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Top-class cossies to impress at the beach

YOU could call it cossie couture — a range of strictly numbered swimsuits featuring superior fabrics and design features.

The practical upshot, says Seafolly managing director Anthony Halas, is that when women go to the beach “they won’t be lying next to another woman wearing the same swimsuit”.

Just 100 of each Seafolly Limited Edition style — one-pieces, halter and bandeau bikinis and resort dresses that were on show at the Sydney Fashion Festival yesterday — are available. They are being sold in only eight David Jones stores and six Seafolly boutiques around the country.

“It’s definitely more fashion forward, and we’ve deliberately kept it in limited stores,” Mr Halas said.

Fringing, ruffles, stripes and tassles were the main swimwear trends in yesterday’s show, which also included Seafolly’s main line, which retails for about half the price of Limited Edition’s $200-$300 swimsuits.

Models wore ethnic bracelets and had feathers and plaits woven into their hair in line with the tribal theme of both of the ranges, which also featured tie-dye prints, cut-outs and shirring.

Seafolly’s business has doubled over the past three years under the leadership of Mr Halas.

He has expanded its international distribution to department stores including Galeries Lafayette in France, Nordstrom in the US and Selfridges, Fenwicks and House of Fraser in Britain.

Earlier this year, the brand won the swimwear category of the Paris Capitale de la Creation competition — the first time an Australian label has done so — and last month Seafolly recorded a 200 per cent sales increase at Miami Swim Fashion Week, the world’s largest swimwear fashion show, at which it shows annually.

Mr Halas said a greater focus on exporting and an improved speed to market were behind the brand’s success.

“Women want greater choice more often now, so in Australia we now replenish stock on a weekly basis,” he said.

Growing consumer interest in the resort category, which comprises kaftans, maxi-dresses and beach cover-ups, had also benefited business.

“That category was only 5 per cent five years ago, but it’s risen to 20 per cent,” Mr Halas said.