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POWERED BY WOMEN

Dale McCarthy, Founder, Bondi Born

This entrepreneurial former marketing exec is on a mission to provide women with extremely flattering, sophisticated swimwear without hurting the environment.

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Dale McCarthy was working as a marketing executive in Sydney, Australia, when she noticed something missing from the swimwear market. "Most women feel very vulnerable when they put on a swimsuit and display their body to the world, but many women, like myself, don’t want to compromise on style to get an excellent fitting suit," she says. "My experience was that the big Australian swimwear brands deliver a fabulous fit, but their design aesthetic is just too commercial. Then there are very beautiful designer brands whose pieces look amazing on a size 0 model on Instagram, but most women don’t find their pieces very flattering." She knew there had to be a better a way, so she founded Bondi Born to fill the void. Uncompromising quality—in terms of fit and style—is the cornerstone of the brand, but also in its commitment to sustainability. "I’ve long been very concerned about what we are doing to this beautiful planet, so we only use sustainably made and eco-certified fabrics. When I started out four years ago, it was difficult to find waterproof packaging that wasn’t made of plastic, but we’ve now eradicated plastic from our supply chain."

“We spend a huge amount of time and money on research and design. Our cuts are all about making a woman’s body look the best it possibly can, and our design aesthetic is sophisticated and chic.”

Your suits really do fit like a dream. They seem to both hold you in and allow you to move. Can you explain why?

Firstly, our trademarked fabrics are developed for this purpose. Our base Sculpteur fabric, which we use on all our Signature styles, has 3D stretch to deliver freedom of movement and comfort while smoothing, sculpting and supporting. Second, we want women to feel confident in our swimwear, particularly around the bust, bottom and stomach, so we cut our pieces in ways that our fabric can perform at its best. It’s not an easy fabric to work with, so we fit and re-fit to get it right. The results are worth it, as our customer feedback is outstanding. Thirdly, we use a technical approach to bust support that is incredibly comfortable and removes the need for underwires and boning for women with larger busts and ensures the swimsuit doesn’t ride up.

So, what can we look forward to next?

While we will always be a swimwear brand at our core, we are offering a resortwear collection to match each swimwear story for streamlined holiday style.

Speaking of holidays, how do you spend your free time?

I unwind by exercising at least 4 or 5 times each week. It's essential for my mental health. I work with a trainer, or I catch up with my girlfriends by going for walks around Bondi and Sydney harbors. When I have true down time, I spend it with family and friends, usually involving food! Our whole family loves to cook, and the quality of seafood and produce in Sydney is amazing. We have dinner together most nights and watch a movie together at least once a week. My husband Mark and I regularly host dinner parties where we get very creative with different cuisines.

Tell us about your style.

I look for quality, integrity of design and sustainable production. My everyday wardrobe consists mainly of sustainable brands by Australian and New Zealand designers who make locally using beautiful fabrics. These include Christopher Esber, Paris Georgia, Matin, Lee Matthews and Albus Lumen. Then each season I treat myself to a handful of special pieces that will last for many years from international designers. My favorites are Celine, Joseph, Rick Owens and The Row.

Are there beauty products that you swear by?

I don’t wear much makeup, but I’m fastidious about my beauty routine to keep my skin from aging. I always have a scrub, a serum and an SPF moisturizer in my daily routine.

What are you most grateful for?

My family. Mark is incredibly understanding of the demands the business puts on me and family life. My two teenage girls roll their eyes and give me a hard time when I talk about Bondi Born, but they step up and help with cooking and chores when needed, and I think they are secretly proud of what we are doing, although they’d never admit it!

Name something people might be surprised to learn about you.

At university I studied film and philosophy, and my dream was to become a film director.

“ We want the women who wear our suits to feel beautiful, confident, comfortable and extremely stylish.”