It may be four months since the official launch event celebrating her debut swimwear collection, but Swarnaa Rajalingam is about to make her biggest splash yet.
The Sydney-based content creator is taking Swana The Label overseas, showcasing the line of sustainable, size-inclusive swimsuits at Miami Swim Week in July. Global fashion's elite flock to the prestigious event every year, where various designers and their collections set the tone for the next season. Swana The Label will be serving up to 16 unique looks on the runway, with content creators Deyakannesha and Apeenaiyah locked in as two of the models for the show. Attendees can expect to see a combination of one-piece swimsuits and bikinis that vary in cuts, with the collection as a whole going up to a 4XL in size range.
Swarnaa's goal is to not only showcase South Asian-inspired prints, but to also help normalise brown women feeling confident in swimwear – whether that's on the runway or in their own backyard pool.
"The swimwear category is heavily underrepresented by women of colour, especially from South East Asian countries. So to have a brand inspired by the roots of South East Asia, and a brand founded by a Tamil such as myself is huge," Swarnaa told Draw Your Box.
"Our brand continues to strive to be inclusive, cater to different body types and modesty levels. Miami Swim Week is a global platform and to take this kind of representation to a platform of this scale is monumental."
Swarnaa's had her sights firmly set on Miami Swim Week after spotting a South Asian woman walking at the event previously.
"Watching her was so powerful for me because I saw myself in her. Her skin, her hyperpigmentation and all. I felt seen," said the entrepreneur.
After reaching out to this model on social media, the pair connected and the model referred Swarnaa to the operations manager of Miami Swim Week. It's no surprise that Swarnaa's brand pitch blew organisers away. "One thing led to another and here we are," she said.
With an eye for detail and a constant hands-on approach, Swarnaa's considered every aspect required in preparation for Miami Swim Week.
"Behind the scenes, we have been preparing our official website launch, organising our samples for the show, working out our music tracks and visual assets, finalising our look books and locking in brand partners interested in working with us for the show," she said.
Ensuring other South Asian creatives are involved in the process, she's released a stunning video captured by Intention Studios, which features her and several South Asian women wearing the pieces.
As she had noted in her previous interview with us back in February, creating this swimwear label was about helping women connect with their bodies. Having grown up in a Tamil community in Sydney, she was discouraged from being out in the sun because she would darker. She struggled to embrace Aussie beach culture where she found herself not being able to find swimwear pieces that catered to her body.
"We’re marrying our culture into the prints and we’re creating pieces that celebrate different body types and hopefully empower people to be outdoors enjoying their lives to the fullest,” she said at the time. "We have worked really hard on our pieces to make sure that we’re catering for different concerns such as women wanting a little bit more coverage, or women that have maybe a bigger bust and a smaller waist and find it hard to find pieces that are more supportive."
Swana The Label will be showing at Miami Swim Week on Saturday, July 8.