It is no surprise that some of the best swimwear designers in the world hail from places like Brazil and Mexico, given those countries’ mild climates and beautiful coastlines. Household name Johanna Ortiz (from Colombia) and new fave Sara Cristina (from Venezuela) are just two of a strong group of Latinx designers making their mark globally with vibrant pieces inspired from their surroundings and culture.
These designers not only hold where they come from in high regard and source material and hire artisans locally, but most also want to ensure a better future and focus on being sustainable. Below are 21 incredible Latinx brands we are highlighting during National Latinx Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15). You will absolutely want to wear them the next time you need to make a fashion statement at the beach.
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Catalina Alvarez and Mariana Hinestroza launched swimwear line Agua Bendita in 2003 after getting rave reviews from friends and family for suits made from leftover scraps they had found at a local clothing factory. The two women from Medellin grew the business with the help of female artisans from around Colombia into what it is today. They also expanded and launched their environmentally conscious sister brand Agua by Agua Bendita in 2018.
The Cali, Colombia, native incorporates her signature style of ruffles, prints and sculpted silhouettes into her swimsuits. Ortiz’s designs can be seen around the world, but there is always a slice of home in each of her looks from using Colombian artisans to working in the aesthetic of the country’s beautiful surroundings.
Designer Patricia Bonaldi finds much of her inspiration in her ready-to-wear and swim collections from her native country, Brazil, and, more specifically, her town of Uberlândia. The bathing suits are great for swimming but also are so stylish to be worn after the beach.
Colombian Silvia de Brigard studied design in Paris and then returned home in 2015 to launch her successful swimwear line, Verdelimon. Influenced by the natural landscapes of her travels and homeland, her collections are always vibrant and a tribute to the women who wear them.
Sara Cristina is a family affair launched by siblings Sara Villasmil and David De Lima in 2016 in Venezuela. Though they manufacture the line in New York City, the samples are made by women in their home country. And to keep on the theme of being sustainable, 90 percent of the fabrics used are Econyl.
Each of Maygel Coronel’s bathing suits are a masterpiece. With their dramatic ruffles or billowy sleeves, the Colombian-born designer has elevated swimwear to a new level while keeping them comfortable and practical in fabric and cuts.
Cuban-born and Miami-raised, Lourdes ‘Luli’ Hanimian created Luli Fama in 2003 with her brother-in-law, Augusto Hanimian. Their designs are universally flattering and inspired by Miami’s energy and the culture of Cuba.
Luciana Martinez fell in love with fashion at a young age. At 6, she started sewing clothes for her dolls, then created pieces for family and friends. Growing up in Brazil, bathing suits were like a uniform, but she felt the designs could use an upgrade, which is how she came to be a swimwear designer. Lybethras means source of muses, and she pulls from many for her eco-friendly label.
Colombian sisters Amalia and Manuela Sierra launched this line in 2033, with the signature of their prints motivated by their roots. Many of their styles and cuts are reversible, which means you get two suits for the price of one.
Midnight Black Babydoll High Neck Bikini Top ($79) Midnight Black Journey Double V Bikini Bottom ($64)
Brazilian Benny Rosset grew up in the fashion world and always had an interest in swimwear. Since 1990, he continues to pay close attention to every detail that goes into each collection and maintains an air of exclusivity with Cia. Maritima.
Founded by Isabella Espinoza in 2015, Baobab is a restorative brand that recycles old fishing nets and plastic bottles as well as recycled polyester and turns them into amazing pieces that will last for years to come. The shimmery fabrics and colors are swoonworthy and reminiscent of Colombia’s coastline.
Katia Barros and Marcello Bastos launched Farm Rio to celebrate the feminine spirit and their colorful Rio de Janeiro. From their beginnings in a small fashion market in 1997 to being a global powerhouse, they always keep Brazil in their mind with everything they do and even give back. With each purchase, a tree is planted in the Amazon rainforest.
Named after Playa Juan de Dios on Colombia’s Pacific coast, Maria Valencia wanted her swimwear line to highlight the country’s beauty. She employs women who use artisanal methods and recyclable fabrics to make each suit.
Carla Pallares’s carefree nature and lust for adventure are the ethos behind Yemaya Swimwear. The Paraguayan designer created a line that is functional for the active beachgoer as well as those who like to lounge.
Puntamar is where the land meets the sea and was started by Maria Paula Ardila and Paola Arango in Colombia in 2016. Their avant-garde swimwear is for the woman who likes to be fashion forward, even with their swimsuits.
Alejandra Priale graduated from Parsons School of Design and founded Aguaviva in 2017. The Peruvian designer finds inspiration in ’90s muses as well as modern beach glamour. The suits are flattering, sexy and one of a kind.
In 2018, two friends Isa and Stephanie decided to join forces and enter the fashion world with Dos Marquesas. Their suits celebrate their individuality as well as their friendship. They constantly reference Colombia’s nature and beauty in their styles.
Nicole Acosta and Roció Borré are lifelong friends who conceptualized what they wanted their swim line Bahama Mama to be based on the attraction of the Colombian coast and the Caribbean lifestyle. Through their brand, they also are committed to being sustainable so that the beaches where their designs are worn continue to thrive for years to come.