Swimwear Trends in Australia

Swimwear is one of the highest growing product categories for the Australian fashion industry. As a result, various homegrown Australian brands have become the market-leaders for this segment. In this report, find out the top performing brands, an overview on product sub-category, colour performance analysis and more.

Written by Atiqah KamarudinJanuary 2, 2020


According to Euromonitor, the global swimwear market in 2018 amounted to USD21.7 billion and was growing at a time when overall apparel spending was flat. As consumers continue to spend more on travel, this category is set to grow year-on-year.

Australia has seen a big jump in its homegrown swimwear brands in recent years. With 10,000 recorded beaches and having more than 80% of its population living within 50km of the coast, the country is in a great position to gauge on the latest and hottest swimwear trends for the season.

In this report, we reviewed a total of 10 Australian swimwear brands retailing at The Iconic, David Jones, Myer, and Surfstitch, to analyse the trending swimwear styles offered in Spring 2019. Nearly 2,000 data points were screened from September to November 2019 on the Swimwear and Beachwear category.

The swimwear brands analysed were Billabong, Roxy, Seafolly, Tigerlily, Monte & Lou, Peony, Fella Swim, Zulu and Zephyr, Bondi Born, and Skye & Staghorn. In addition, we also assessed the plus-size offering by analysing City Chic, Autograph and Taking Shape.


All data used in this report comes from products retailing online, as tracked by Omnilytics, unless otherwise mentioned.

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Brand Performance Overview

Overall, Australia’s homegrown swimwear brands were active in introducing newness, yet failed to achieve high sell-outs in the marketplace sites.

Top Performers

Billabong, which had the largest assortment, performed strongly with nearly 80% sell-out rate and little discounting. Its affordable price point (2x lower than average) coupled with consistent trendy new arrivals contributed to its success during the season.



Meanwhile, Roxy had a lacklustre performance although it offered more than half of its assortment on discount and shared the same median price as Billabong. Similarly, Seafolly also achieved lower than average sell-out rate despite having nearly all of its assortment on discount. Monte & Lou did not manage to record any sell-out during the season even with having nearly 80% of new assortments.

On the flip side, Tigerlily recorded an above average sell-out rate (48%) but was mainly driven by discount.



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Key Subcategories

Swimwear contributed to more than 90% of the brands’ swimwear & beachwear assortment. Despite the rise in popularity of One Piece Swimsuits since two years ago, Bikinis still made up the bulk (72%) of new-in swimwear assortments this season. Bikini separates were the key volume driver, accounting for more than half of the brands’ newness.

As the athleisure trend showed no signs of slowing down, brands continued to invest in the sporty style of One Pieces, consistently contributing to 20% of overall assortment. Also, due to the huge surf culture in Australia, Rash Vests or Rashies was also a subcategory not to be neglected, although having a small contribution overall.


Subcategory Contribution by Brand

Billabong, Roxy, Seafolly and Tigerlily gained the competitive advantage by having a wider assortment breadth within Swimwear and Beachwear categories.

Fella Swim not only lose out by not offering any beachwear but also not diversifying enough especially in Bikini Sets and Rash Guards. Though Bondi Born did offer an extensive line of Resort Wear collection, it was not available in the retailer David Jones’ site.

Meanwhile, as other brands focused more on offering separates, Zulu and Zephyr chose to pay attention to Bikini Sets and One Pieces.



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New-In Styles

Overall, the silhouette for Swimwear this season had a classic ‘80s vibe and stressed more on comfort. They key styles spotted among the brands in focus included:


Comfort and Full Coverage Tops

Although the naked bikini trend with underboob top style and slash string bottom was on the rise, the classic and functional styling continued to be in fashion this season. Tops with more coverage such as bralette and bandeau were gaining momentum, accounting for 28% and 24% of the total’ newness, respectively. Billabong, Fella Swim and Zulu and Zephyr were among the brands popularizing this style.


High-Cut Bottoms

The ultra high-cut style that is renowned for elongating the legs remained a highly favoured silhouette, as seen on the Miami Swim Week 2019. This ‘80s style, which was made popular among celebrities such as Bella Hadid and Kylie Jenner, contributed to a whopping 86% of total Bikini Bottoms and One Pieces newness.



One-shoulder trend that has dethroned the off-shoulder style in apparel, has transcended into swimwear. Although it represented only 10% of new-in Bikini Tops and One Pieces, the increasing new offerings in this neckline sealed its popularity. Fella Swim and Skye & Staghorn have also invested in this style this season.



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Colour Performance Analysis

Core vs. Fashion Colours

Similar to apparel, the core colours particularly black, white and blue, dominated the top 3 colours for swimwear. These colours contributed to more than half of the brands’ total assortment and newness. Brown as expressed in the shades of nude following the neutral, tonal trend, was also popular. The continued popularity of animal prints also contributed greatly to the neutral palette.

Fashion colours shaped swimwear this season with red, orange, pink, and yellow consistently drove large contributions in both assortment width and newness. Yellow saw a growing popularity as the only fashion colour that made it to the top 5 new-in colours.

Other notable fashion colours this season included a combination of pastel shades such as sky blue, baby pink and lavender, as well as bright orange, red and fluorescent pink.


Prints vs. Solid

Solid colours still made up the bulk of this season’s swimwear, representing nearly 70% of total newness. Fella Swim kept to its minimalist style, with zero offering on prints.

Animal prints showed no signs of slowing down as the wild print topped the most popular print invested by brands this season. Stripes, which appeared across seasonality also contributed to 27% of new printed swimwear. Other notable prints included tropical and floral prints.



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Meet the Author

Atiqah Kamarudin

Nur Atiqah Kamarudin is a Senior Business Intelligence Analyst at Omnilytics. With past experience at Nielsen and Euromonitor, she has spent years analysing data and unearthing insights to help brands and retailers make informed decisions. She currently produces reports on the fashion industry and its changing retail scene across the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Southeast Asia.

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