What do Chrissy Teigen, J.Lo, and the Kardashians all have in common? (Aside from beauty, wealth and fame, of course.) They all love Myra Swim, and so do we! If you’ve flipped through the pages of SI Swimsuit, you’ve seen Myra Swim featured. But who’s the genius behind these beautifully created swimsuits? We caught up with the Australian designer Bianca Elouise to find out how Myra Swim started.
SI: What inspired you to start Myra Swim?
BE: I grew up surfing and lived in bikinis. As I got older I outgrew the typical surfer girl bikini and could not find swimwear to accentuate my curves so that led me to start designing and making my own.
SI: Where does the name come from?
BE: Myra is my father's mother's name, my grandmother. She always took me to the beach as a little girl and those are memories I cherish. She’s no longer with us anymore but I know she would be so overwhelmed with joy by her name becoming a worldwide-known brand.
SI: We have to talk about the fabric. We have never found a swimsuit other than Myra that is slinky smooth yet still shapes the body perfectly. What was the process behind choosing this material?
BE: To be honest, aside from my fits, this is the No. 1 compliment I get. I had experienced swimwear as being stiff and thick, which might be very durable but don’t we all want a little luxury and comfort? I went to China in the second year of launching my brand and met with a fabric company. We worked together to make a more lightweight, softer version of a standard nylon Spandex and the Myra fabric was born.
SI: Can you recall a moment when you realized your business had become successful?
BE: That’s a moment I'll remember forever. It was when I hired my parents to work for me and put them both on a salary. They both hated their jobs. I was joking one day and said, “You just need to quit and I'll hire you—it's about time I do it.” They both quit the next day and the rest is history. They are both in their 60s and work when they please and now live the life they want to. It makes me so happy!
SI: Do you remember the first celebrity that wore your designs? Who was it?
BE: The first celeb was Miguel's wife, Nazanin. The guy who shot my first lookbook and campaign in L.A. was his best friend and photographer. He passed along some garments to her and she posted and tagged the next week. I couldn’t believe it!
SI: We always look forward to receiving the Myra packages for every shoot. What’s it like on the other side once you see your designs in the pages of the magazine?
BE: I always thought it would wear off after a while as we get so many placements now but honestly it's so rewarding. It's like a confidence boost to keep going harder. It's an absolute compliment that out of all the swim brands in the world the stylists and magazine editors choose to feature my pieces. They all get cut out and posted on our wall in the office!
SI: Where would you like to see Myra Swim in five years?
BE: At the moment I'm focusing on wholesale so I would love to see my pieces in all luxury department stores and boutiques worldwide by then. I want to grow my team and expand my customer base worldwide. I just want to stay consistent and keep growing.
SI: You were featured in the 2020 Forbes 30 under 30 list. What was that like?
BE: I wanted this so bad and I drove my PR crazy over the years trying to get on it, lol. I got nominated and went through the process. I don’t think I’ve ever cried and screamed so much in my life when my PR called me that morning. To be honest, I felt like it was a milestone in my career and life. I still can’t believe it! It's such an honor to be recognized by such an iconic publication.
SI: What do you want your customer to feel when they put on a Myra suit?
BE: From day one, I wanted women to just love their body and how it felt while wearing my swimwear. I never really focused on trends. Colors were more important for seasons than shapes. My designs are pieces that don’t outdate. I wanted to be the brand that had the best black bikini on the market and now they come to me for that! Because my garments are seamless and are made from the fabric I created they mold the body so well. I designed leg cuts to complement all shapes and highlight areas most women try to hide due to insecurity. In all honesty I designed for myself. I'm an average girl with curves and wanted something to hug and make my body feel sexy. I believe by following my own needs that other women are appreciating what I'm producing and feeling more confident at the beach now.
SI: Where do you pull your inspiration from?
BE: Elle MacPherson has been my idol forever and her style from the 90’s will never do her shame. I've taken the 90’s leg cuts and vintage styles to create a modern approach to the swim industry. What goes around comes around in fashion but I feel like these small details in swim like a high waist and leg cut NEVER outdate.