The Sian Swimwear universe is one you are going to want to be a part of. The sustainably made and Scandinavian-inspired styles brought to life by Anglo-Danish founder Sian Jones merge minimalistic luxury with a focus on flattery for every body type. Jones founded the brand in 2015 and since then some of your favorite celebs—Kim Kardashian, Hailey Baldwin and Serena Williams, to name a few—have been seen sporting the designs.
Jones has turned her brand into a lifestyle. Her suits are each named after a woman who inspires her (talk about girl power). And you can find curated playlists for holidays and seasons on the brand’s website. Jones discusses how she’s managed to dream up and create a swimsuit haven for warm weather lovers everywhere.
More from SwimLife
Can you tell me about your background before starting Sian Swimwear?
I was born in London, Kingston-upon-Thames to be exact, to my Danish mother and my Welsh father. I moved to Denmark when I was 3 and lived in Copenhagen until I was 19. I returned to London to study Fashion Business, which was when I first started dreaming of creating my own swimwear brand, as I struggled to find anything that was luxurious in quality and design while being flattering and fun to wear. Towards the end of my degree, I was offered a role in the Dior press office, which I grabbed with both hands and gained a huge amount of industry experience over my four years in post and moved on to Giuseppe Zanotti for another four years. My passion to bring my dream to life continued to grow and I decided to embark on an evening course at St. Centrals Martins to learn the high quality craftsmanship that I wanted my brand to be differentiated by. I worked and studied and saved until I was in a position to launch Sian Swimwear, which I’m proud to say has the same core values it did when it was a vision in my mind.
How did growing up in Copenhagen shape your personal fashion taste?
Copenhagen is an amazing place and it definitely had an influence on my taste and my designs. Even into adulthood, I still have vivid memories of my school teachers and their effortless ability to put together a simple, sophisticated outfit but with touches of color and print in perfect balance. I was also shaped by a strong American influence from the Carolyn Bessette Kennedy through 90’s Mary J. Blige music videos to Todd Oldham—I was mesmerized by the fun and chic designs.
Was your career in public relations helpful in making the transition to creating your own brand and designs?
Yes, most definitely. I have devoured every fashion, style, design magazine I could get my hands on for many years so my mind is full of references to stunning photo shoots and game-changing brand campaigns. My PR experience has also helped me to connect with particular publications and stylists to whom I have admired, followed or worked with throughout my career. That said, as privileged as I’ve been to have the insight I have had, it is very different when it’s for your own brand, which is something that I have learned to navigate by collaborating with others who compliment my strengths and weaknesses.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Everything! From my kids and their incredible energy, spirit, love of bright colors and patterns to my amazing friends and their ability to look strong, powerful and aspirational in anything they wear. I’ve also had the pleasure of living in Denmark, London, Turkey, China and Portugal, which has given me such a broad range of inspiration, ideas, concepts and visuals that contribute towards my design process.
What was your biggest fear in starting your own brand?
When I started seven years ago, I was so naive and optimistic that there wasn’t an awful lot of fear, just a lot of excitement. As the brand grew so did my fear of failure, but in the last few years I have been able to be far more present rather than worrying, focusing on my deep rooted values as a person, a designer and a business owner and staying true to these.
How does sustainability play a role in the design process from start to finish?
It plays a huge role for me as it’s very important to me. As a mother of three children, I want to do all that I can to not only have a sustainable approach to everything we do as a brand, but also set an example for my children of how conscious we need to be in every aspect of our lives. It starts at design with choosing fabric which is either sourced from ECONYL (which is the sustainable fabric made from recycled nylon) or using “deadstock.” I changed factories from Italy to Portugal to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. I use local photographers, stylists and models for location shoots as much as possible. Then the swimwear itself we send with minimal plastic, and the small amount that we do use in our packaging is biodegradable.
With celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Hailey Baldwin already seen wearing your swimsuits, what are your goals for the brand moving forward?
I am so proud to have Sian Swimwear worn by so many iconic women whom I admire. One of my goals for the brand moving forward is to be stocked in some key institutions in the U.S., giving more of our body confident, strong, powerful women clientele access to our swimwear. We are also expanding our resortwear collections to include some really beautiful coverup options that will be available in some stunning fabrics, textures, colors and patterns.
In your opinion, what makes a bikini the bikini?
How you feel in it! I have had some of my swimwear for 15 years because I love how it sits on me and makes me comfortable and happy. One of my swimsuits, the Sian style, I have worn when pregnant, skinny, not skinny—I just feel great in it, and the adjustable sides are a godsend. I like bikinis to be classic in style but have a fun element.
What is your dream destination for a tropical getaway?
I have a few. My husband and I went to the Maldives when we had just met—he swept me off my feet!—and I would love to go back with him and my kids for sentimental reasons. Also on my list is Jamaica. A sweet friend of mine is hosting a retreat there and it’s my dream to go and support her there. Oh, and anywhere in the Caribbean as I have never been and love Caribbean food so I would be in my element.
Do you have any advice for someone looking to start their own brand?
There are so many things to think about when you’re first starting out, and it’s difficult to know what to prioritize now and what can wait until the business has grown. My No. 1 piece of advice is that if you have a unique product or service, trademark your brand name ASAP and any similar names. Unfortunately, it is a natural part of building a successful brand that you will fall prey to haters and negativity so stay positive, focus on what you control, and protect what’s important to you.