Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Somewhere between the ages of 13 to 40, some women fall into a tendency of changing body types, making them worry about exposing some skin at the beach. To some, they face the age old dilemma on what swimwear they can pull off with their body type. Different styles look good on different body shapes. A lot of effort and thinking go into the process of choosing the right piece for you. We rely on trusty mirrors to decide what looks good on us, like any stylist would.
“The fit might look right in front of the mirror. But there are certain things mirrors can’t tell such as the quality and durability of each swimsuit,” explains Clarabelle Luz Roque, beach lover and co-owner of the newest swimwear brand Celine & Belle.
Celine Uy, the other half of the brand, adds, “Appearance, design, and cut are, of course, the most compelling factors in selecting swimsuits. Functionality is another one. However, shoppers must also pay attention to swimwear fabric. There are pieces which you can only wear once after losing them to chlorine degradation or tattered stitches. Some of them become too loose after one wash. Worse, the colors spatter on the fabric, ruining the whole pattern and design. Sun worshippers like Belle and myself really go for long-lasting swimsuits.”

“But good quality pieces don’t necessarily have to be expensive,” Belle clarifies. “However, there are only few affordable ones in the market and they are not as easy to spot. This constant dilemma led us to this venture of putting up our own line of swimwear.”

July 2012 saw these two young entrepreneurs teaming up with their Manila-based friend, Sebastian, who helped them with sketches and in finding suppliers who sell the right fabric. “He had the talent in drawing and he knew a lot of manufacturers. He understood the look we had in mind for each design. Being women, we knew what cuts right for each body type. There are certain areas which we opt to either conceal or reveal. Sebastian was quick to act on our ideas.”

Celine recalls the challenge they faced in scouting for fabric and suppliers. “We really invested a lot in fabric and production. We didn’t want to sacrifice the quality of our product. We spent a lot in quick-dry fabric and pads. We’re very meticulous in checking how the stitches are done and the way the fabric are cut. We’re also very particular when it comes to lining. I noticed some swimsuits in the market don’t have even have lining for the bottom piece. It made me feel naked and uncomfortable to walk around the beach after I got out of the water.”

Celine & Belle Swimwear was launched online in November 2012. Sales boomed fast even just within the first month. Orders came in bulk from here and around the globe. To date, they have already sold close to 500 pieces, and more orders are coming in.


“We never knew it would be such a hit especially with the lack of venue where buyers can check the products for real. I mean, the big difference with our brand is, mainly, the quality and material. Who can tell such by a photo posted online? Clients said the designs made our brand stand out from the rest which are readily available in the malls. This came as a compliment for us since both Celine and myself don’t have any background in fashion design nor did we take art as a major in college. We’re just regular girls who are addicted to fashion.”

Celine takes it from the perspective of a modern woman. “We can’t deny that women try not to repeat the same outfit even for different locations and occasions. This goes the same for beach wear. To make our products more wearable, we made sure that these can be used in different ways and some are even reversible. Our one piece suits can be worn as halter or strapless. We have reversible and seamless 2-piece bikinis with varied cuts and designs. All these you can mix and match or wear however you want to. No one would know you’re wearing the same piece from your previous beach getaway. We also don’t produce a lot for each design. No one would want to bump into hundreds of clones roaming around town.”
Belle adds, “We used a bit of magic in how we added details and layering, just to make sure they flatter the waist and the body areas that deserve attention and focus. The one-piece suit is actually one of our best-sellers. The structure cinches the waist and hides unwanted bulges. This is perfect even for the slim and slender. The cut is sexy enough even without revealing too much skin --- which keeps the look more interesting.”
Check out on Facebook for orders and more product updates.
Story publsihed on my newspaper column, Metro Mom.
A1, INdulge section, Edge Davao, Vol 6 Issue, 20 March 2013


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home