Topaz Boutique Swim is a new independent boutique swimwear brand established in 2019. Independently designed in the UK, their mission is to create a boutique swimwear line that promotes exclusive designs with a tailored fit. Featuring minimalist pieces, cheeky cuts, exquisite prints and a luxury palette all of which have been tailored for the modern bombshell. Topaz’s aim is to provide its customers with high-quality pieces which are truly unique and make every woman feel beautiful and sexy. We sat down with founder Natasha to find out more.
How did Topaz Swim begin?
I studied Fashion Knitwear design at Nottingham Trent University and was lucky to land myself at high end designer Alexander McQueen for 10 months followed by a few smaller internships. After graduating I struggled to find a paid design job, so I spent the next 18 months working unpaid for a number of fashion houses including, All Saints & Julien Macdonald, where I hand crafted two floor length gowns that were featured on Kourtney Kardashian & Eva Longoria Parker. It was one of my proudest moments.
It wasn't until I landed my first paid job in the industry at Superdry where I was taken on as the Junior Swimwear designer that I fell in love with swimwear. It wasn't long before I noticed a huge gap in the market for a boutique brand that represents high quality, luxury and individuality at a competitive price. This is where Topaz really began.
Within a year of registering the business I took it upon myself to leave Superdry and focus more on my business plans and the development of the product. Soon after I took a job offer at an independent luxury brand which helped me to continue expanding my business knowledge whilst shadowing an amazing fashion entrepreneur and continuing my brand development.
I am now one of the leading Womenswear Designers at Holland Cooper Clothing. I work with a number of factories in Europe and the far east and have built strong relationships for my business in the future.
My mission for Topaz is to create a boutique swimwear line that promotes exclusive designs with a tailored fit. I noticed the current market was missing classic and sexy swimwear made with luxury quality at a competitive price. There is great symbolism and purpose behind the values of the brand and by providing unique, limited-edition apparel at a good price, women are reminded to embrace their individuality and uniqueness.
With a mix of luxury lifestyle, fashion and eye catching detail, the magic of the brand comes from the signature attention to detail, with every piece of the collection reflecting Topaz’s luxury quality. I believe all women, no matter what shape or size, should feel sexy in swimwear. I really wanted to create something that would empower all women and allow their confidence to shine.
What sets Topaz aside from other labels is the exclusivity of the brand being independently designed in the UK by a young entrepreneur. Each product is handcrafted with the finest fabrics and everything is long lasting. Drawing the brand’s name from a crystal which reflects the ocean’s vibrant colours, it felt right to commit to donating a percentage of sales each month to a nominated charity which supports the protection of the ocean.
Have you always been interested in fashion?
Yes, From a young age I was always creative, making things, drawings, sewing. I always knew I wanted my own brand. I just never knew it could be possible. However, with hardwork and pure dedication it has.
What have been the highest and lowest points on your journey so far?
Being an entrepreneur and running a young company is a constant up and down and honestly it is a very adventurous journey which I have loved every second of. The highest point of my journey will have to be seeing my designs come to life. Creating beautiful quality products and showcasing them in a photoshoot would have to be one of my biggest highlights, along with seeing my vision come together. Another one of my highest points will be my first sale on the first day I went live online, that has got to be one of my most proudest achievements yet.
Over the last year I have had a few yes’s and a lot of no’s, but I have never let any set back stop me. Finance for the brand has been my biggest challenge, I was offered an investment for a cut in the business which was a very difficult decision for me, as a start up brand I needed all the money and help I could get. However, I turned this investor down and went at it solo, with a lot of risk, and not a lot of funds. I put a lot of my own money into developing the product over the second year and then managed to get a start up loan to fund everything from, marketing, photoshoots, websites etc. I took a very large risk to book my stock without the funds in the hope that the products sell. Lucky for me I have excellent working relationships with my suppliers.
Of course I was and am aware of the risks of starting a brand based on production, but I believe in the product and I believe in the brand and I believe in what Topaz represents. I hope everyone else does. So I went for it.
What are the morals you run your brand by?
There is great symbolism and purpose behind the values of the brand and by providing unique, limited-edition boutique swimwear, women are reminded to embrace their individuality and uniqueness.
Quality: Topaz strives to create the highest quality swimwear with impeccable finish and fit that will last for years to come with proper care
Eco: Topaz believes in incorporating sustainability wherever possible. We don't believe in low quality, fast fashion. Every piece of the collection is timeless and long lasting. All packaging is eco friendly, either being made from recycled or biodegradable material, and enabling you to recycle or compost it. Balancing sustainability with luxury quality. We are also donating £1 of every sale to help clean up the oceans and protect our marine life.
Unique: Topaz provides customers with exclusive pieces that are truly unique and special. Quality, long lasting and individual. Available exclusively online.
Innovation: Topaz constantly strives to redefine the standard of excellence in everything we do. Always focusing on new innovation.
Luxury: At the foundation of the design process. Topaz works with suppliers to search for luxurious materials that enhance the exclusivity of the products offered to their customers. The magic of the brand comes from the signature attention to detail with every piece of the collection reflecting Topaz’s luxury quality and uniqueness.
Passion: It is my belief that we should be passionate about everything we do.
What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?
The first collection was inspired by precious stones. Amethysts, Sapphires, Topaz etc. The brand, which takes its name from the crystal of love, good fortune and attainment of goals, is made up of the finest aqua marine colours which all reflect the beautiful array of the colours of the ocean.
How would you describe your customer base?
Our customer ranges from age 18- 35+ years old. She enjoys fitness, travelling, boutique shopping and eating at trendy restaurants. She is a career orientated and driven individual, enjoys travelling and the finer things in life. Values materialistic things, enjoys keeping up with fashion and beauty. Young, enthusiastic, motivated and adventurous. Seeks variety, excitement and likes to party on the beach. Her buying behaviours are often avid and impulsive, with the majority of her income spent on fashion, socialising and entertainment. Her purchases usually reflect what is trendy and looking confident, sexy and feminine.
Do you ever struggle to stay inspired?
No, I am inspired by everything, pattern, interior, colour, texture. I don't like to follow trends, I like to design what I feel is right for the brand, product I feel represents us and what our customer will love.
Is there anyone you would love to see wearing your designs?
Yes, I would love to see my collection on Michelle Keegan, Hayley Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Taylor Instines to name a few.
Do you have a mentor?
No, I have sought advice from business professionals throughout this journey, but I haven’t had a mentor. I do have friends and great people who support me and my dreams continuously.
If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be and why?
My favourite piece is the Kora Cut out bikini with the high waist bottoms in Fuchsia. I love the fit of this bikini, the top is so supportive even for me and I have a small chest. The bottoms are super high waist and cheeky and really accentuate my physique. Plus the colour is so vibrant and really shows off a tan. I also love the gold signature hardware.
Is there another designer whose work you particularly admire?
I have loads of favourite designers which I absolutely love at the moment, including Free People, Cocomango Jewellery, All Saints, Reiss, Solid & Stripe, Whistles, Kooples, & Other Stories, Chloe - the list goes on!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
To be successful don’t worry about what other people think.There will always be people who want to see you fail. Worry about your own opinion.
What drew you to Wolf & Badger?
I was actually recommended to Wolf & Badger by a friend who also stocks on W&B. She thought my brand would be perfect for them. I love what W&B represents, helps independent designers showcase their product, market their product to the industry and give them a chance to sell their pieces. I also love that they are passionate about sustainability and ethically made quality products, which is really important. It's a great platform to be a part of.
Where do you see the brand in 5 years?
This is a difficult one as I have no idea where this year is going to take me let alone five years from now.
I have desires to have an office for Topaz, with a team of people behind me to help build the brand. I would love to see the brand stocked in Selfridges next year, and have a dream of opening a store in the world’s largest international airport. I also have big ambitions to be able to stock my swimwear collections on the largest cruise lines in the world and in boutique hotels.