Every year, The Singapore Women’s Weekly gives prominence to 18 distinguished and powerful women who are successful in their own right as part of the Great Women Of Our Time awards. Meet 2020’s Design & Style nominee, Lyn Rosmarin, Founder of K.Blu Swimwear.
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Meet Lyn Rosmarin – Great Women Of Our Time 2020 Design & Style Nominee
The idea to create K.Blu, a luxury swimwear brand, began when Lyn was participating in sea sports to relieve stress from her work in banking. “I wasn’t fashion trained at all,” shares the 41 year old entrepreneur. “Back then, I was a junior banker and I was doing foreign exchange and handling accounts. At that time I was also sailing a lot, in blazer boats and also crewing for some of the sailing boats in the region. Because of that interest, I needed a lot of swimwear, and getting swimwear six years ago, when online shopping wasn’t as prevalent as it is now, was extremely difficult.”
She realised then that there were no swimwear brands catered to Asian body types, and she took a sabbatical break to visit trade shows and research on how she could start a boutique swimwear label and started it from the ground up herself. It eventually grew to an online business, with a focus on designing prints that highlighted Asian elements and celebrating women of all body types with size-inclusive collections.
As a three-person team, Lyn is all too familiar with the restrictions that come with being a small business owner. With limited resources and a slower timeline for swimwear collections, it is on a whole other playing field compared to the fast-fashion behemoths in the industry. She agrees that this has been one of the biggest challenges for K.Blu but that has not held her back from leaving an impressive legacy. In 2018, K.Blu Swimwear went on to showcase in New York and Paris Fashion Week in 2018.
As Lyn recounts, “They picked us up because we had our exclusive range of swimwear when we extended the size ranges and they saw we had sizes up to UK18. There were about thirty brands in that range, and we all put our own designs up in New York Fashion Week. We had all the different editors of magazines in New York all coming to the show and buyers who were looking for independent designers. So I was representing Singapore.”
From the very beginning, Lyn committed the brand to the value of sustainability. Apart from the core pillar of style and fashion, the brand champions the value of sustainable fashion by using a sublimation printing process, an eco-friendly printing technique that reduces wastage.
“Since day one, all my swimwear has been made out of the sublimation method. We also work with a mill in Italy, and they are one of the better luxury textile mills that swimwear customers use. They basically recycle old fishing nets and make them into recycled polyester. By using these two methods in our design philosophy, we commit ourselves to stay sustainable.”
“Sublimation is the technique where you print all your fabrics onto recycled polyester, where you put the cloth on top of the artwork on the printing bay. Then, using heat, you press the print onto the fabric. This is a very different method compared to the old traditional method where you do print and it goes into the water. The problem with that is that you would have to wash the ink off in the water and this contributes to ocean pollution. As such, we want our process to have as little contact with water as possible. Sublimation allows us to do so while saving a lot of cloth consumption as well.”
Aside from their production commitments to sustainability, K.Blu also partners with Big Blue Ocean Cleanup to push their practices as a brand forward. As an advocate of sustainability, not just in her words but in her actions, Lyn believes that there is always more to be done as a business owner. “Big Blue Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organisation out of the United Kingdom, they’re one of the world’s leading ocean cleanup non-profits and they believe in ocean literacy. They have a very strong understanding of ocean cleanups, which is why I took a dive in and asked to work together as I wanted to represent them in Asia, or in Singapore for a start.”
The Great Women Of Our Time Awards 2020 is brought to you by the presenter, Lancôme.