Jamaica is known as the land of Wood and Water and is home to beaches with the most pristine water – naturally, this means having the hottest Swimsuits is a must for many Jamaicans. If I’m gonna be honest, Swimsuits are definitely a category of clothing that is included in our wardrobe all year round!
Today, Haute People goes “Behind the Seams” with Daniela Stone and her eponymous label DTS by Daniela Stone to learn more about her Swimwear and Resort Wear brand.
Behind the Seams | DTS Swim by Daniela Stone | March 2023 Collection
HAUTE: What inspired you to become a swimwear designer, and how did you get started in this field?
DTS: The brand once revolved around African clothing — I participated in Collection MoDA (Runway) in 2016/2017 and I added a few Resort Wear and Swimwear pieces to the Collection which were well received. The rest as they say, is “History”, people loved the Swimwear designs so I created an entire collection the following year from that. This was how the brand evolved into a Swimwear Brand.
HAUTE: How do you approach designing a new swimwear collection, and what are some of the key factors you consider during the process?
DTS: When designing a new collection, It’s really what I’m feeling in that particular year or time. Sometimes I pay attention to trends in terms of colours, but most likely, it’s what I’m feeling in the time to design.
I raw sketch a design, then make a design, then I decide on the fit and functionality of it all and if it’s gonna be a part of the collection.
HAUTE: Tell us about your latest collection
DTS: For this collection, we did a survey to involve our clients and asked them to choose a colour palette. Based on the results, they chose bright colours so expect to see a lot of bright colours in the collection.! Expect to see more dresses! – our clients loved the dresses we released last year. In terms of functionality, they are more “swim ready” versus “partying”, though Jamaica IS Party! It is a small collection and features just six (6) pieces but expect to see a lot of bright colours. All this plus the “DTS Signature WOW Factor”.
HAUTE: How do you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and styles in the swimwear industry, and how do you incorporate these into your designs?
DTS: The truth is we don’t stay up to date with trends in terms of what’s popular but more so colour. The colour scheme we chose this year is not trending – so we don’t really “stay up to date” with trends. I design based on what I feel that year and will take it from there.
HAUTE: Can you walk us through the production process for one of your swimsuits, from conception to final product?
DTS: It is roughly sketched first, then the colour palette is chosen for the print. I then decide if we will be adding texture by using applique, zippers, or fringe. The sample is then made, followed by a “live test” where it is worn in water or outside to ensure that it holds up against all the elements.
If it passes the test, the sample goes over to a lovely team of women that works with DTS Swim re-create that sample and then it is photographed and advertised to our lovely clients for purchasing.
HAUTE: What sets your swimwear designs apart from others in the industry, and what do you believe are the most important elements of a successful swimsuit design?
DTS: What sets our designs apart is it has all the elements, you are able to go to these wonderful beach events, parties and stand out. You are also able to go into the water and stand out! You are even able to wear it as a body suit sometimes.
“It’s practical, it’s functional, it’s stylish” – It always has a unique element to say “yes, that’s a DTS Swim design”.
A successful swimsuit has functionality, it has to be comfortable against the skin, it has to be able to “swim in”, at the least. You would not want to go into the water and it’s tearing apart. In addition to functionality and comfort, I’ll also add style and design elements to it.
HAUTE: How do you balance practical considerations (such as comfort and fit) with aesthetic considerations (such as style and color) when designing a swimsuit?
DTS: I wear my designs alot because I love going to the Beach, River or Pool! I can’t swim, but love a body of water (lol). When designing, I do wear the pieces to see that it’s actually functional. The design element like adding texture such as an applique to the design is always tested by me. That’s one way I’m able to maintain that balance.
HAUTE: How do you cater to different body types and sizes when creating your swimwear designs, and what steps do you take to ensure that your designs are inclusive and accessible to all customers?
DTS: At DTS Swim, we design swimwear around all body types and most of our products are made to order. In the event that somebody thinks the cut is too high or they need to show more skin or they have a bigger bust – they can get it to fit their specifications.
We have a size guide on our website that you can follow, if it doesn’t match your body type, there is an option to send us a message to add customizations such as “thicker straps” or “don’t cut it as high” or “show more skin”.
There is a mini custom feature to our design. DTS is definitely body positive and body inclusive. There is a store location in Half Way Tree, Kingston Jamaica where clients can come in to get fitted and measured if you feel uncomfortable about a particular design versus communicating via the website – we are accessible via our website and on Social Media.
HAUTE: What advice would you give to aspiring swimwear designers, and what do you think are the key skills and traits needed to succeed in this industry?
DTS: Once it is something you are passionate about, take the time to learn the ins and outs of the Industry as best as possible. Learn what your clients want and what you would want to offer them.
Also learn not to get caught up in trends because sometimes that is not what you should be doing.
“I’m going to emphasize that it is something you want to do because it can get tricky when the business elements are involved in terms of pricing and shipping, packaging and even getting your logo. It takes time, so take the time”.
Don’t lose that passion because once you lose it, it’s done! Just keep pushing and make sure it’s what you want to do.
Finally, pay more attention to the business aspect of being a Fashion Designer – if you want to have a physical location or website, it takes so much to run. Pay attention to these elements and then incorporate the physical products or the designing and fun parts to it and you should be good.
HAUTE: Finally, where can we find your pieces? (Include Physical location/s, Online, Social Media, etc)
Keep reading to learn what is new and “Haute” with this woman owned brand and how you can cop one of the latest designs.
About DTS by Daniela Stone
Luxury Swim and Resort wear. Designed in Jamaica with “love , passion and a splash of YAWD VIBES” International shipping.
Written by Lorane Rhoden
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