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TOP FLIGHT:

SWIMSUITS from
DOWN UNDER

As the weather warms up, the search for the perfect swimsuit resumes. And for this summer’s best in beach, look to Australia.
Written By Jess Basser Sanders

There are many questions you can debate endlessly with Australians. Tomato or tomahto? Thongs: underwear or footwear? One thing not up for discussion, however, is the greatness of Aussie swimsuits. The reason is obvious—Australia may be a geographically large country, but approximately 82 percent of the population lives within 50 kilometres (or 31 miles, depending on who you ask) of the coast. And with a new crop of swim designers diving onto the scene, there are more reasons than ever to live in your bikini this summer. Here, a dossier of Aussie swimwear lines guaranteed to lead to endless poolside compliments. Just don’t forget your SPF.

ZIMMERMANN

ZIMMERMANN

Celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary this year, Zimmermann is the grande dame of Aussie swimwear. Started—and still run by—sisters Nicky and Simone Zimmermann in Sydney, the brand is known for its high-fashion take on bikinis, one-pieces, and resortwear, including tie dresses and playsuits. The print-focused designs evoke the beach-infused lifestyle of the sisters’ hometown. us.zimmermannwear.com

MATTEAU SWIM

MATTEAU SWIM


A labor of love for New York–based, Australian-born stylist Ilona Hamer and her Sydney-dwelling sister Peta Heinsen, Matteau Swim consists of just seven pieces—three tops, three bottoms, and a one-piece—offered in black, navy, and khaki. All are refreshingly simple (you won’t find any ties or visible stitches), so fit reigns supreme. matteau-swim.com

EPHEMERA

EPHEMERA

Erstwhile Saint Laurent designer Nicole Banning brings the ready-to-wear sensibility of her last gig to this four-year-old swimwear line. Cut, fit, and fabric are the focus for Banning, who started the label in Paris before moving it to Sydney. The result is a collection of one- and two-pieces with clashing colors, eye-catching cutouts, interesting necklines, and varying shapes. ephemeralive.com

FELLA

FELLA

The structured cutouts and unexpected shapes of Fella’s maillots and bikinis have an architectural feel, which is reinforced by the label’s building-filled Instagram feed. Designed by Rosie Iffla and Christine Tang, the brand has a no-frills aesthetic, eschewing adornment for clean lines, bright colors, and the occasional pattern. Custom tailoring is an extra bonus for those who find swimsuit shopping particularly grueling—a larger cup size can be incorporated if needed, or a suit can be made to measure. fellaswim.com

her.

her.

Part of the wave of minimalist-inspired suits coming out of the Southern Hemisphere, her. is a two-year-old label based in Sydney, designed by functionally minded Tuyen Nguyen, who grew up with parents working in the textile industry. Pieces are clean and minimal, and they come in a range of limited but well-chosen solid colors. All the suits are made, appropriately enough, in Australia. herthelabel.com

CAMP COVE

CAMP COVE

Channeling the all-American summer activity—camp—and giving it an Australian twist, Camp Cove eschews minimalism and focuses on prints and high-cut bottoms. Designer Katherine Hampton creates all the prints, taking inspiration from op-shops (the Aussie version of thrift stores) and classically kitsch Australian design. This all adds up to a vintage vibe, from the gingham and eucalyptus prints to the pinup-like cuts. campcoveswim.com

LESSONS
ON SPF

Australians take their sunscreen as seriously as they do their swimwear. Don’t don that bikini before finding out which SPF is right for you.