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9 Bomb AF Black-Owned Swimwear Brands

Style

Spring has sprung and we could not be more excited about the warmer temperatures. So much so that we are already envisioning our summer vacation days full of tropical drinks and perfect sunsets. During this time of year, you are sure to receive an influx of invites to pool parties, day parties and any occasion that calls for you sipping on a margarita.

While we are in the gym working hard to get our summer bodies ready, we wanted to provide some serious swimwear inspo. Of course, there's some added joy since all of these swimwear looks were created and owned by people of the melanated persuasion. Check out the brands made for us by us below!

1.RUE 107

This brand is all about women who dare to make a statement. The more amazing feature is the creative spirit behind the brand who happens to be a black girl with all the magic, Mary Jean-Baptiste. The goal is to provide looks that are jubilant and expressive.

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2.Andrea Iyamah Swim

Inspired by color and ethnic cultures, each design is crafted in the hopes of telling a story. Andrea Iyamah Swim is not confined within borders as they strive to sell ethnicity with a twist.

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3.Avid Swim

You definitely need Avid Swim in your life. Mostly because each piece can be worn separately. Since its inception, Avid Swim has been shown at New York Fashion Week and seen in major publications like Vogue, Allure and Marie Claire.

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4.NAKIMULI

Designer and owner, Tennille McMillan, grew up as the "unique girl." She transformed her uniqueness into a brand that promotes becoming your own trendsetter.

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5.BFyne Swimwear

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After searching for a one of a kind swimsuit, Buki Ade wanted to create culturally inclusive clothing for unforgettable vacations.

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6.GabiFresh x Swim For All

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Swimsuits For All is dedicated to accessibility. Gabi Fresh has been the face of body positivity for years. Her collection is innovative and fearless. What more could you ask for!

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7.Mint Swim

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We know you have seen Draya Michele's Mint Swim collection all over your Instagram feed. It's time you stop scrolling and start shopping! The entrepreneur's goal was to ensure women feel sexy by accentuating all of her curves.

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8.Ashanti Swimwear

This Ghanian family-owned business is everything and we love that they are dedicated to excellence.

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9.Diarrablu Swim

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Senegalese beauty, Diarra Bousso, left her job on Wall Street as a bond trader to pursue her love for art and design. As a strong activist for the global celebration of African art and craftsmanship, Bousso created Diarrablu Swim. This contemporary womenswear lifestyle label was made for women of color.

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You have no excuse not to support these collections. Which one was your favorite?

Black Women, We Deserve More

When the NYT posted an article this week about the recent marriage of a Black woman VP of a multi-billion-dollar company and a Black man who took her on a first date at the parking lot of a Popeyes, the reaction on social media was swift and polarizing. The two met on Hinge and had their parking lot rendezvous after he’d canceled their first two dates. When the groom posted a photo from their wedding on social media, he bragged about how he never had “pressure” to take her on “any fancy dates or expensive restaurants.”

It’s worth reading on your own to get the full breadth of all the foolery that transpired. But the Twitter discourse it inspired on what could lead a successful Black woman to accept lower than bare minimum in pursuit of a relationship and marriage, made me think of the years of messaging that Black women receive about how our standards are too high and what we have to “bring to the table” in order to be "worthy" of what society has deemed is the ultimate showing of our worth: a marriage to a man.

That's right, the first pandemic I lived through was not Covid, but the pandemic of the Black male relationship expert. I was young – thirteen to be exact – when Steve Harvey published his best-selling book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Though he was still just a stand-up comedian, oversized suit hoarder, and man on his third marriage at the time, his relationship advice was taken as the gospel truth.

The 2000s were a particularly bleak time to be a single Black woman. Much of the messaging –created by men – that surrounded Black women at the time blamed their desire for a successful career and for a partner that matched their drive and ambition for the lack of romance in their life. Statistics about Black women’s marriageability were always wielded against Black women as evidence of our lack of desirability.

It’s no wonder then that a man that donned a box cut well into the 2000s was able to convince women across the nation to not have sex for the first three months of a relationship. Or that a slew of other Black men had their go at telling Black women that they’re not good enough and why their book, seminar, or show will be the thing that makes them worthy of a Good Man™.

This is how we end up marrying men who cancel twice before taking us on a “date” in the Popeyes parking lot, or husbands writing social media posts about how their Black wife is not “the most beautiful” or “the most intelligent” or the latest season of trauma dumping known as Black Love on OWN.

Now that I’ve reached my late twenties, many things about how Black women approach dating and relationships have changed and many things have remained the same. For many Black women, the idea of chronic singleness is not the threat that it used to be. Wanting romance doesn’t exist in a way that threatens to undermine the other relationships we have with our friends, family, and ourselves as it once did, or at least once was presented to us. There is a version of life many of us are embracing where a man not wanting us, is not the end of what could still be fruitful and vibrant life.

There are still Black women out there however who have yet to unlearn the toxic ideals that have been projected onto us about our worthiness in relation to our intimate lives. I see it all the time online. The absolute humiliation and disrespect some Black women are willing to stomach in the name of being partnered. The hoops that some Black women are willing to jump through just to receive whatever lies beneath the bare minimum.

It's worth remembering that there are different forces at play that gather to make Black women feast off the scraps we are given. A world saturated by colorism, fatphobia, anti-Blackness, ableism, and classism will always punish Black women who demand more for themselves. Dismantling these systems also means divesting from any and everything that makes us question our worth.

Because truth be told, Black women are more than worthy of having a love that is built on mutual respect and admiration. A love that is honey sweet and radiates a light that rivals the sun. A love that is a steadying calming force that doesn’t bring confusion or anxiety. Black women deserve a love that is worthy of the prize that we are.

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