Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Spring is finally here, which means that we're one step closer to summer. Since an increase in temperature warrants a decrease in clothing, we’re hitting the gym (or having guilt about not doing our daily crunches). To help you navigate through the plethora of brands, fits, and styles for the impending bathing suit season, we're asking top swimwear designers our hard-hitting questions. Welcome to The Deep End.
Image via Burbujas De Deseo
Carl McNeill is the force behind 2wink Australia—a line of Aussie made, produced, and constructed men's swimwear that we’ve recently seen populate the beaches of Malibu. While the land of Oz is currently enjoying their summer, we chatted with the brand's creative director and found out why he’s inspired by both The Incredible Hulk and Aboriginal art?.and how they’ve influenced his ocean-ready designs.
What makes your swimwear unique?
Our designs are influenced on themes. For example, one of our latest designs called Walkabout was influenced by the Australian Aboriginal culture. We commissioned Aboriginal artist Peter Mulcahy to design the waistband in a way that it could reflect the Aboriginal culture's rite of passage for adolescent young men, otherwise known as Walkabout. Our other designs are influenced by pop culture. Popular movies such as Predator and The Incredible Hulk inspired ranges with the same names, and for our '70s and '80s ranges we incorporated signature colors from each decade.
Are there any celebrity influences?
Our first range of swimwear, released in 2011, was named after Australian actors: The Ledger, The Worthington, The Kwanten, The Crowe and The Jackman. The colors we used for each design were influenced by how we saw these actors. Other companies who claim to be Australian but very few actually make their product in Australia. 2wink is proudly 100% Australian.
What do you think men are looking for when shopping for swimwear?
I believe men are looking for a stylish, masculine swim trunk or boardshort. The Australian market is a lot more conservative when choosing swimwear. To cater to this, we’re designing our first range of low-cut boardshorts. The cut rises about 5cm above the knee, as the days of the long boardshort are best saved for the serious surfer. I even believe that the cut of the boardshort will get shorter with time. It reminds me of the miniskirt for women; it just kept getting shorter.
What’s next for your brand?
We're releasing four new ranges of swim trunks with a front pouch booster. The booster protects your manhood (and ego) when being observed from coming out of the cold water. But if you’re fortunate enough to not need the booster, it can simply be removed. (Ed note: UM, wow.)
Where do you see 2wink Australia in 15 years?
The market is very competitive, but I believe that 2wink Australia will become an icon within the industry, known for its fashionable Australian-made swimwear and underwear. Because the industry is constantly changing and because we seek to stay on top of trends and create particular trends of our own, we're always reinventing ourselves and evolving. I believe that 2wink Australia's eagerness to evolve, while also maintaining a certain sense of classic style, is what lends to the brand's longevity.
· 2wink Australia [Official Site]