use a fusion of polyamide and elas­tane for the col­lec­tion. And, let’s be hon­est – that is the per­fect com­bi­na­tion for func­tion­al­i­ty and flex­i­bil­i­ty. The com­bi­na­tion also sup­ports all the var­i­ous female forms – hug­ging you in all the right places.   

As men­tioned, many of the pieces are based on local paint­ings by Mal­di­vian artists and the col­ors of the col­lec­tion are seashore rem­i­nis­cent. More specif­i­cal­ly, when speak­ing about the paint­ing that inspired the Mar­la swim­suit in the col­lec­tion, the Jaleel sib­lings said, “the paint­ing for Mar­la real­ly struck me and when the swim­suit was designed it remind­ed me of Hele­na Bon­ham Carter’s char­ac­ter, Mar­la from Fight Club. From then on, we rere­ferred to the swim­suit as Mar­la, and the name just stuck.” The oth­er prints — the dis­tinct flower, screw­pine, and crab fea­tured in the one piece and biki­nis in the col­lec­tion have made splash­es in the fash­ion scene both in the Mal­dives and across Europe.

So, if you want to stand­out, feel that sum­mer feel­ing, and vis­it the Mal­dives with­out phys­i­cal trav­el, your Kan­du­mathi swim­suit awaits. 

For more on fol­low @kandumathi or vis­it kandumathi.com

EcoSwimure by Emile Vidal Carr

EcoSwimure by Emile Vidal Carr

With all the sur­pris­es that 2020 has unrav­elled, we man­aged to put a pos­i­tive spin on sum­mer and just find our­selves repeat­ing the mantra of “just keep swim­ming”. And though we find our­selves redefin­ing vaca­tions and explor­ing new sum­mer nights, one thing still remains clear: we all need a sus­tain­able, and state­ment-wor­thy swim­suit. Where to start? Well, for­tu­nate­ly for all of us in pur­suit of the per­fect swim­suit, Emile Vidal Carr’s brand recent­ly launched, EcoSwimure. Carr dives into the details about the new col­lec­tion with OVERDUE. 

A British and black-owned brand, all of Carr’s col­lec­tions con­tin­u­ous­ly offer a unique approach to design. Specif­i­cal­ly, the Carr draws influ­ences for his col­lec­tions from hip-hop music and uses this inspi­ra­tion to craft his dex­ter­i­ties. Carr’s skills, already robust, con­tain his metic­u­lous atten­tion to detail and pas­sion for design. All of which trans­late into each of his col­lec­tions. In describ­ing the design process, Carr explains, “I would spend weeks going over designs in my head, work­ing out every detail, with­out draw­ing it. Then final­ly when I was ready, I would cut out the style free­hand and sew up the design on the sewing machine.” 

Recent­ly, Carr took the plunge and decid­ed it was time to expand into swimwear. “We chose to expand our col­lec­tion,” said Carr, “as we want­ed to give our cus­tomers the oppor­tu­ni­ty to own eth­i­cal, sus­tain­able and fash­ion­able swimwear.” And, so, EcoSwimure was born.

Carr explains that the word eco in the name of the col­lec­tion is a result of the main com­pos­ite of fab­ric used in each of the pieces, Econyl. This fab­ric is assem­bled of recy­cled, nylon waste from land­fills and oceans around the world. Sus­tain­able? Check. The col­ors of the col­lec­tion make you feel like you are immers­ing your­self in the col­ors often asso­ci­at­ed with fea­tures of the ocean — fuch­sia, roy­al blue, pas­tel pink, coral and more. Fash­ion­able? Check. In addi­tion to the vibrant col­or palette, it is evi­dent by his par­tic­u­lar use of zip­pers and high front neck details that Carr also took into account diverse female form. And that is not all. Carr’s col­lec­tion goes a step fur­ther to cel­e­brate strong, pres­ti­gious females too. In fact, each piece in the col­lec­tion is named after some­one includ­ing Ale­sha Dixon, Vanes­sa Kingori, Naomie Har­ris (British actress) and Karen Brady (West Ham chair­woman) to name a few. It is as though Emile is cel­e­brat­ing strong, inde­pen­dent women. This sub­tle sup­port is what we love. The col­lec­tion checks all the box­es and makes what felt like an unat­tain­able swim­suit dream, a real­i­ty. 

So, what are you wait­ing for? Just jump in. The col­lec­tion is out now. For more on EcoSwimure, fol­low @emilevidalcarr or vis­it emilevidalcarr.com/collections/swimwear.