Retro fitting

20 June 2014
Written by Sacha Kenny | Images by Sacha Kenny & Pat Shepherd
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Looking for a swimsuit that provides comfort and support, fits well, won’t go up your bum or sag, suits your shape and is sexy and fun? Well look no further...



Arrr the dreaded swimsuit, there’s many a bather, young and old, who cringe at the thought of shopping in search of something – anything that will make them look half decent at the beach or pool.

On a mission to take the stress off such a dilemma and return some olde worlde glamour to the long hot days of summer is Wellingtonian Annemiek Weterings – custom designer, pattern maker and creator of Swanwear: vintage-inspired swimwear made to your measurements.

With retro styles currently favoured by everyone from teenagers to the gracefully older, Swanwear swimsuits aim to evoke elegance, glamour and an understated playfulness inspired by the beautiful, flattering swimsuits of the 1920s-1950s when, as Annemiek says, “they got it right”.

No stranger to a needle and thread, Annemiek studied Fashion Design at Wellington Polytechnic in 1993-94 and worked for a number of years as a theatre custom designer. She is also a veteran of the World of Wearable Arts (WOW) having won, among others, the World of Wearable Arts Supreme Award in 1997 for her creation “Season Reign", a sculptural piece depicting the mystery, wisdom and power of trees.

Working with clients to design and fit swimsuits perfect for the individual figure, Annemiek says accommodating the classic hourglass figure typical of many New Zealand women as well as understanding that we are all different are key aspects of Swanwear designs.

“I realised there is a real need for made-to-measure. Standard sizes are important, but the made-to-measure aspect is really important, particularly with swimwear because everyone’s different and I really want people to be comfortable when they’re at the beach or playing with their kids at the pools.”

Frustrated by the lack of comfortable yet fashionable swimwear when pregnant with her first child in 2003, Annemiek decided to design and make her own. “I made a retro-style swimsuit with a scoop neck and longer leg and that’s where it all began really. My friends, my mum and sisters all wanted one so I just started making them for people and then slowly over time Swanwear was born and now, gradually, it’s growing.”

Made with modern fabrics which last in chlorine and salt water as well as being strong, colourfast and UV protective, Swanwear's point of difference is that their swimsuits are designed to look great, hold their shape and support your figure.

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