In 2016 Catarina Gil, pictured left, returned to her home in Portugal after a 6 month stay in the Netherlands, and was inspired by the Dutch people to start her own business.
“I started the company ‘Cru Swim Wear’ after living in the Netherlands because I realized the people there create a business based on what they like and what they believe in, and not to follow trends.” says 23 year old Catarina.
“When I arrived back to Portugal, I started putting on the table the things I love the most in life; fashion, summer, sustainability, nature… and I decided to create Cru Swimwear as a small project and business.”
Catarina says that due to the great weather in Portugal the swimwear market works pretty well, and it was not that difficult to start the swimwear line.
Having purchased my own pair recently from Catarina, I was so very impressed with the quality of the piece, so I asked Catarina if I could interview her about the brand. I later found out that every single piece is 100% hand made, which of course is why I was so struck by the quality of the garment.
“I believe my swimwear is special because each individual piece is made by one unique person to another unique person, and so no two pieces are exactly the same.
This way each piece is completely unique and becomes an expression of your own identity; highlighting the best in you!”
The brand Cru Swim Wear also supports nature in every way it can, and is a company that cares about their foot print and tries to follow a sustainable policy in every aspect.
“Creating a product related to the fashion industry but using natural materials and 100% handmade, that is our philosophy.” says Catarina.
As to why you should invest in a pair of hand made Portuguese bathers…
“The form, the color, and the concept, of each piece is designed to bring out the best in each of us!
Clients like the way the swimwear fits, as all of our products are elastic and are lined with Lycra.
Then they enjoy the color palette which is based on thorough research and feedback from cliental, and then chosen carefully to represent the colours and feeling of nature; the beach, the ocean, the sand.
And finally, when clients read the concept they realize they are not only buying the product but the brand behind it; a small piece of Portugal, hand made and different.
Above all, our swimwear was created for the human body to get in contact with nature and immerse itself in water, to enable us to swim, and look and feel good while doing so.
When people purchase from Cru Swim Wear they notice these aspects and of course how good the quality of the product is.
In the end it is these pillars that justify the purchase.” adds Catarina.
While the brand is still in its early stages it is growing, and Catarina has been surprised more and more every year just how much it has expanded, not just in Portugal but internationally.
“It over came my expectations in so many aspects, and because of good social media communication we sell a lot to customers outside of Portugal via our website CRUSWIMWEAR.
As for the future…Catarina would love to make Cru Swimwear grow, as a Portuguese brand expanding into new markets, and ultimately bringing a small piece of Portuguese artistry and nostalgia to the rest of the world.