British luxury swimwear brand has launched new products that aim to inspire confidence and empowerment in trans women.
Swim By Alba has launched the Lili Gaff, a collaborative project with trans advocate and model Lili St. Jerry.
The new product is an under-garment that is worn beneath bikini briefs or a swimsuit – it has been designed to tackle the practical considerations for trans women and expand the range of swimwear available to them.
During 2020 we were all asked to see the world through the eyes of others,’ says Albana Janjeva, creative director and founder of Swim By Alba.
When I created Swim By Alba, I was designing swimwear for all women to feel confident, empowered and sexy. I met Lili St. Jerry at a Black Lives Matter march and we, of course, discussed fashion.
‘Body positivity is at the heart of Swim By Alba, yet, we hadn’t considered the needs of trans women.
It has taken time to perfect, but through our collaboration, we’ve created something special.
We want to inspire the fashion industry to consider trans women in the collective drive to be more inclusive.’
Made from a handpicked microfibre nylon blend, the Lili Gaff’s doubled-lined design provides control and smoothness for comfort, freedom and confidence when wearing swim or beachwear.
‘As trans women, we struggle to find ways to wear certain garments, having to resort to making our own makeshift items,’ says Lili St. Jerry, trans advocate and model. ‘
The Lili Gaff was created to help trans women feel included when looking for designs they can feel sexy and confident in.
‘Lingerie and swimwear are just two fashion obstacles trans women have to navigate.
We created the Lili Gaff which helps an individual feel at ease wearing any type of swimwear with no qualms.
Producing the Lili Gaff will hopefully create an avenue of inclusion for trans women in the fashion industry, it’s a vital part of our wardrobes.’
The new product launch comes ahead of International Transgender Day of Visibility – March 31 – an annual day dedicated to championing transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as a celebration of their contributions to society.
Our mutual ignorance was one of our biggest hurdles, whether that be design or manufacturing considerations or the requirements of many trans women,’ admits Albana.
‘It was important to be educated on both topics and to really understand a trans woman’s body.
It was the first time we worked on a swimwear design project that was outside of our existing understanding.
‘As an independent brand, Swim By Alba is quite agile, but it was important to take our time and consider all sensitivities and needs of the entire trans community.
‘Lot’s of prototypes, fails, successes and tests later we have a garment we’re really proud of.’