Credit: Kane Skennar for Midnight Swim
Bali-based designer Genevieve Er swapped a career in IT for fashion in 2007 after realising her heart lay in fabric and design rather than long office hours. Her signature label TIG (This is Genevieve) was soon draped over models and stylists everywhere from Australia’s coastal towns to the world’s capital cities. Then with the help of some celebrity endorsement, she decided to launch a swimwear label, Midnight Swim.
Within a year of designing the first collection, her itsy-bitsy ‘Ibiza’ bikini landed on the editorial pages of the coveted Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Does it get any better? We spoke to Er about how this ‘wow’ swimwear went from Bali to way beyond anything she could ever have imagined.
Tell us about the birth of your (now iconic) orange bikini “The swimsuit is called the Ibiza. I named it that because it’s super sexy but has a natural bohemian style as well. It’s made using a macrame technique that is entirely made up of tiny knots in the fabric. It also comes in wine, marine, sky and classic black. All the colours are popular but orange is certainly a stand out in the sea and on the sand.”
And now it’s standing out on the pages of Sports Illustrated “Sheer luck. I’m not sure how the editorial team spotted Midnight, but they called in the swimsuit. I still can’t quite believe it happened and am extremely grateful for the opportunity. And I am over the moon it got published on the model Hailey Clauson, who looks absolutely beautiful in it.”
How excited were you when you found out the magazine used it? “I was totally delighted when I found out and it’s given me new energy and motivation to focus and create the next season’s designs. To be chosen in the first season of the product launching is a thrill that I just won’t forget. We have had a lot of interest in the brand and especially that swimsuit since the publication came out. I’m on cloud nine.”
You’ve been in fashion for a while but what’s your link to swimwear? “I had a clothing label called TIG previous to Midnight, which I had the privilege to see sold by some awesome retailers like Nasty Gal, Free People and ShopBop. Every summer season I would add a small component of swimwear and I noticed it gathered more and more interest over the years. The fact that I divide my time between Bali and Sydney and live in my bikini most of the year might be part of the reason for its growing success.”
WHAT made you decide to create a completely separate swim brand? “The turning point was when Cara Delevingne wore my bikini for her 22nd birthday celebrations. I got so many enquiries and sales as a result that I thought I should create a brand dedicated purely to swimwear. Midnight was born.”
Why (apart from the obvious) do you choose to base your label out of Bali? “I have a wonderful team and family in Bali as I was already previously based there with TIG and it seemed natural to continue to create there. Bali is an extremely creative place and having 365 days a year of hot weather certainly helps the creative process.”
Title image: courtesy Midnight Swim