OLD Swim’s founder Tiffany Asamoah describes the brand’s aesthetic as “elevated, timeless and versatile.” Their mission is to empower you for your lifestyle in and out of the water.
She views taking her own design path as an outflow of knowing her own worth and value. “Monochromatic styles and exclusive, trendy fabric that will not last are not what I want to be part of,” Asamoah says. Instead, her goal is to create curated pieces that look like art and are well-made enough to last for years and stay in style. She gets inspiration for her designs from her love of couture fashion, functional garments, and timeless style.
BOLD values quality products, planning their designs for fit, comfort, and versatility. Intentionally marketing to women with more natural, curvy bodies who might feel awkward shopping for swimwear, Asamoah started the inclusive swimwear movement before it became a trend. She herself had a negative experience shopping for a swimsuit and wanted to make sure that did not happen to anyone else.
Asamoah makes her swimwear with Amni Soul Eco, a biodegradable yarn that disintegrates easily in the landfill. However, it won’t come apart while you’re wearing it, because it requires special conditions without oxygen to disintegrate. They also use recycled materials in all their packaging (and ask their vendors to do the same), offer cruelty-free, vegan, and organic skincare products, and plant trees as a carbon offset.
When asked about how she makes her products affordable while using eco-friendly fabric, she points out that clothing affordability is relative.
“I love this question! Sustainability has its challenges and often gets a bad rap for being expensive. We’ve been taught to follow sales, discounts, etcetera. Some people will spend on known brands regardless of value but will not spend the same on a better-fitting garment. And as our values change we’ll see that we’ll have to buy a five-dollar shirt over and over, adding up to maybe two-hundred dollars, when we could have purchased a fifty-dollar or a one-hundred-fifty-dollar top with better quality that would last.”
Asamoah comments that as you mature, you tend to keep a curated closet of the essential pieces in your wardrobe that never go out of style. She wanted to mimic this as part of her aesthetic and her efforts towards sustainability.
Sustainable designers often purchase materials in low quantities and rely on presale to make it affordable to bring designs to life. This helps keep tight control on supply and demand while ensuring responsiveness to customers.
Asamoah sells BOLD swimwear at BOLDSwim.com and at a variety of stores, which currently include Sense of Shelf, Fox Holt, reFIND Shopping, Storeyline, Made Trade, and Done Good.
In the near future, she’s developing the 2022 e-Look Book Collection, which will include more versatile styles, more lingerie, and more skincare products. BOLD’s skincare products are already selling out quickly and earning five-star reviews.
Asamoah says her business is an ongoing journey, not a destination. “We’ve got a great mission and vision, but we still rely on [people having] disposable income, being in social settings for which they want to dress nicely, and travel to where people wear swimwear.”
All of these factors were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Still, BOLD Swim navigated and survived through intentional planning and taking advantage of downtime to rethink priorities, communicate, and tighten and highlight business values.
“Also, the African-American community had one of the biggest civil rights movements during Covid-19. So there was also a lot of awareness encouraging people to support Black-owned businesses.”