How to Start a Swimwear Bikini Collection


Dear Reader, lover of Swimwear:  

It’s not a coincidence that you landed on this page. You’re here for a reason. Launching a swimwear collection is something that you’ve always wanted to do. Congratulations because today you’re going to turn your dream into a reality. All you have to do is follow a few simple steps provided in this guide. They’re based on my 20 + years of experience aiding dozens of swim labels design and market their bathing suits around the world. Most of them accomplished their dreams with little to no experience; and so can you. Let’s get started.  


It began with a dream 

It all begins with a dream, a vision to have a bathing suit specifically tailored to fit your body or to produce an entire bathing suit collection. You love fashion, you love the beach, and like artists, you wanted to share your creations with the world. Your friends encouraged you to follow your dreams, but fear kept you on the sidelines until you could no longer silence the impatient voice in your head that begged you to turn your passion into a reality. But you had questions. A lot. Where do you start? How do you find the best swimwear manufacturers? Who do you trust with your designs? Who can produce bathing suits under ethical working conditions, pay a fair living wage to their tailors, offer sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics, and treat their customers and the planet with respect? Doubt creeped in and you wondered if it would remain a dream or if such a swimwear manufacturer existed? I’m here to tell you that they do! 

How to start a bathing suit swim collection

How to start a bathing suit swim collection


 Over the decades, we’ve produced hundreds of styles and thousands of bikinis. 


Let’s get started. 

This is a simplified version of how to get started just as other aspiring swimwear designers have before you. I speak on behalf of the entire Mar Egeu Swim production team, a family where for two decades I’ve played a significant role in the sales and marketing of our branded swimwear and helped clients create their swim labels using our design and production facilities.  

Thales Panagides.  Mar Egeu Swim.  Head of Global Sales and Marketing  

Thales Panagides.  Mar Egeu Swim.  Head of Global Sales and Marketing.  


Purchase samples 


So, the first thing we suggest is for you to buy a few of our ready-made styles. There are hundreds to choose from and they can be accessed through a password protected link shared in our general introduction email. Browsing through the styles, you’ll get a sense of what we can produce and for how much. You can buy as many bikinis as you want. The reason we encourage you to buy samples prior to prototyping your styles is because you’d receive them within a week and have a better understanding of the quality and fit of our swimwear. Of course, it also gives you a chance to feel the fabrics before you place a larger order. It’s also a way for us to earn your trust without you having to assume any risk. Developing bikinis is a process and relationships count a lot. We’re confident you’ll absolutely love our fabrics judging by the compliments we receive on a regular basis. We stock the Ferrari of fabrics, or should I say, the Tesla of fabrics since they’re eco-friendly. We source fabrics from two of the best fabric mills in the world, Santa Constancia, and Rosset. And if they’re not the best in the world, they easily compete with the best in the world because they’re ethically produced, biodegradable, and sustainable.  

Eco friendly swim fabrics from Santa Constancia

Eco Friendly Swim Fabrics from Santa Constancia

Prints from Santa Constancia

Swim Fabric prints from RossetPrints from Rosset


Sharing your ideas 

Once you receive our bikinis and feel comfortable working with us, then you’re ready to send us sketches of your bikinis so we can prototype them. And once approved, we produce them in quantities as your own bathing suit label. You just have to provide us with as much information as possible. For example, the dimensions of the bikinis, preferred sizes, and the colors you want them produced in. 


We begin prototyping your bathing suit 

Once we have the details, our tailors begin prototyping your bathing suit. This process may take anywhere between 1 to 3 weeks depending on our production schedule, the season, and whether we have the fabrics and accessories in stock. We also produce a duplicate sample which we keep and use as a reference to make adjustments based on the feedback you send us after you receive the sample. The prototype process costs $150 plus shipping. This is for one design with up to 2 free revisions.  


how to launch a swimwear collectionFrom prototyping to dream.


You receive your custom designed bathing suit 

Once you receive the samples, we wait for your comments and revise the prototype until we produce it exactly the way you want it to be. We often get it right on the first go but if needed can revise the prototype until it’s perfect. Once we get your approval on the style, they then go into production, meaning we produce at least 120 of them in as many as 3-4 assorted colors and in 4 different sizes – XS, S, M and Large. In some cases, XL depending on the cut of the bikini top. Production can take anywhere between seven to nine weeks depending on our production schedule, and of course, the global environment in terms of supply chains, shipping and so forth.  


How much does it cost? 

The cost of your custom designed bathing suit can only be determined after each bathing suit is prototyped. It depends on how much fabric was used, the accessories chosen, and how much time went into producing it. If they’re like ours, they’ll be around $25-$28. More about pricing here. Pricing, as with all products and services, is a sensitive subject, but one I feel is important to be transparent about. I was struck by many of the comments of an article published in the New York Times titled, “What makes a bathing suit expensive?” As many readers have pointed out, “cheap and ethical conditions are almost an impossible combination.” I also left a comment and wrote the following, “I have 19 years of experience in the Swim industry. It’s true that dozens of decisions are involved in the processes, and each one can have a drastic impact on the purchase price of a bathing suit. It may appear that greed has to do with it, and that’s true, but I just wanted to add a few more points. Accessories can account for as much as 30% or more of the cost of a bathing suit. Trinkets that are waterproof or artistically designed. Other things to consider are if they involve crochet or macrame stitching and furthermore if it is manually produced versus by a machine. Fair wages, certifications, and complying with local labor laws (not all do) also play a role. Of course, it also depends on where you live, expedited shipping, taxes, and the marketing of them further add to the final cost. These are just a few more points that may explain the price point gaps between one brand and another.” 


But why manufacture my Swimwear in Brazil?  

Why us and not have your collection produced locally? Of course, we’re in favor of minimizing our carbon footprint but this must be weighed with all the reasons of where to produce your bathing suit collection. For instance, Brazil is renowned for its swimwear and has repeatedly won fashion awards and praise by industry players for its designs, quality, and competitive prices. Given the quality and support we offer, you’ll do very well. I also think the service we offer is unmatched as we guide you through the process as one of us, as part of our family. After all, if you succeed, we succeed. We don’t want to produce just one collection and not hear back from you. Instead, we’d like to grow and succeed with you over many collections. You’ll have access to me around the clock and if I can’t respond immediately, it will only be because of our time zone differences.  


Still wondering 

If you still have some questions that haven’t been answered, there’s a good chance you’ll find it on our frequently asked questions page. There are answers to more than 100 questions.  


And finally 

You’ll come across dozens of articles making claims about market size, trends, and offering tips but not one from an insider who really cares and is here to answer all your questions without charging a dime knowing that relationships trump profit and that we can only succeed by growing together. Feel free to  Contact me anytime. I love helping people.  


MAR EGEU® | Wholesale Bikini and Private label Swimwear Manufacturer with 30 + years of experience. Family Owned. Brazilian. Low MOQ. Eco friendly (UV 50+) fabrics and Ethical business practices. 100+ swim labels. Ideal for startups. We’ll guide you every step of the way. Budget friendly. World class team combined with top quality and fanatical support.