Fella Swim’s creative director and co-founder, Rosie Iffla, first discovered the work of painter and muralist Rafael Uriegas while she was eating at a restaurant in Los Angeles.

The Mexican artist creates work using abstract shapes in warm, summery colours, taking a contemporary approach to classic themes – much like Fella’s own sharp and timeless designs. It made sense that Iffla and business partner Christine Tang-Corte were determined to team up with him for the label’s Resort 2024 collection.

“It took me many months to secure working with [Uriegas], as his focus really is so much on painting and entering national galleries,” Iffla tells Broadsheet. “We feel very grateful and excited.”

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Entitled Dive, the collection’s 20 new pieces take inspiration from another artwork: French Cubist painter Fernand Léger’s 1942–43 canvas Divers, Blue and Black. Uriegas contributed his piece Blue Dancer to be adapted as the feature print for Dive, merging blue and maroon hues with Fella’s custom Rio fabric, used in all its swimwear. “We were drawn to the movement and the primary colours in Léger’s artwork,” Iffla says. “Much like Rafael’s Blue Dancer.”

The Fella team also worked with US Olympic divers in Miami, styling the pieces so the divers would resemble dancers. Other prints boast block colourways including Ferrari red, lapis blue, fern green and chestnut brown – which also feature in Léger’s work – alongside Fella mainstays: noir and pristine off-white.

The campaign images depict a retro swimming look, with models wearing chunky goggles and vintage-style swim caps. It’s a fitting transition into the brand’s other new venture – a ’70s-inspired collaboration with New Zealand label Maggie Marilyn – which launches today.

The new capsule combines Maggie Marilyn’s penchant for stripes with Fella’s elevated and flattering designs. It includes two prints – stripes in red and navy – in 16 styles drawing on the founders’ fondest summer memories, as well as James Bond movies and even The Fifth Element. “I have this amazing photo of my grandma at Wadjemup (Rottnest Island, Western Australia) in this amazing ’70s geometric bikini which was, strangely enough, also white, blue and red colourways,” Iffla says in statement.

New Zealand-born designer Maggie Hewitt launched Maggie Marilyn in Auckland in 2016, prioritising ethical supply-chain practices and repurposed fabrics. She later moved to Sydney's Bondi, opening her first international bricks-and-mortar store on Paddington’s Glenmore Road in 2022. This is the first time the sustainability-focused brand has dipped into swimwear.

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