Haven't heard of KIINI? It's the swimwear label that started the crochet bikini revolution. Here Turkish-born founder Ipek Irgit talks about how she created a sell-out global brand supermodels squabble over.
The Crochet Swimsuit 2.0
I have always loved collecting crazy handmade items during my travels. The design for the KIINI was a mix of the things I’ve collected over the years, but better made and with more support. Typically crochet bikinis aren’t supportive—they normally sag. Adding in elastic and making them somewhat sporty was the solution. From there I had to find the right fabric and the best yarn to use. My inspiration for the colors came from all sorts of things—from Turkish tiles to the Post Its on my desk.
My bikinis look great on the body and women immediately feel gorgeous when they wear them They are very colorful and eye-catching and they photograph well—those ingredients all helped the brand gain traction on social media.
Why Instagram Matters
When I started my brand I had literally zero PR budget. To this day, I’ve never paid for PR or given away a free bikini (unless it’s a present to a good friend). I credit the wonderful ladies around the world that are posting their photos to Instagram for spreading the word—that’s how things started to build. I get so excited each time I see a photo. Not only do I discover super cool girls doing really interesting things, but also amazing locations and beaches that I’ve never even heard of.
On Filling a Void
I was actually looking for a good bikini for my 34D’s! Everything out there was the same. Too granny, too sexy, too bling bling, too boring, too small, too expensive. I wanted something unique that I could wear comfortably—something with great colors that offered some support without wires or padding. Also, I wanted to be able to wear it as a bra or clothing item.
There was definitely a need in the swimwear market for something unique like KIINI. I would never do what everyone else is doing already anyway; I’ve always found it very important to be original. Of course, being such a unique product, it could have gone totally the other way and people could have been like, 'What the hell is this?' Luckily that wasn't the case!
Shop our edit of the best pieces to pair with your KIINI below or alternatively shop all beachwear here.