The sun is shining brightly outside so it must be time to start thinking about the next Autumn/Winter range, but hang on a minute – we’ve just completed that! Help, I live in the futuristic world of design, what season is it?!

The world of design is fast moving and yes, exciting, but trust me I often forget what the ‘real’ season is, we work so far in advance. I’m reliably informed that shops currently have Spring/Summer 2017 in stock with Autumn/Winter 17 fashions soon to arrive but I’m already starting to cast my mind towards planning Spring/Summer 2019…

In Maru design land, our range planning starts with trend research and mood boards – a visual scrap book of ideas, inspiration and innovation. We distill what we find into the final direction for the range in terms of colours, looks and themes. Of course, not all trends are relevant for swimwear. Knowing that chunky hand knit sweaters are going to be on trend for the next season doesn’t really have much relevance for swimwear. In this modern day of technical, high performance swimwear fabric, I don’t think anyone wants to return to knitted swimwear!!

Once we have our themes, the work, and the fun, begins. We start with our fabric printers and give them the brief for the new season. Waiting for the new sample lengths of fabric to arrive is just like waiting for Christmas Day and when they arrive, we rip off the wrapping just as eagerly.

I’m sometimes asked how we decide which print to use for which swimming costume but some prints really lend themselves to a particular back shape. A sporty print looks good on a Vee Back or Tri Back and a prettier print often looks good on Swift Back.

Once we’ve chosen the back style to go for, next up is selecting the lining colour and decisions on colours for binding, to add piping detail or not to add piping detail, the colour for the logo, thread colour…there are a lot of decisions to make when it comes to designing a piece of swimwear!

One of the most fun decisions to make is whether or not to add foiling to a print. We have a design room motto that ‘life is better with sparkle’ but we can’t foil every print! There are so many foil designs to choose from and so many colours too. As with prints, there are sporty looking foils and some that are more delicate. When we get the perfect combination of print and foil, the result really can be quite magical.

One thing we are so lucky with at Maru is having our own sample room and very highly skilled sample machinist, the lovely Jill. Fabric can arrive in the morning and by the end of the same day, we can have our sample. How good is that!

One of the hardest parts of the job is whittling down our development samples to end up with the final range. Saying goodbye to the garments that don’t make the cut is like saying goodbye to old friends but we have to make sure that we end up with a range that looks balanced in terms of colours, print designs, back shapes so all emotion has to go out of the window.

So, our range is complete, what next? We wait nervously for the reaction to the range. Will people like it, what will the reaction be? We then draw a brief breath and then the whole process starts again and we move on to the next season and the excitement starts once more.

SS19 here we come….

The secret life of new swimwear: August 8th, 2017 by Miss Butterfly