Launching a size-inclusive swimwear line was no easy feat but model and designer Taylor Long has accepted the challenge with Nomads Swimwear. She’s carving out a niche in the $46.2 billion swimwear market by offering swimwear for women of every size, especially in the plus-size category.
Earlier this year extended its reach even more by being offered on the HSN shopping channel.
“Very few brands make fun, sexy swim[wear] that cater to all sizes,” Long told Cincinnati Business Journal. “When brands do sell beyond a 12/14 or XL, their offerings are watered down and substantially more covered up. There is an entire segment of women who are left out when it comes to finding stylish swimwear.
Long’s line, which launched in 2019 as part of her senior capstone project at the University of Cincinnati spoke to her personal need to find stylish swimwear options.
“Often you will see that brands offer plus-size, but it’s often completely different,” Long told Forbes. “With Nomads, I didn’t want the plus-size girls to be more covered up than the straight-size girls. I don’t subscribe to that.”
Today, Nomads Swimwear features destination inspired-styles for women who are not interested in wearing a modest swimsuit despite their size. Swimsuit designs are available in sizes XS to 5X and feature on-trend styles. In the past swimsuits for plus-sized women were focused on covering the body. Visit any plus size section in any major retailer and the options are limited to swimsuits with skirts in black or dark blue. Nomads, however, focuses on embracing style and youthfulness-the company offers two-pieces suits and cut out designs in vibrant colors.
According to Statista, the average woman wears either a size 16 or 18. There are a number of retailers — online and offline — offering clothing options for the plus-sized woman. In 2020, the market was valued at $24 billion – a jump of almost $5 billion since 2016. Yet the market for on-trend plus-size swimwear lags in its ability to be size inclusive.
“Everything is either very skimpy or very matronly, there aren’t many brands providing stylish swimwear that still offers support for curvy body types,” Long told Forbes.
Long’s insight into the needs of plus-size women has helped her brand grow in its popularity. Today Long’s designs can be purchased on her e-commerce website as well as Home Shopping Network.
Using Accelerators and Business Development to Grow Brand Appeal
Long credits her success with participating in various mentorship and grant programs aimed at supporting Black women entrepreneurs.
In 2021, Long participated in Home for Dreams, a mentorship program offering business development support and a $25,000 grant to be used to support business growth. Just the year before, she raised over $27,000 through a crowdfunding campaign on the IFundWomen platform. These efforts allowed Long to expand her line and its offerings.