Swimwear Fashion That Starts in Winter
25 September, 2013
Swimwear creator Ana Durán explains the design process behind her bathing-suit and bikini collections for next season.
Ana Durán has spent more than 30 years devoted to designing swimwear. This experience allows her to endow her designs with a structure and fit that suit the body of a woman who wants to be comfortable, while still looking fashionable and feeling elegant. “Simplicity, elegance and maximum effort in achieving a good structure define the label’s pieces,” she tells us.
The company that bears her name was established in 1983. Today it is a family business which also employs her son, in charge of the sales department. The company is part of Texgalan, the company dedicated to the production of mainly own-brand lingerie and swimwear.
Ana Durán has left the summer behind her and is now entering her most creative part of the year. During these autumn months she designs the bikinis and swimsuits the firm will market for summer 2015. The whole of the creation process begins more than a year beforehand.
– “Is it hard to think about the bikini designs that will be launched in summer during autumn and winter?”
– “It’s not easy, especially on a rainy day. However, I have to say I like it. It’s my life and it’s what I most enjoy doing. I try to imagine the summer light, a particular pattern on a beach. That’s what allows me to design.”
A slow but sure start
Ana Durán began her career as a designer making bikinis herself. “I would make them out of fabric because there weren’t any elastic textiles back then. I’d pack the designs in a suitcase and cart them around the smaller shops of Barcelona. Later I did the rounds of Madrid and Valencia too, after I’d opened my own studio”.
She used those early days to detect a market segment she would go on to specialise in. Ana talks of a woman who has “reached the age of 30 and is looking for swimwear she feels comfortable in and which isn’t designed only to look good on someone with a perfect figure,” she says. “We make swimwear from a B cup through to an E. We put huge amounts of effort into the structure to ensure a perfect fit and to make a very carefully designed interior bra”.
After designing and creating the prototypes, which she will do at the company’s headquarters in Molins de Rei and which will take up a large part of the final months of this year and the start of 2014, the label’s new collection will begin to be presented to sales representatives and distributors in April and May. “But first we have to spend
time doing the photo sessions and catalogues to present the new collection,”
the designer notes.
During meetings with suppliers and sales forces, which will take place in spring 2014 and that are key to ensuring a good season, the orders are taken and the swimwear made up in the Texgalan workshop in Romania.
“We will be producing next summer’s collection at the same time we are marketing the 2015 one. The clothes are made in Romania, in a Texgalan workshop that allows us to guarantee the quality we want in our pieces,” Ana says. She says that winter is “a very busy” period for a swimwear fashion firm.
Opening new markets
All of this regular activity must be combined with opening new markets. “That’s our most important project right now. We are building a sales network abroad, and that’s no easy task”.
The firm is currently present in three countries: Mexico, Belgium and Italy. Sales to France will begin next season.
Ana had a chance to investigate the French market during summer, when she visited the Parisian trade fair Mode City Paris in July.
This was where she presented the 2014 collection Para el Agua. “The fair went really well; we made good contacts and now we have to hope they will bear fruit over time,” Duran says.
Upcoming international destinations include Russia, Brazil and Chile. “We must look to emerging markets,” says this businesswoman and designer. Although she says it isn’t easy building a sales network on international markets, she appears confident she will get there in the end. “We can’t do everything at once,” she says.
The firm’s future plans don’t end there. Also on the table is the possibility of setting up her own sales outlets. “I’m not ruling it out,” she says, adding, “we have agreements with a number of boutiques to sell only our collections. This allows us to work with a clientele who is faithful to our product. For now it’s working well”.