There are few articles of clothing that convey a sense of emotional gravity like a swimsuit: it is at once the most empowering, most exposing, and wholly unique piece in your closet. The myriad of reactions that a swimsuit yields is truly radical; it is the double-edged sword of clothing design, capable of fortifying the most confident women while shaming the most insecure. With this in mind, to champion the freedom and self-assurance of the swimsuit without examining the concurrent vulnerabilities and struggles would be to undermine the very magnitude of the design — it is only because of the revealing fit, and subsequent defeat of the anxieties that come from the exposing design, that the swimsuit becomes an emblem of self-acceptance and triumph.
To consider the modern vulnerabilities associated with swimwear, let’s retrace our steps a bit. Historically, the swimsuit has always been a sort of mascot for revolutionary fashion trends. Take the arrest of Annette Kellerman in 1907, for example: after visiting the beach with a swimsuit that revealed her arms, legs, and neck (a design comparable to men’s swimsuits of the time), Kellerman was arrested for indecent exposure. Later on, she altered the design to incorporate more fabric along the arms, legs, and collar, but maintained the form-fitting shape.
This one-piece became known as the “Annette Kellerman,” and indirectly set the stage for the fashion culture of the future: embracing the exposing design of a swimsuit symbolized a certain fearlessness that is timeless and pertinent to all facets of fashion — however, the swimwear industry demands risk-taking in the form of exposure and personal confidence. In this way, wearing a swimsuit is more personal, more precarious, and entirely more vulnerable. Your body becomes an integral piece of the look. You literally have more skin in the game.
So, what are we getting at here? As a swimwear company, we feel that it is important to recognize the effort and complexity of wearing a swimsuit, and instigate an honest dialogue of vulnerability and risk. We are a Monarch Reign family, and we are only as loud as our quietest member; we cannot celebrate confidence without listening to the insecure.We want to remember Annette Kellerman, not only for her innovative swimsuit design, but for her commitment to individualism and confidence— in the same vein, we wear our swimsuits not only for the beauty and quality, but for the women and empowerment that we represent.