Looking for the newest and hottest locally produced line of swimsuits? Look no further than HCSwimwear. The line is filled with a wide variety of styles and colors, resulting in a wide variety of options from the line. HCSwimwear is the brainchild of creator Melvin Browne, a New York transplant whose background in fashion and desire for quality products resulted in his current venture. I recently spoke with Browne his start in fashion and the creation of HCSwimwear.
How did you get started in design?
Well I studied Fashion and Fashion Merchandising up north in New York City. So I have always been in some sort of design. I’ve always been creative, business-savvy, and an entrepreneur. I started a non-profit when I was 20 years old but then again I had a vision and plan for what I wanted to come. I always knew I would start some sort of clothing line but did not know when. Ironically, leaving the Capital of Fashion in NYC and moving to Atlanta is what brought my opportunity to really move into fashion design. Here in Atlanta I had the time and extra cash to act on my vision, and really put my design and fashion skills to use.
How did HCSwimwear get started?
HCSwimwear actually was a branch off of my online blogazine called HomoCouture.com. It’s a non-profit that provides the LGBT community with an online lifestyle and fashion guide. So when I moved here to Atlanta, I met a seamstress named Chiraza Knight of Chaza Fashions. I had always wanted to start my own clothing line but didn’t know where to start. After meeting with her I knew that my dreams would be now going into full speed. So it all started with a vision I had. And that’s how I started HCSwimwear – HomoCouture Swimwear.
What makes your swimsuit designs stand out?
While starting this collection, I noticed that other designers all used the same neutral and typical swimsuit colors. I wanted to expand the color palette; my collection features very vibrant and bold colors. Also the quality of my pieces is what will stand out. The saying “you get what you pay for” isn’t always true. I use the best spandex and nylon blend and lining so that you can feel just as good as you look, but for a very inexpensive price. My pieces are handmade here in Atlanta. They won’t color fade or fall apart after one wear, and that’s what completely separates my swimwear from others.
Who or what are your inspirations?
My inspiration behind this collection was a combination of things. When I use to go swimsuit shopping, every swimsuit brand had the same designs and typical colors. When I shop I look for pieces that are unique and that match my personality. So finding really cute swimwear that was of great quality was so hard to find. Another inspiration was: I’m tired of going to the beach, summer prides, and pool parties and witnessing guys play around in cotton underwear.
What’s your most popular item?
My most popular item right now seems to be the Body Trunk. It comes in a combination of 4 sets of colors and 2 back styles. A lot of guys like it because it’s a sexier take on a wrestling singlet. Only my body trunk is cut lower and exposes more of the body. It’s super sexy on, unique in design and feels great on the skin.
Where are HCSwimwear products available?
The HCS Collection is available on my website atwww.hcswimwear.com and now exclusively in-store here in Atlanta at Brushstrokes on Piedmont Road. Hopefully by my next collection we will be in-stores in other cities.
For more information on HCSwimwear visit www.hcswimwear.com, and also look at the swimsuit photos in this issue, featuring select pieces from HCSwimwear’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection.