Updated on Oct.1, 2012.
Brazilian swimsuits and bikinis are famous the world over. Exports are an important part of the country's swimwear business, with adaptations such as larger bikini bottoms for clients in more conservative countries.
Female nakedness in Brazilian Carnival parades may give the impression that going topless is OK on every Brazilian beach. Not so. Unless you are on one of Brazil's nude beaches, going topless is considered a misdemeanor.
Some beaches have a laissez-faire approach to nudism, but they're not official naturism beaches and don't conform to naturism ethics.
What usually happens in Brazil, and is sometimes pointed out by topless advocates as a hypocrisy, is that women's beachwear has optimized exposure while remaining technically legal.
Swimsuit collections nowadays, however, tend to include pieces that provide reasonable coverage while retaining the Brazil flair expected from the pros. Still, the best a visitor can do to count on a more conservative fit is make sure she packs her own swimwear before leaving home. Swimsuits with tall and extra large fits are not easy to find in Brazil.
Like many other beach trends, the establishment of a specialized beachwear business started in Rio. Brazilian beach fashion pioneer Cid Pereira (a.k.a. Cidinho) holds what seems to be an undisputed claim to being the first to get bikinis out of their low-profile baskets in women's clothing boutiques and show them off on hangers as the stars of a specialized store, back in the late 1970s.
Today, his company Bumbum (pronounced "boom-boom", meaning "buttocks") is one of the leaders in Brazilian swimwear.
One of the best recent trends in Brazil beachwear is a leap in the quality and beauty of clothes in quick-drying fabric to go over the swimsuits; they will keep you stylish and comfortable as you go from sand to beach lounge.
Online Brazilian Swimsuit Collections 2012
Stay up to date on the Brazilian beach fashion scene by browsing the newest swimsuit and bikini collections on the designer websites listed below. On this list, you will find Brazil's most famous brands and, like on the country's beaches, pieces ranging from haute couture to more affordable designs.
A few of these companies work with swimwear for men and children or with other lines of clothing, but most focus on bikinis and swimsuits. Some make fitness wear as well.
To find out where to buy the items on websites that don't offer the English option, click on "Lojas", "Onde Comprar", "Onde Encontrar" or even "Contatos" (Stores, Where to buy, Where to find and Contacts respectively). Some brands don't have their own stores. You can email them to find out where they place their products.
- Adriana Degreas
- Água de Coco
- Banco de Areia
- Beach Couture
- Blue Man
- By Dina Maia
- Cia. Marítima US
- Clube Bossa
- Eve (formerly Sombra e Água Fresca) by Eve Roumilhac
- Flor de Menta
- Garota de Ipanema
- Jangada Biquinis
- Jo de Mer
- Mar Rio
- Opa Locka
- Poko Pano
- Praia Brasil
- Rosa Chá (brand bought by Le Lis Blanc in July 2012
- So De Mel, European-Brazilian design by Sonia de Mello in Santa Barbara, CA
- Opera Swimwear by Sueli Costa (US; online)
- Sauipe Swimwear