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Photo: Instagram/@tropicofc

As a Victoria’s Secret Angel, Candice Swanepoel knows a thing or two about a great-fitting swimsuit, and the supermodel recently put that intel to use by launching her own swimwear label, Tropic of C. The water sign was the inspo behind the label name.

In step with ’90s resurgences, minimal designs, high-cut legs, and retro silhouettes are at the crux of Swanepoel’s collection for which she cites the original supermodels (think: Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford) as mainstays on her mood board. The assortment is not without sporty options, either—belted one-piece suits and black and white color blocking offers a feminine play on athleticism.

“I started taking note and analyzing what clothing and bikinis made me feel the best and what worked for certain destinations and activities,” the model explains of her labels’ origins. She also notes how silhouettes run the gamut from performance proof to more elevated takes. “Our volley suit with a racerback is friendly to an active lifestyle. We also have versatile pieces such as Dune, which is dance inspired or the C that can take you from beach to city worn as bodysuits with shorts and jeans.”

“Swim isn’t known to be a very sustainable industry, so I want to be one of the businesses trying to change that.”—Candice Swanepoel

At a time when ethical practices are becoming more top of mind in fashion, Swanepoel saw an opportunity for exceling in the swimwear market by creating a collection utilizing as many sustainable materials and suppliers as possible. “The eco-friendly mission is part of being a more conscious human being. Swim isn’t known to be a very sustainable industry, so I want to be one of the businesses trying to change that.” Half the suits in her line are made from a sustainable technical fabric called Econyl, which is made from 100-percent recycled materials. Plus, everything from the line’s hang tags to its garment bags are either recycled or biodegradable.

She’s also focused on offering a lineup of styles to suit a variety of body shapes and sizes. “To me, it’s all about the fabric—it has to be able to adapt to the body wearing it,” she says, adding that fabrics with a lot of stretch and pull will offer the most support whether you’re looking for a slimming style or a suit that won’t move around on you while being active. To this end, she’s used Lycra Xtra Life throughout the line to make the suits more durable, while adding elements of compression and body contouring, so “you can feel free to be active and sexy,” she says.

As a pro when it comes to great-fitting swimwear, the model says every woman should own a classic black swimsuit in a one- or two-piece, but when it comes to colors, prints, and silhouettes, she recommends choosing tones that suit your complexion or designs that that work best for activities you enjoy will help boost your confidence. “Know your best features and try to choose something that accentuates them.”

From sporty to feminine, below are our favorites from the Tropic Of C collection.

See what else is trending in swimwear this season, from the swimsuit color of the season to the breezy beach cover-ups that double as sundresses

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