Made in Vancouver is a collaboration between Vancity and Daily Hive. Together, we’re turning the spotlight onto local businesses, organizations, and individuals who are helping to create a healthy local economy.
Just in time for the summer, this Vancouver-based swimwear line is offering stylish but comfortable bathing suits for women.
CECE Swimwear was inspired by the sweatsuit fashion trends during the pandemic –wanting to create a bikini where adjustability and comfort were in style.
As part of our Made in Vancouver series spotlighting local businesses, we talked to Alannah Kolarcik Liem about her female-owned business setting the trend for comfortable bathing suits.
Vancity has been supporting local businesses like CECE Swimwear with different programs. Now until Sept 30, Vancity enviro™ Visa* cardholders will earn 1.5x the rewards points at select businesses through the Load Up on Local program. To learn more, visit vancity.com/local
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“I always had a desire to create swimwear … during COVID, the biggest fashion trend was comfort. And I wanted to translate that into bikinis because I personally found it difficult to find comfortable and flattering swimwear that was also fashionable,” said Liem in an interview with the Daily Hive.
“It’s rare to find swimwear that checks off all three priorities, and even more rare for it to come from a small business or a local brand. I figured if I was having trouble finding these options, other Vancouver women were as well,” she said.
Prior to starting, Liem worked in retail for eight years and got her degree in communications with a minor in gender, sexuality & women’s studies.
“I felt confident in both my knowledge and experience and knew it was time to take the leap,” she said.
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Currently, they are a swimwear-only brand, but Liem told us that the future might hold more possibilities for them.
They have three bathing suit colours being offered so far: dark green, brown, and creme.
“Our bikinis are made with adjustable bands. This is our signature style and I’ve never seen it done before in swimwear. Making such a unique swimwear design really allowed me to create a strong brand identity, and channel what I truly care about which is comfort and flattery in fashionable swimwear,” she said.
She also said she created her business and products with the harshest critic and consumer overseeing everything – herself.
“I know what I want in a bikini, and I know it’s hard to find. I have a passion for creating fashionable swimwear that flatters women’s bodies.
On top of this, CECE is committed to minimizing its footprint and has low-waste policies and processes.
“We use recyclable & compostable materials through our operations and reusable bags for all of our orders. It’s also important to us to be able to give back, and so we have and will continue to feature important issues and donate to local groups that are creating positive change.”
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For Liem, it’s equally important to create a brand that stands for something because it will “motivate you to work harder and want success that much more.”
“Ultimately, my business stands for things that many people believe strongly in. If you are searching for a female-owned, Vancouver-founded swimwear brand that believes in minimizing its footprint, advocating for women’s confidence, and supporting many other important causes, you’ve found it.”