Regardless of whether you live for embellishments and prints or ascribe to a simple style aesthetic, a well-cut swimsuit is something all fashion camps can get behind. While there's a time and place for a flamboyant bikini bedecked in ruffles or crafted in crochet (bachelorette party, perhaps?), nothing beats a suit from a minimalist swimsuit brand that's versatile, timeless, and reliable. It's important to note that a pared-back one-piece or bikini does not equate to a lack of personality. Au contraire! Reaching for swimwear that's imbued with sleek minimalism can create an overall aesthetic of confidence and ease, something that's worthy of repeating swim after swim.
If your bikini collection is lacking, it's a suitable time of year to consider a staple swim investment — something that will last for years of beach visits. Ahead, hear directly from 18 of the best minimalist swimwear brands of 2021 for all the reasons why a classic swimsuit is a worthy addition to anyone's closet. Australian sustainability leaders and Los Angeles creatives who nod to '90s icons all have an idea for how best to streamline your swim collection. Brush up on the names to know and shop your favorite suits to ensure you're ready to go when a summer splash is within arm's reach. Oh, and don't forget the sunscreen!
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Minimalist Swimsuit Brands: Hunza G
Hunza G is a sustainable British swimwear brand that’s known for its classic silhouettes and refreshing color palette. “A lot of inspiration [for the current collection] was taken from Muralla Roja and other Spanish architecture,” Creative Director Georgiana Huddart shares. “The colors are really bright and uplifting but tonal, so pistachios, dusty pinks, lavender, and emerald tones. Nothing neon but still colorful.”
The swimwear is crafted in an innovative stretch fabrication that allows a one-size offering (the pieces fit UK sizes 6 to 14). “The one size fit is very helpful in regards to sustainability as we are left with no stock so there is zero wastage,” she says. “It's all produced in the UK and we have just become carbon neutral, which is very exciting.”
Minimalist Swimsuit Brands: Vince x Nu Swim
Two minimalist hero brands — Vince and Nu Swim — collaborated this year for a swimwear collection that doesn’t disappoint. “The silhouettes are simple and offer a nice balance between more and slightly less coverage,” Vince Creative Director Caroline Belhumeur says. “Our exclusive colors bring that warm, neutral Vince vibe in Trench and Mineral; both very wearable, but also tones not often seen in swimwear.”
The Italian-made fabric is 78% recycled polyamide and the size offering starts at XS and goes to 2XL. “The simplicity of design and ease in structure is why we are in love with Nu Swim,” she says. “There’s no unnecessary hardware or complicated fastenings. These are pieces that have relevance through different phases and occasions of life beyond swim.”
Minimalist Swimsuit Brands: Araks
Araks is a cult favorite for any minimalist and the brand has three new swim shapes you should know about. “Our new silhouettes feature soft gathers, knotted straps, and our take on the classic string bikini,” Founder Araks Yeramyan says. "The palette takes its cues from mid-80s Esprit, Memphis Style, and southern California. It evokes a pre-pandemic joie de vivre that we’re very excited to get back to.”
“I believe that beauty exists in the vast differences we all have to offer,” Yeramyan adds. “We strive to create a variety of silhouettes so women can find a suit that is perfect for them.” The swimwear collection is produced in New York City and whenever possible, they work with fabrics made from ECONYL® fiber.
Minimalist Swimsuit Brands: ERES
Luxury swimwear and lingerie label ERES is a staple for beautifully crafted, pared-back swim. “Inspired by the colors found in the Moroccan desert, the current collection is bohemian and sophisticated,” Eres Communication Director Philippine Meites says. “Our signature peau douce fabric is seen in an array of vibrant hues ranging from cobalt and orange to soft shades of pink and cream.” Eres is known for its signature one-pieces and string bikinis, but the brand has also introduced a few new styles.
“Since the first ERES swimwear collection, we have continued to create styles that are meant to last season after season, always timeless and understated,” Meites notes. “Made of fabrics from Italy and Paris, every piece is created to [act] as a second skin.”
Minimalist Swimsuit Brands: Inez Valentine
Inez Valentine co-founders Bianca Ubeda and Rocco Valentine launched their NYC-based sustainable swimwear label in the middle of the pandemic — no easy feat. And yet, they’ve quickly solidified their positioning as an emerging label to watch. “Elevated style, high-quality sustainable fabrics, and inclusivity are at the center of our brand,” Ubeda says. “We always have the minimal woman on the go in mind while designing each piece, with subtle details that will elevate your style.”
On the sustainability front, they both aim to deliver a fresh perspective. “Our eco-friendly fabric is comprised of 26% regenerated high CLO spandex & 74% polyester made from Recycled PET, which is regenerated plastic water bottles found in the ocean and landfills all over the world,” Valentine says. “These bottles are given a second life by being transformed into yarn and then woven into our beautiful fabric. Even down to our mailers, garment bags, and liners are recyclable and biodegradable.”
Minimalist Swimsuit Brands: Anemos Swim
Anemos is an LA-based swim and resort brand founded by California natives Lauren Arapage and Joshua Shaub. “This season’s swimwear features the clean lines and '90s inspiration now signature to our brand while paying homage to ’70s icons, including Jane Birkin (The Jane Bikini Top) and Brigitte Bardot (The Brigitte Underwire Bikini Top),” Arapage says. The inspiration behind the spring collection is also inspired by the clean lines of Donald Wexler’s architecture, the Greek island of Kefalonia, and the striped beach furniture lining the French Riviera. “It unites references from different corners of the globe — and decades — to create a modern uniform perfect for this season and beyond.”
Shaub adds, “All of our fabric suppliers are OKEO Step (Sustainable Textile Production) certified which ensures the implementation of environmentally friendly production processes and safe and socially acceptable working conditions in production facilities along the textile chain.” He offers several examples of fabrics that Anemos crafts with, including Sensitive® Fabrics, Amni Soul Eco® (the world's first biodegradable polyamide yarn), and Japanese and Turkish Cupro for their ready-to-wear pieces as a sustainable alternative to silk.
Minimalist Swimsuit Brands: Saint Somebody
Saint Somebody is a size-inclusive swimwear brand founded by Sophie Henderson-Smart and based in Australia. “Saint Somebody was created on the sole idea to include a significant number of women who have otherwise been ignored or given mediocre options,” she explains. “The average size woman is a curvy woman — there are so many of us. However, when it comes to fit we are not ‘seen’ by the fashion industry. We want women size 8-20 to have luxury swim and resortwear options that are designed to make them look and feel confident and beautiful.”
For spring, Henderson-Smart’s collection was inspired by the Greek islands. “This season, we’ve released new styles in a beautiful electric blue and textured white fabric reminiscent of that typical dreamy Greek island landscape,” she says. “The silhouettes are modern, square-neck with some tie-up details.”
Minimalist Swimsuit Brands: LACAUSA
LACAUSA’s laidback sensibilities are what draws minimalists to the Los Angeles-based brand, which is why its swimwear collection is worth adding to your collection. "For our Endless Summer collection, we wanted to go super timeless with our colors and silhouettes,” LACAUSA’s Creative and Digital Director Kelynn Smith says. "Cherry, Emerald, Zephyr, and Tar feel like really classic swimwear colors and have a bit of a vintage feel while the suits themselves are universal and flattering for different body types.”
The brand sets responsibility goals for itself each year and has most recently been moving into more recycled or organic fabrics. “We’ve also gotten rid of all virgin plastics in our packaging,” she says. “For swim especially, we made sure to use only certified recycled fabrics.”
Minimalist Swimsuit Brands: Hakea Swim
Australian swim and surf brand Hakea Swim, designed by Casey Eastwell, is equal parts functional and fashion-forward. "Hakea is about simple elegance, swim and surfwear designed to bring ease and simplicity into everyday living,” Eastwell says. “We want the brand to be a platform that supports women, both with designs sampled on all body shapes and as an inclusive community featuring inspirational women living a life on their terms.” The brand recently extended its size range to include XS to XXL.
“The color palette features earthy browns, mustard, and blue inspired by desert landscapes near and far,” she says. “Evoking the feeling of vast open spaces, clear blue skies, and a hot sun beating down onto the land.” Hakea Swim crafts with recycled materials and ships with biodegradable packaging. They are also partnered with 1% For the Planet and donate 1% of every sale to conserve and preserve natural spaces.
Minimalist Swimsuit Brands: Lokiki
Lokiki co-founders Jen Dwin and Jen DeLory turned to the elemental nature of shapes for the brand’s spring collection. “The simplicity of the circle and the square is the main inspiration for this season’s silhouettes,” Dwin says. “The color palette is quite minimalist, grounded by our signature ivory and black with the addition of a cool slate grey and a custom graphic floral print.”
DeLory adds, “We also produce our swimsuits in small batches in a factory right here in NYC to reduce our carbon footprint.” The two suggest styling their swim separates with wardrobe staples, like vintage denim “for a chic, pared-down look on and off the beach.”
Minimalist Swimsuit Brands: Léa the Label
Léa the Label’s recent collection was inspired by the hues of the Greek waters and the novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres. “The plot took place on Myrtos beach in Kefalonia, where I had the pleasure of traveling to just a few years back,” Founder Lea Daaboul shares. “Our classic palettes and meticulous designs provide a diverse range of silhouettes to encourage mixing and matching, making our elegant swimwear last for seasons on end.”
All of Léa the Label’s swimwear is crafted from luxury and eco-friendly Italian fabrics. “All of the swim fabrics are constructed from post and pre-consumer waste such as fishing nets, fluff, industrial plastic, and yarn discards that are collected by coastal communities across the world and made into the ECONYL® yarns,” she shares.
Minimalist Swimsuit Brands: JADE Swim
JADE Swim is a staple label amongst the minimalist set. “I believe in less is more, my personal style is minimal and you can see that in JADE, it’s the ethos of the brand,” founder Brittany Kozerski says. Classic with an edge, high-quality, well-cut, clean and minimal swimwear is how she describes the brand. “Our customer can style and accessorize her swim to fit her personality and it will look completely different than the next girl. Our pieces seamlessly integrate into her closet.” Her summer collection offers a palette of strong colors like Lava (Red), Lapis (Royal Blue), Nectar (Hot Orange) while also continuing the assortments of pastels, like lilac and light yellow.
Sustainability is also a major focus for the brand. “From the start of the company, we have made the majority of our collections with recycled and Oeko Tex certified fabrics,” she says. “We also have conscious production, all products are made in the USA at a factory our team visits almost daily, ensuring that various initiatives are continued to be followed such as upcycling fabric scraps, working with local trim vendors, and limited production runs with all retailer orders made to order instead of mass-produced.” All e-comm and wholesale orders are shipped in 100% recycled plastic or biodegradable bags and recycled boxes.
Minimalist Swimsuit Brands: Clem Swimwear
Designer J’Lysa Wilson founded Clem Swimwear in 2016, a brand that provides unique, size-inclusive swim. “As an ethnic woman and curvy girl, I often felt like many brands did not consider me when designing. So now that I am designing for other women, I make it my priority to think of women of all shapes and sizes,” she shares. “Being a woman is so powerful and I always want to represent all women. Clem Swimwear strives to break stereotypical beauty standards when it comes to inclusivity of body styles as well as race.”
Wilson tends to focus on color, keeping silhouettes simple. “I love designing minimal because it’s so transformative, but I do believe our metallic colors or color-blocked swimwear pieces are what separates us from other minimalistic swimwear designers,” she observes. “I’m a person who believes style is what you make it. For the woman who wants a summer staple, like a white one-piece, you can still find that minimal piece with Clem Swimwear but I always try to shy away from simple earth tones. There are so many brands that offer just neutral colors.”
Minimalist Swimsuit Brands: Matthew Bruch
Having launched his namesake brand just last year, Matthew Bruch has already made a big splash in the industry, so to speak. “Our 2021 swim offering takes cues from ‘90s high-cut silhouettes that are sexy yet sophisticated,” he shares. “In keeping with the ‘90s minimal mindset, the color palette is in a range of neutrals that we color block to keep the simple shapes exciting.”
His decision to steer toward more minimal is, in part, due to a market that’s been saturated with ruffles and prints in recent years. “We design our RTW and swimwear collection with versatility in mind,” he says. “Our swim is offered in supple rib knits and a scuba fabrication that can also be worn as bodysuits, crop tops, and bralettes. This versatility not only lends itself to a more minimal mindset and closet but is also sustainable as the pieces have more than one use.”
Minimalist Swimsuit Brands: Lido
Hailing from Venice, Italy, Lido is a swimwear, activewear, and lifestyle label that is produced in northern Italy and uses high quality, sustainable, and whenever possible, recycled fabrics from the best Italian mills. “Lido is the swimsuit for the everyday holiday attire. It’s simple, effortless and practical,” Founder Daria Stankiewicz says. “Our current collection mostly features basic swim ‘archetypes’ such as the triangle bikini or the cross back one piece in colors like Navy Blue, Ivory, and Terracotta. Classic and timeless silhouettes in neutral tones.”
In addition to working with recycled fabrics, Lido also teams up with artisanal producers that share an interest in reducing waste and chemicals. “We don’t use any plastic in our packaging and deeply believe that the only way to pollute less is by consuming less.”
Minimalist Swimsuit Brands: Bondi Born
Bondi Born is an Australian label that’s well-known for its minimalist silhouettes crafted in quality fabrics. “The inspiration for our current collection is drawn from nature,” Founder Dale McCarthy shares. The Nacre collection resembles the colors inside of Mother of Pearl shells, pearlescent neutrals, and sugary pastels. The entire collection is made using their base cloth Sculpteur.™, which is engineered in Italy. “It’s technically advanced and delivers superior performance on the body,” McCarthy adds. “It smooths, sculpts, and above all else — supports.”
Bondi Born is a Certified B Corp and built sustainability into every decision of the brand. “Our swim fabrics have five eco certifications, for our apparel we prefer natural fibers like linen and organic cotton from Japan and Europe,” she says. “Our hygiene labels and shipping satchels are made from biodegradable cornflour and we only order as much fabric as we need for production, [so as to] minimize waste and use up our deadstock fabrics in future seasons.” They also plant a tree for every order received through their websites to offset the carbon of shipping it.
Minimalist Swimsuit Brands: Salomé
Salomé is a sustainably sourced, ethically made swimwear brand based in New York and founded by Sheyla De los Santos. “We are Dominican-owned, made by women in the Dominican Republic, and focus on body positivity and women’s empowerment,” Santos says. “My current collection is inspired by the Taínos who were the indigenous people of Ayiti (the name given by the Taínos to the island now known as Hispaniola, and shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Their inspiration is felt through every part of this collection, from the designs to the names and even the location I chose to shoot the campaign.”
All of the fabric used is made from Econyl regenerated nylon. “I also produce my swimwear in very small quantities and with very limited waste,” she says. “For this collection, I introduced cover-ups that are made from 100% Tencel fabric, which is made from the wood pulp of trees using earth-friendly solvents in a closed-loop production process. The trees used to make Tencel are from sustainably harvested forests.”
Minimalist Swimsuit Brands: Mello the Label
Mello the Label is a swim line inspired by family pictures of Rio de Janeiro circa the 1980s. “Materialized treasures reflective of my heritage,” Founder and Designer Cindy Mello shares of her inspiration. “The color palette for the current collection was taken from the main prints seen in the collection (Rio and Sol) and from memories of the Brazilian sunset and the scenic landscapes of the Brazilian countryside.” The brand offers a range of solid-colored suits in its signature fabric, including sunset orange. “[The orange] has a more subdued and vintage feel and rich brown tan, which is reminiscent of the soil in the Brazilian countryside.”