It’s peak swimwear buying season so it’s great when a fresh, new brand hits the market. Enter Hatrik Swim. Sophia Athas is the woman behind the brand and she also happens to be the ultra talented photographer behind the majority of my street style shots. We’ve worked together for a long time and with such a strong aesthetic and creative eye, she’s the ideal person to start up her own label. Here I chat to Sophia about the inspiration behind her designs, starting her own swimwear line and the idea behind the customisation element of her brand.
What inspired you to create a line of swimwear?
My sisters and I grew up in our bikinis, at the beach, surfing with Dad, and the bikini draw more often than not overflowing with options! But while we were in Greece last August, my younger sister had a bralette on at the beach, and I had worn the same black bikini the whole trip, it sparked the idea to create our own. While I don’t have any formal fashion training, I think starting with a niche fashion category like swimwear seemed like an easy option (at the time!!).
Where do you draw your most creative inspiration from? Who inspires you the most?
My family inspires me, with following their own styles and creating trends that aren’t necessarily part of mainstream cycles. I also love looking through vintage fashion magazines, I have a huge stack of Vogue Italia from the 90s, and seeing the supermodels during that era in crazy outlandish swimwear, its epic. I almost wish that the swim we know today would move back into that over the top more haute couture vibe.
How do you best follow trends and the style cycle? Is it a myth is Aussies are always seasons behind?
I think we get the best of both worlds being on the other side of the world down here. There is a sad reality that we receive a lot of the styles and trends last, but I think this buffer can also mean we create our own aesthetic really well. Brands like Zimmerman are undoubtedly the pioneers of resort wear, and ‘capsule’ collections are now on everyone’s design calendar. Following trends is different for everyone, and I’m a creature of habit, so if I love the look of something I’ll wear it until it falls apart. I think like the collection, there are only a few key styles which come in multiple colour-ways, and hopefully there’s room for more down the track!
What is the most fulfilling thing about creating a product for your customers?
I know swimwear is a hugely personal thing for women and girls, and allowing them to feel confident and sexy in only a small amount of lycra is the hardest thing! But when it does happen and you see girls proud to wear their bikinis, whether its at the beach or under a shirt poolside, it is without a doubt the most rewarding feeling.
Some of the pieces in your range allow for an element of customisation. How did this idea come about? And do you think this trend is here to stay?
Everything in the fashion world is becoming more accessible and mass produced on scale. So to have a product that is personalised and unique is by its very nature, special. I think customers like to feel this when investing in a piece, it creates a sense of ‘boutique’ shopping which is often hard to come by when comparing yourself to big brands like Zara and H&M. So yes, I think for now, customisation is only going to keep growing and I’m keen to see what this trend will transform into next!
Shop the collection