Sand in the hair, sun-kissed skin and a swimsuit define our favourite summer mood. But sometimes stepping out in a bikini takes a lot of confidence. Can you get past the doubts and find the swimsuit to fall in love with? The answer might be found in the newest swimsuit collection by the Latvian brand Collar.

Non-chemical sunscreen and the swimsuit of your dreams is hands down the best combination for the beach. MÁDARA took care of the first one by creating a sensational SPF product line, so we were wondering – when you have found your sunscreen, what does it take to find the perfect swimsuit as well and feel good while wearing it? We asked Anna Vildaus, the representative and branding specialist of Collar Swimwear.
We meet Anna on a sultry Monday evening, when even the roads, buildings and pavements are breathing summer. City dwellers are hiding from the heat in the shade of cafes, finding their bliss in ice lattes and dewy glasses of Sauvignon Blanc. This might be the best day for a conversation about summer, the beach and the one and only – swimsuit.

What was the vision behind Collar?

It started as a dream – literally! The idea of swimsuits came to Monta Apsāne while she was sleeping. In this avant garde dream she saw a swimsuit with a collar, so this explains the name of the brand. The first models were made for friends and family only.

You swim against the fast flow of fashion and are proud to be a “slow” brand by ensuring conscious and kind business. How do you apply these good values?

Yes – we are very, very slow. Mostly because we don`t have a swimsuit stock – we don`t fill up the warehouse with our product so we don`t have to worry about selling it. Instead, we produce it according to the demand of stores, which means that we don`t waste the fabric and working hours of our seamstresses. So when you buy a Collar swimsuit, you get more than just a product – you get the initiative and dream that Monta expresses through the designs. You support local producers, help people learn about the very specific construction of swimwear and underwear. The whole path of a swimsuit from designing to wearing it is filled with positive energy.

Do you pay attention to current swimsuit trends or keep on dreaming up your own designs?

We clearly see what is going on around us. There are many big players in the high-end swimsuit brand section in Europe so we have to stand out. Also, 90% of consumers will choose something from the fast fashion range. All of the design ideas are the creative outcome of Monta so it is pretty hard to impact her with flashing trends. For our newest collection she got inspiration from the artist David Hockney and his sceneries.

Can you describe the woman that wears Collar?

When we started, we described her as an artistic woman who wanted something more creative. But now our brand is available internationally, her profile has changed. A woman who wears Collar is very self-confident – she doesn`t care as much about the trends and standards of society as she does about her feelings and emotions. Collar does not support fast fashion therefore the woman who wears it never shops irresponsibly. She cares about the design, invests her money in a sustainable product and supports good values. She cares about the garment just as much as she does the story behind the brand.

Body positivity is a trendy topic right now. Do you think a woman feels good while wearing Collar?

We can`t deny that our swimsuits attract some attention. But the women who wear them agree with us that it is crucial to choose the swimsuit for you. This choice is based on subjective feelings when you see the product. If the model, colour and fabric seems interesting, it generates positive emotions and she feels confident about her choice. She won`t choose it because someone else finds it sexy but because she feels good in it. When you see a swimsuit, the first impression is based on your inner perspective. You build relationships with the garment and see yourself in it, at a very deep and personally comfortable level. Only then do you start thinking that it will maybe bring too much attention. But when you wear it with confidence, you care only about your own thoughts.

How hard is it to “befriend” a swimsuit?

Collar swimsuits are interesting so you want to try them on. They look a bit complicated, especially the new collection. To try them on, the woman has to work with herself in front of the mirror; therefore she is accepting her body. Collar gives a reason to stand in front of a mirror and work with yourself. The swimsuit is an intimate dialogue with yourself, not someone else. The first step is getting used to the swimsuit as a shape. Many clients, especially in America, wear a swimsuit daily with shorts or a skirt.

That sounds like good advice – to wear a swimsuit daily to feel comfortable in it. You might agree that the best summer days are the ones you can spend dressed only in a swimsuit.

Yes, and you don`t have to be near the water. It is a kind of water state-of-mind when you`re ready for a swim wherever you are. You can find some friends, and drive to the beach spontaneously; it is freedom.

Do you have any advice on how to regain confidence and experience an insecurity detox this summer?

You have to find your comfort zone where everything is in balance. Life is confusing and difficult, and we can`t plan everything. Therefore other things that can be controlled and planned like the clothes you wear, products you buy, where you work, what kind of people surround you – should be comforting. Then all of the unplanned aspects that come now and then feel less like a tragedy. You have to be comfortable with yourself and understand that it all starts with you – then everything else will seem fine and you will walk with this confidence daily. It is these daily interactions that create small flashes of happiness.