DESIGNER PROFILE: TRIANGL SWIM

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with p4 presetDon’t lose your Triangl!
Leave it to Australians to know what’s best for women who want to look good at the beach and not lose their swimsuits or purse in the process. With this vision in mind, creative duo Craig Ellis and Erin Deering founded Triangl in 2012, and they have already made their mark in the fashion world with their brilliant designs, bold, bright colors, special material, and their social media marketing has reached sky high proportions with over 1.5 million followers. When this happens, in any business, you already know that it’s a force to be reckoned with and someone whose insight you want to learn more about. So what’s made their bikinis such a hit? These geniuses decided to experiment with neoprene, and for those of you who don’t understand, well, it’s wetsuit material. But they found a way of making it chic and comfortable, as well as very affordable. They’ve become successful at offering designer fashion bikinis for less than $100!We wanted to learn a whole lot more about the creative minds behind Triangl, so we sat down with them and fired away with a million questions, and here are some highlights of our interview with Craig and Erin:

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with p4 presetDescribe to us the very moment that the idea of Triangl took form in your minds? 

This is one of my favorite stories! Craig and I were on one of our first dates, and he suggested we go to a beach down in Melbourne, Australia.

I calmly accepted, but then raced halfway around the city frantically trying to find a new bikini to impress him!

I couldn’t find anything that I liked, which wasn’t over $200 (well outside of my budget at the time!)

When I eventually got down to the beach, I told him what had unfolded and the idea was pretty much formed that day…

Do either one of you have a background in design?

Craig previously ran a t-shirt label in Australia, and then did denim for a separate company. Whilst he has no formal training, Craig is the one who comes up with all our designs and concepts at Triangl! I’ve worked in e-commerce and product development/buying previously, so my experience is more tailored to the marketing side.

Explain to us the name of your brand?

We both love the original, classic triangle style bikini. Our first collection was a triangle bikini as it was just naturally what we both gravitated to! We wanted to stand out from the crowd so we dropped the ‘e’ and TRIANGL was born.

What were your concerns with bathing suit designs leading up to your own creations?

Looking originally at the Australian market, we didn’t think there were many options for a high quality, on trend bikini that was under $100. It comes back to that day on the beach really… I just wanted a cool bikini that I could wear, that wasn’t going to cost me too much and fall apart after one wear!

How difficult is it to conceptualize an idea and then bring it to fruition?

The end result is almost always different to what you originally envisioned it to be!

If Craig has an idea, he will just go ahead and sample something up, and then we will work on it from that point in terms of how it fits, feels and looks.

Luckily it doesn’t seem to change too much from conception, but we are also not too precious about the original idea and will happily tweak things as we go through the design process.

How do you not compromise on quality when your pricing is not as expensive as other brands?

By spending A LOT of time with our manufacturers and suppliers! The whole reason we moved from Australia to Hong Kong was to be close to our supply chain.

Especially in the first year, a lot of time was spent at our factory, making and re-making samples and then checking production to ensure our standards were met.

From the stitching we use on our bikinis, through to the bags our bikinis are packed in, to the boxes we send them in – every detail is meticulously chosen and monitored to ensure consistency and quality.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with p4 preset

If you could use three words to describe the feel of a neoprene bikini, what would they be?

Smooth, Structure, Shape. Didn’t mean to stick to ’S’ but I think neoprene is an empowering fabric and feels incredible on. I truly find it so comfortable and am addicted to how it holds to your body and gives you the support you need when you’re wearing it.

Why do you think women reacted so positively to Triangl?

I think we launched with (and probably still have) a pretty clear and simple offering. We sell only bikinis, our designs are not fussy and are all under $100.

Our website matches our offering through being quite pared back and it’s pretty easy to see what it is we do and sell!

I also think we were pretty lucky with getting in at the right time, where there was a bit of a gap in the market for a brand like us!

What’s the inspiration for your colors and designs?

Our customers! We are driven by what the customer wants and what works for her. This is what essentially shapes our next product release.

Which design is your personal favourite?

It changes all the time! Depending on my mood, whether I want to get a tan, and where I’m going to be. I’m not loyal to a particular style, I love them all!

Do you think that having a man-woman design team has helped in terms of creating the perfect bathing suit? Does a difference of opinion ever make working together difficult? 

Craig and I have a pretty great balance, most of the time! Our skill sets are very different, however our vision is exactly the same.

He conceptualises and creates, and I try and make the designs commercial and sellable.

We couldn’t be luckier with how it all works for us! We are together basically 24/7, but thrive off it.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with p4 preset

Are women more concerned with the look of a bathing suit or the comfort level?

Oooh good question! I think it’s a pretty common thread with women to have that ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality… Don’t we often wear things that aren’t super comfy (we would all be in track pants otherwise!)

However, swimwear is not dissimilar to underwear in the sense that you end up always reaching for the ones that feel the best on… It’s hard to enjoy yourself and feel really good when you’re not comfortable

We definitely try to keep that in mind, and are constantly developing new technologies with our swimwear, finding softer, spongier, stretchier neoprene and adding trims which feel good, without compromising on our ‘look’.

Tell us about your customer service philosophy?

One of my favourite things to talk about! Customer service is everything to us! We have 24/7 Live Chat and Email Support, and it’s been a focus from day one to create the best experience possible for all of our customers.

We absolutely rely on this direct communication with customers, and we especially rely on the negative feedback we get, because those comments/emails/calls are the ones that shape us the most.

We have made some pretty big changes internally in the past, based on an email from a unsatisfied customer.

It’s my greatest joy to give these customers not only a great bikini, but a faultless and unforgettable experience from start to finish.

Where do you call home right now?

We are based in Hong Kong! We’ve been here since we launched Triangl and we love this city. It allows us to focus 100% on the business, and is great fun as well. We miss Australia but get back there when we can to see family and friends.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with p4 presetDescribe your level of involvement with social media?

I still personally manage all our social media platforms, and can’t ever see myself letting go of it! (Although I’m 6 months pregnant, so may need to re-visit that soon!).

I’m very precious about the management of our social media. Craig and I often discuss the posts before I put them up, and work together to ensure we keep it all consistent!

Is social media your main marketing strategy?

Absolutely! It’s the BEST! Instagram, don’t ever change!

Which has been your favorite location for your bathing suit shoots?

Our most recent campaign was shot at the iconic Icebergs Pool at Bondi Beach in Australia, and we are particularly fond of that location. The white stone and blue water is a pretty incredible combo!

Do you think that men’s 1920s-style, full body bathing suits will ever make a comeback?

Never say never! Fashion is pretty cyclical, so who knows? It would only take one of the big fashion houses to do a spin on it, and the rest would probably follow!

What has been your most difficult obstacle thus far and how did you overcome it?

Before we officially started Triangl, we were at a fairly low point, where we got down to $500 between us. We were unemployable in Hong Kong and there was nothing else we could do to get the money to get our new brand off the ground.

We swallowed our pride and reached to some very good friends of ours who generously lent us a small amount of money to get our first production of Triangl under way.

I guess the rest is history!
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What has been your most exciting moment thus far?

Every day! We only ever wanted to sell one bikini a day, so anything over that has truly been a bonus. The simple fact we get to do what we love every day is the most exciting thing we could ever hope for.

What advice would you give to those looking to launch their own label?

Not to worry about starting small. Set reachable goals and then as you cross them off, set some more. And do what you love! If you really love what you are creating and have a real passion, just have a go.

What are your words to live by?

Craig has always taught me to be appreciative and grateful of the life we have. Even when we were flat broke and had seemingly no way out, he was always finding happiness in the smallest things.

He’s 40, and gets sillier the older he gets. I don’t really live by any words, but I try to live by his actions!

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. a Very interesting article With good advice. It is always heart warming to read success stories happening in your own industry. we are preparing to launch and i do hope the lingerie lab will one day feature on a bikini a day 😉

  2. stephanie Reply

    I love the sunglasses. how could I purchase those?

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