Minimalist swimwear label by Canadian designer looks at durability for travel

Jul 27 2019, 12:11 am

There are always times throughout the year when you need a reliable bikini or swimsuit on hand. Hitting the beach or spending time by the lake during summer, spa breaks, travelling across Southeast Asia, winter escapes to Mexico, and so forth.

However, it’s not always easy to find swimwear that you can genuinely feel comfortable in, or that you know will stand the test of time. Quite often, chain stores sell swimwear made from flimsy fabric that only last a couple of washes. But who wants to waste their money on that?

Donna Eng, the founder and designer behind Vancouver-based swimwear brand, Babylon Swim, has set out to change this.

 

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The entrepreneur spent four years living and travelling in Europe and North Africa, but it was when she moved back to Vancouver that she realized there was a lack of stylish, affordable, swimsuits available, particularly from local and Canadian retailers (either brick and mortar stores or online).

“It’s just not acceptable to have to wait three weeks for delivery from Australia, and then have to stomach the customs and duty charges on your long-awaited package,” Donna Eng tells Daily Hive.

This, coupled with her travel and life experiences, led Eng to design and produce a line of minimalist bathing suits for the modern woman that merge style, quality, and affordability (Babylon suits range from $47.60 to $68).

 

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Although she loves Vancouver, Eng says she misses the ease of being able to “travel at the drop of a hat, pack everything in 30 minutes, and go,” which she experienced during her time travelling through Europe.

“I really wanted to bring simplicity and optionality to the traveller on the west coast, and inspire her to seek her own adventures,” she adds.

Comfort, feel, durability, and sustainability, are considered by Eng when it comes to deciding on the fabrics used in all swimwear produced by Babylon Swim. In terms of durability, the designer says the brand’s suits are made to “weather the waves from the salty seas off Bali” or “dip in (sometimes harsh) chlorinated swimming pools.”

 

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Eng’s own experience in the retail apparel industry also helps with deciding upon fabrics. “I have always loved the soft and buttery feel of Italian lycra. This led me to pick a blend of 85% polyamide and 15% elastane in neutral, timeless shades that will continue to look and feel amazing for years,” she says.

Conscious of minimizing unnecessary packaging materials used on Babylon Swim orders, Eng says: “I believe our customers want the swimsuit, not a collection of tissue paper and excess tags and bags.”

 

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The Vancouverite explains that she wanted to “strike a fine balance” between style, quality, and affordability, which is why Babylon Swim is aimed at “modern wanderlusts who want to look effortlessly stylish while they gallivant around the world, but do not believe in paying hundreds of dollars for a swimsuit.”

She says Babylon Swim’s “My Way or the High Waist” high-waisted, classic bandeau suit has been a fan favourite this season.

 

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Eng feels that the Vancouver fashion scene is “pretty protected in that a handful of brands have penetrated a majority of the market.” However, she’s proud to be a local designer in her hometown and has a huge amount of respect for other “local designers trying to disrupt this scene, bringing in their own, unique styles.”

 

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Babylon Swim is currently operating online and plans to host pop-up shops this year. See more of the brand’s first collection on Instagram.

 

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