An Interview with Seafolly Designer Genelle Walkom

Seafolly epitomizes Australia’s beach lifestyle with its fashion focused swimwear. It’s been a staple on Australian beaches for 35 years. Swimco interviews Seafolly Designer Genelle Walkom to get a closer look into the heart of the brand, and what it takes to design Seafolly’s beautiful, well-fitting swimwear.

What is your process for designing a swimsuit?

The first step is understanding your customers’ needs. Seafolly has many different types of customers and I really try to understand what works for each of them in a swimsuit, be it a young mum at the beach running after her kids, or a full-busted woman needing extra support.

What do you use for inspiration when designing?

My inspiration is the Australian lifestyle. Its vibrant and busy beach life and its ever-changing colours always inspire me. Living by the beach, you see something new every day.

How do different body types factor into the creation of various styles?

Seafolly strives to design styles to suit all body types, which is why we developed Separates. It’s really the building block of each new Seafolly range.

How do you design swimwear for all women, not just a runway model body type?

I incorporate fashion and style with each design, but functionality is also very important.

What is your impression of the Canadian swimwear market?

It’s very similar to Australia even though the summer temperatures can differ greatly. I think the Canadian customer is very similar too. She is active, confident, and wants to “use” her swimsuit… not just look good laying by the pool.

How do you infuse the Australian beach culture into your designs in a way that appeals to an international market?

The Australian beach culture influences every story and style that Seafolly produces. Its colours and prints have a different spin to what you see in a European or American swimwear range. They are cleaner and brighter and have a sense of fun. We don’t take things too seriously, and this reflects in our approach to designing swimwear.

What do you love the most about being a Designer in the swimwear industry?

A swimwear Designer needs to know how to make a great-fitting garment with very little fabric. Designing swimwear can be very rewarding, but it takes a lot of hard work. I love making women feel confident and happy on holiday, and my job takes me to the most beautiful beaches in the world.

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