A behind the scenes look at our new Bird Swim with our very own swim designer… who also styled swim… and absolutely loves the ocean and all things swimming.

Nelle takes the mic:


What's different about Bird Swim fabric?

We have used the same swim fabric, from one Italian mill, since we first launched our Bird Swim collection back in 2014. Once we found the ideal fabric, we stuck with it! This fabric is so special because it is strong, but never clingy. It provides excellent coverage on the body, and is made to move! The fabric is chlorine resistant and retains its elasticity so you don't have to worry about your suit ever losing its shape. All three colors (Black, Big Blue, and the Trevi Print) of the Swim 2018 collection have a UV protection rating of 50+. 

A few very exciting updates made in Swim 2018:

  • Sourcing. The entire swim line is made in Los Angeles, CA!
  • Design. Rather than two layers of body fabric, the inner layer has been replaced with lightweight performance knit. While the two layers of body fabric gave the swim a strong, double whammy of protection, we found that our swim fit better, felt better, and dried faster with a lightweight liner on the inside. This change doesn't impact our swim's performance, one layer of our Italian swim fabric is performance ready on its own!
  • Details. Our waistbands have been updated. The thinner, improved elastic allows waistbands to stay put without digging in.

treviprint.pngUltimate track fan and runner, Adriana, showing off the Trevi Print.

What's the story behind the print?

We work with independent designers who specialize in creating one-of-a-kind prints. We were looking for something that captured the fluidity of swim, and when I saw the "Trevi" print, I knew we had to have it in the line. The artwork reminds me of water after dark when bits of light hit ripples and you can see endless colors reflect off of the darkness. I named the print after the Trevi fountain in Rome, Italy which honors Neptune, the god of the sea. 


How do you plan to wear swim?

We designed this collection of swim with the intention that every piece could be mixed and matched. No two pieces were specifically designed to wear together, they all work! My favorite thing about this line is that every separate top and bottom offer different levels of coverage. Every woman's body is so different. We wanted a collection that celebrated those differences, as well as our mantra at Oiselle: "The only thing you need to do to get a bikini body is to put a bikini on your body." 

Or go one-piece! I plan on wearing the one piece in Big Blue all summer long. It has a really flattering back cut that actually stays put - no dreaded gaping at the side boob! 

blue_swim.pngFormer Long Beach State Heptathlete (current triathlete) Sara Macey.

How long did it take to develop the collection? When did it start?

Oh man... I've been dreaming of this collection since before I even started at Oiselle! When I interviewed with Sally back in 2014, I brought a little collection of swim that I designed specifically with Oiselle in mind. I definitely pulled ideas from that notebook. 

We officially started designing this collection over a year ago. Designing was the fastest part. Making sure that the fit on every single piece was perfected over many iterations of samples is what took the most time.


What was it like to model your own designs?

It felt great to be involved on that level, because I could hear the other women putting on suits and say things like "I want this one!" and "I love this print..."

I also styled this shoot on location in LA, it was a crazy, fun day! But wearing the hats of stylist, model, and designer all at once made me super aware of how the other women felt in the suits; what size, what silhouette, and what colors they felt worked best for them. That's my favorite part. That, and jumping into the Pacific Ocean as the shoot wrapped. 

swim_ocean.pngFrom heptathlons, to steeplechase, to triathlons - this was one impressive group of swim models. 

Dream vacation... where do you plan to take and use Bird Swim?

In my dreams, I always go for a beach in Hawaii. Always and forever an ocean lover. No pools for me!



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Allyson Ely