Summer days in Greece are best spent by the beach in a swimsuit, with a cocktail in hand. It was on a beach in Athens, that the idea of Holyday Swim came to be. Best friends since high school, Yasmine Hottary and Eugenie Radopoulos launched their swimwear brand in 2018, with a goal to design for women focused on quality and sustainability above all else. Every piece is handmade in Greece by local craftsmen, to help support the community.
We've spotted the brand on a recent trip to Greece, and tracked down the label's co-founders Hottary and Radopolous, to find out more about the brand, keep reading.
Tell us a little about your background and what led you to launching Holyday Swim?
Yasmine: The idea of launching a swimwear line was born while I was living in Paris. My time there working in communications in luxury fashion influenced my aesthetic and I wanted to bring that minimal yet sophisticated style into something that I knew well and felt was missing from the swim market. As Greeks, we spend a lot of time in our swimsuits. That, with a few swimwear design courses I had completed, it kind of felt like a natural fit.
Eugenie: Having worked at beach resorts for many years, I have always aspired to create unforgettable holiday memories for people. My love for swimwear lies in childhood summers spent with my grandmother, a very tasteful and confident woman who always pulled the most perfect beach outfits. When my long-time friend Yasmine dropped Holyday on the table I dove right in!
Where do you draw your inspiration from for each collection?
Y & E: The 1970’s retro style has been a primary source of inspiration for both our collections and the general aesthetic of the brand. We are minimalism advocates, therefore anything from fashion to architecture or interior design that brings out a frills-free style can be a source of inspiration for our collections.
You’ve found quick success in Greece, with the brand picking up some major stockists. How did this come about?
Y & E: We are beyond excited that Holyday has been so well received by both our Greek and international customers. It’s a fact that markets are currently driven by fast-fashion, which in many cases compromises on both quality and production standards. The Holyday collections are designed for the customer who will not settle for low quality or fit, and cares about the circumstances under which the product was made. All our pieces are sustainably made in Greece, and our customer cares about where her clothes come from.
What has been your most popular shape/style so far?
Y & E: The ALYSSA bikini from our SS19 collection has been quite a hit so far and buyers seem to love it. It is a very flattering bikini top with wide straps and a seamless bottom that comes in a silky ribbed fabric. We had pre-orders before having officially launched the style.
Any advice on choosing the best swimwear for different body shapes?
Y & E: Well, we think that we look our best when we feel the most comfortable. Look for pieces that make you feel good. The best way to work it out is to get in some fitting rooms and try on different shapes. For this season we offer mix and match options that allow women to pair the tops with the bottoms that they like, and individualise their looks.
What are the trends in next season’s European summer collection?
Y & E: The European SS19 summer trends call for skimpier styles that show a little more of skin. It is something that we have channeled into our new collection yet always maintaining the understated style of HOLYDAY. We think that trends are nowadays underlined by the need for comfort. For SS19 we will see design merging a lot with functionality.
How do you design for different body shapes in mind?
We pay a lot of attention to ensuring excellent fit. We invest heavily in developing our swim patterns with highly skilled pattern cutters and do several fittings on different body types. It is worth mentioning that an almost 20% of styles is eliminated from the final collections keeping only the styles that have the flawless silhouettes that we want HOLYDAY to be known for.