When groundbreaking plus influencer Gabifresh, also known as Gabi Gregg, announced the end of her partnership with Swimsuits For All, it signaled the closing of one historic chapter. Gregg debuted her first collaboration just shy of a decade ago, beginning with a social media post where she encouraged women to proudly show their bodies on the beach. From there the “fatkini,” or, a bikini designed for a plus-size figure, was born. These suits tend to be more high-waisted, offering more room in the seat with added support in a bra-like top. Personally, it wasn’t until I saw Gabi and others fearlessly wearing bikinis that I felt I could. I remember when I got my first “fatkini,” it fit and I liked how I looked in it—pure gold! There’s no doubt that the GabiFresh x Swimsuits For All collaboration started a movement that will outlast any one piece of plus size swimwear. The message that started it all still rings true: All women have the right to showcase their bodies boldly on the beach.
At Dia & Co we believe in stretching outside of our fashion comfort zone…
and trying those pieces we never thought we “could” wear. Consulting Creative Director of Photography and Content Alison Spada, who has had a 20+ year career in the retail industry with half of that time spent specializing in plus, talked to us about her vision for 2022 swim at Dia & Co. “Truthfully, when we were going through the merchandise and I saw that there was a skimpy bikini, I would have thought that would have been a no-go because it’s so revealing. But, when we were actually thinking about selling it, I thought, that’s great because why not? I am Brazilian, and no Brazilian woman will ever not wear a bikini or thong. I wrote this down: Make her brave, push her outside of her comfort zone just a slight bit each time.”
“Thankfully, plus size swimsuit options have improved tremendously since I was a teenager looking for something cute to wear on vacation with my family. Spoiler alert: I never found it. “
Swimsuit collections for women who wear plus sizes should not only cater to curves, but keep trends in mind, too. That’s something Dia & Co and Gabi’s designs have in common. I mean, come on, if you have been wearing plus sizes for more than a decade then you know, sure, you can find something in your size. But, will you actually want to wear it? That’s the question. From boldly colored one pieces to skimpy bikinis (of which I happen to own about 3), there was no style spared in any of Gabi’s collections, and, for the last 9 years she has challenged the fashion industry’s standards on what bigger bodies could and should be wearing on the beach. With the announcement of the collaboration’s end, I can’t help but ask myself, what’s next?
Thankfully, plus size swimsuit options have improved tremendously since I was a teenager looking for something cute to wear on vacation with my family. Spoiler alert: I never found it. I took what I could get, and it was usually something with a skirt (some women love them, and that’s fine, they’re just not my style). It was a far cry from the high cut, mesh insert, brightly colored pieces that fill my suitcases now. It finally seems like the fashion industry is responding to the community’s requests for edgier swimwear, and Dia & Co is here to meet those needs head on. Brands like Andie Swim, Mapale, Dippin Daisys and many others are pushing the boundaries of what bigger bodies are “allowed” to wear with bolder prints, skimpier cuts and more fun styles. With swimsuit season rapidly approaching, I want to challenge us all to lean in a little more.
Wear that swimsuit that makes you feel sexy!
Thank you, Gabi Gregg, for encouraging us all to embrace our bodies a little more and be even braver on the beach.