Swimwear by Byron Bay company SNRKLBR (pronounced Snorkelbear).
Swimwear by Byron Bay company SNRKLBR (pronounced Snorkelbear). Contributed

Aussie designer says her skimpy swimwear can empower women

IT WASN'T long ago that women's swimwear seemed limited to the classic one-piece or a patterned triangle bikini.

Now, with so many innovative designs available, buying basic swimwear seems like a wasted opportunity.

Byron Bay company SNRKLBR (pronounced Snorkelbear) is mixing innovation with history. Owner and designer Laura Smith is taking old-school swimwear and giving it a modern day twist. "I could never find swimwear I liked so I used to get all of mine from op shops and vintage stores," she says.

"I just love all those styles and shapes, they have so much character. My designs are quite a bit cheekier than my vintage pieces but I kind of took the best design elements and prints from my favourite pieces and created a new style."

Even Laura admits many of her designs are "skimpy", but she says that's no reason for women to shy away from certain styles of swimwear.


"You never know until you try it - I say just go for it," she says. "I wasn't that confident at first, when I got the first samples I thought it was too much but I was like 'you know what? I'll just try it and see how I feel' and those styles have grown on me. Wearing them gives me confidence, I think it's like that for a lot of women.

"It can actually be quite empowering and help women become more comfortable in their skin and accepting of their bodies. But in saying that there are definitely women who aren't comfortable in my styles. I have a lot of friends who are mums now and it's not their thing and that's okay."