Where modesty and fashion meet

Where modesty and fashion meet

With a background in buying for global fashion brands, Emily Pask was the perfect person to design a swimwear range. The important thing for Pask though was that it was modest and sun safe. It was a market she felt hadn't been tapped. Enter Modest Mermaid. Jessica Abelsohn spoke to the swimwear designer about how the range is helping women and girls all over the world.

Following the birth of her oldest daughter, Modest Mermaid founder and CEO Emily Pask didn’t feel like there were enough swimwear options.

She wanted something with good coverage that didn’t cling. But the options were either extremely expensive or very cheap. There was no middle ground.

So, she created Modest Mermaid, an Australian-designed modest swimwear company offering full body coverage.

Modest Mermaid has now grown from a single swim dress with a black and white print, to a whole range of dresses and separates including tops, skirts, leggings, and shorts, made of durable swimming fabric with an SPF 50+ rating which was a non-negotiable for Pask.

As an added bonus, the dresses are super stylish and flattering.

“Most of our customer are religious, so they love it, because obviously they can cover up but still look fashionable,” Pask explained.

Listening to the customers

Pask explained that while the initial dress was received exceptionally well, it was important to listen to her customers about their needs in designing the next range.

“Everyone has a different definition of coverage,” she said. “It was a challenge at the start but we’ve adapted to that and now have different levels.”

Skirts and dresses come in different lengths, and Pask has also added shorts to the mix to cater to those who want to wear something modest underneath the dress but don’t want to purchase the full legging.

“Something that came through last season was the need for separates, so we introduced that. Then there was the feedback of wanting longer or shorter lengths.”

Pask said she has had an amazing response, especially from women who have always wanted to swim but their desire to stay modest made it difficult. “We’ve had customers tell us all the time that they’ve never swum before because they didn’t have anything to wear,” Pask explained.

“Or they’ve worn their husband’s board shorts and t-shirt, or even all of their clothes into the water.”

Expanding the range

While Modest Mermaid doesn’t yet have a children’s range, Pask says that many parents purchase the smallest sizes for their pre-teens and teenagers.

Pask says it is a market they’re looking to get into, knowing there’s not much available for the younger demographic.

“It’s either bikinis or very juvenile prints,” she said, going on to explain that while there are rash tops for coverage and modesty, there are few options besides a regular swim bottom.

“The skirt part is really missing for the girls,” she said. “Our swim dresses are fun and colourful, they’re not age-specific. We have women wearing them from 12 to up to 65 years old. They’re not juvenile but they’re not too old either.”

For Pask, it’s about ensuring all young girls and women can find affordable, modest swimwear. It’s why she caters to all sizes as well, going up to 4XL, with the smallest sizes fitting teenagers and larger sizes available for those who need it.

It’s also important for Pask that the separates match. “We try to make sure that everything mixes and matches nicely throughout the range,” she said.

“It’s a very cohesive, easy range to shop. Everything is interchangeable and quick-dry.”

For more information or to purchase some swimwear, visit modestmermaid.co

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