Sienna Swim Makes Its Debut At Miami Swim Week 2023
Sienna Swim and its CEO, Head Designer, and Model Sienna Mae Gomez made their debut at Miami Swim Week 2023 with the brand’s latest release, Collection Nº5. The show was captivating, fun and energetic, with 12 new silhouettes including surf, lounge, and swimwear styles that emulated an endless summer magic that matched the heat brought this year to Miami’s biggest week of the year.
The collection featured two custom, hand drawn prints, two new colorways, as well as restocks of their best-selling sold out styles and prints from earlier collections. When I sat down to talk with the social media mogul turned Chief Creative, I learned that what has made this brand a major success in its first year of business goes beyond a knowledge of social media or trends. The secret sauce behind this viral brand is the fact that Gomez, who is just 19-years old, is a part of every aspect of this business, and makes sure that the spirit of womanhood and a celebration for the female form is brought in from every angle.
Q: What motivated you to start your own swim brand?
A: I have always loved swimwear. I grew up in Southern California and spent the majority of my life in bikinis. When I started posting bikini reviews on TikTok, my comment section became a place where girls and women were coming to talk about what swim trends we loved, hated, etc. It started to feel like a slumber party where we were all trading advice, which was so fun. I was also getting a ton of PR sent to me from brands who wanted me to review their swimwear, and soon enough I had this huge collection of suits – probably 200 suits if not more! I realized that I could take all the feedback I was being given online, and combine it with my own knowledge to create suits that would fit the needs of the people who had been supporting me. It really was a love letter to them and a thank you for helping me discover my passion for design and content creation.
Q: You are one of few designers who walked in their own show at Miami Swim Week. Can you tell us about why you chose to do that?
A: I have always wanted to be a model. I started doing photoshoots in my backyard or at the beach when I was around 13. I’d make my parents, friends, or my brother (who now shoots a ton of my brand’s content) take photos of me and I’d submit them to all of the major agencies to no avail. When I started my brand, I knew people would want to see me in the suits, since I was the one whose opinion they trusted. When it came time to debut my line at runway shows, I figured the biggest vote of confidence I could give to people looking to potentially purchase from Sienna Swim was to model it in real time, with no editing or retouching and let them know that these suits really do flatter you from every angle. Plus, it’s so fun to be backstage with the girls, doing glam, getting excited and just coming out together to have a good time.
Q: You serve as the CEO, Face, and Head Designer for Sienna Swim. Is it hard to wear that many hats?
A: Honestly, no, for a few reasons. First, I have an incredible team. My mom, Dina Gomez, who I co-founded the brand with, was in corporate consulting for 25 years and handles pretty much all of the back end business from order fulfillment and customer service to manufacturing and production. If you’ve ever communicated with us via email, you’re most likely talking to her. Beyond the two of us, we have a small team that helps with everything from content creation to design and marketing. Secondly, this brand brings together all my interests. I have always loved being on set and going from glam to wardrobe and seeing how the vision comes together. I learned to love every aspect of production so being on the creative side of my own brand I knew I wanted to be behind and in front of the camera. Lastly, designing these suits has been my favorite thing I’ve ever done. I’m so lucky to work with my sister-in-law, Nikki Gomez, who hand-draws all of our custom prints, as well as our incredible seamstresses who bring all the feedback and sketches together to create suits that look as good as they feel.
Q: What is your favorite part about Collection Nº5?
A: It’s so hard to choose just one, especially because this collection is so versatile. We incorporated five new surf styles, which was a dream I have had for a while. I live part-time in California and part-time in Hawaii, and surfing, especially over the last year, has become a huge part of my social community and self care. I wanted to create styles that would move with me and flatter from every angle, and I’m proud to say that I believe we achieved that with the surf collection. We also rolled out our new Eco-Rib fabric which is super soft and sustainable, and sustainability is something that as a company is so important to us. We never want to compromise on quality or responsibility, so this fabric has allowed us to do both. Lastly, I am really obsessed with our new Tulum top & bottom. It’s my favorite suit right now and I can hardly take it off.
Q: What do you think sets Sienna Swim apart from other swimwear brands?
A: First off, I think the entire swim industry is full of some incredibly talented and creative designers. Being featured in Miami Swim Week was a dream in and of itself, but sharing the runway with designers whose designs were breathtaking was nothing short of an honor. I think what sets Sienna Swim apart is two fold: first, our sizing. We have worked tirelessly as a brand to develop our own in-house sizing chart with the help of our global ambassador program. We held feedback sessions before each collection was submitted for final manufacturing to accurately size suits and create silhouettes that really flatter a wide variety of body types. My mom and I were shocked to find out that a ton of manufacturers don’t operate on any standard sizing, and that a lot of sizes get distorted when you’re dealing with international sizing. After our first collection, we got a little negative feedback about sizes not fitting correctly and we knew we had to make a change. Since developing our own size chart, we’ve had a lot of reviews from people who are truly happy with the way our suits fit and nothing makes me happier. Secondly, our custom-hand drawn prints are one of one. Nikki and I spend months looking at vintage textiles and choosing colors and developing concepts before creating our prints. They are consistently our most-sold styles and I think they definitely set us apart from other brands.
Q: What are you most excited about moving forward with Sienna Swim?
A: I have felt so lucky to build community through swimwear—from TikTok comments to now backstage at shows and in emails from customers. I think I’m most excited to see that community keep growing and evolving as I do. I have loved the opportunity to work creatively with my friends, family, and people who have come to me via my brand, and I think the coolest part of launching this business has been watching a more genuine, supportive, fun, and loving community come into my life. I started the brand in a transition period, moving away from social media and a community that didn’t really feel like it fit me. I was trying to turn a passion into a business and spending a lot of time at home, alone or with a very small team choosing designs and getting everything ready for our first launch. To watch this business turn into something I did at home with my mom to an entire runway show full of people who support us was incredible and I can’t wait to watch it grow even more.
Q: Finally, where can we find all the latest updates on your forthcoming collections, modeling opportunities, and ambassador program?