Where does a woman with a bra size of 10E shop for swimwear? Where can she find bathers that fit?
These questions taunt those with big busts. Most women are forced to settle for designs with little support and in less than desirable styles. Melbourne ladies Carly Warson and Stephanie Korn (who wear a 10E and 10DD respectively) think they’ve found the answer. They’ve launched The Fold, a swimwear label made exclusively for women with a fuller bust. Sizes start at a D-cup and head north.
“Looking back, it’s really scary what we thought was okay,” says Korn. “We’d throw on these cute little shorts or nice kaftans and we’d have the most revolting bathers underneath. You’re already half-naked; you’re as vulnerable as you could be.”
The Fold’s focus is on contemporary design, balancing flattering shapes with a woman’s need for support. “Unstructured structure” is how the girls describe it, drawing an analogy between swimwear and architecture. “Every seam is strategically placed as the architecture that holds [them] up – like the beam that supports the breast,” says Korn.
Warson and Korn know firsthand the problems that arise when a small back meets a large bust. Together, they’ve turned to lingerie construction techniques as the basis for their designs, with styles sold as separates and by cup size. Recycled Italian fabrics (in black, light grey, teal and print) have been chosen for their shape retention, while weight has been a consideration at every step. “When you’re supporting so much weight, everything becomes more technical,” says Warson.
“We had to find someone who had experience with underwire [in lingerie] and with larger busts because it’s a whole different ball game,” she says.
Warson and Korn dedicated three years to preparing The Fold, ensuring designs are perfect to the very last stitch. The endeavour has seen up to 20 samples made for a single style (a typical number is four or five), with each alteration taking months to review. It’s a process the girls describe as “heartbreaking”.
“One millimetre made all the difference between fitting and looking daggy. It was very, very difficult.”
One look at the campaign shows they’ve nailed it.
This article was updated on September 28, 2018.