Hanaley Reponty Founder of Abysee Swimwear

Photo: @hanaleireponty

Designer Spotlight: Abysse

Get to know this eco-friendly brand founded by Tahitian model & pro-surfer, Hanalei Reponty

Eco-friendly swimwear is more popular than ever but it has truly found its full potential with Abysse. Founded in 2014 by Hanalei Reponty-Gudauskas, a Tahitian model and professional surfer, this buzzworthy swimwear brand creates timeless pieces crafted with recycled materials for a sustainable approach to stylish and functional swimwear.

In a time of consumer distrust with major brands and fast fashion at large, Abysse has become a beacon of hope for its steadfast dedication to sustainability, ethical business practices, and eco-friendly fabrics and packaging. Hanalei has artfully crafted a swimwear brand that reflects her vision, her upbringing, and her passion for the ocean with Abysse.

The History of Abysse 

As mentioned before, this Vogue-loved swimwear brand was founded by the stunning Hanalei Reponty-Gudauskas in 2014. Raised on the beautiful island of Tahiti in French Polynesia, Hanalei spent much of her youth on the beach with her two surfer parents. Her mother, Raphaele, also serves as the dual founder of Abysee.

At age 14, Reponty was discovered by the legendary surf company, Rip Curl, when she entered a local surf contest. She soon became the face of the surf brand and became a muse for their ad campaigns. This new success came with many surprises, including the need for a wetsuit when surfing. In Reponty’s native Tahiti, the ocean water temperature averages a comfortable 78 degrees, making it easy to surf with off-the-rack swimwear. Reponty’s experiences with Rip Curl sparked her interest in starting her own company and creating functional and cool swimwear for active women.

In 2014, Hanalei switched gears and started focusing on creating her own brand instead of modeling, although she still models from time, especially for Abysse. Committed to sustainability and eco-friendly business practices, all of her swimwear is made with Japanese Geoprene; a limestone-based material that requires far less processing than a traditional neoprene suit. This material is excellent for water sports as it is 98% water-impermeable. All Abysse swimsuits are produced locally in French Polynesia and are Oeko Tex certified, meaning there are no harmful substances used in the fabric or in garment production. 

Today, this woman-owned swimwear brand is sold across the globe, online and in stores. Abysse has become the go-to brand for both fashion insiders and talented athletes.

Abysse’s Influences

Deeply inspired by the gorgeous island landscape and the cultural embrace of nature, Abysse is inspired by the simple life and pays homage to the beautiful Pacific Ocean. This love of the ocean can be seen in their trademark slogan, “Born of the water”. Respecting and preserving nature has been at the forefront of Hanalei’s mind since childhood making sustainability and Earth-friendly practices a must for her brand.

Carried by Free People and two brick-and-mortar locations (Australia and California), this new swimwear brand has already had much success. Hanalei also lives in San Clemente, California, close by the US Abysse store location. Most recently, Abysse has collaborated with Eco-friendly clothing brand, Roark, to create the Abysse x Roark Collection, a bespoke line of sustainable wetsuits and premium active swimwear.

Vogue has also spotlighted this exciting swimwear company in their brand features and often lists their styles in their list of must-have swimsuits. Surf publications like Surfer, regularly include Abysse in their best surfwear lists. As consumers have begun to prefer brands that align with their own personal values, Abysee is well-situated to succeed with this shift in customer trends as Abysse truly encapsulates what it means to be a sustainable and ethical swimwear brand.

Spotlight on Abysse’s Designs

As a swimwear brand that is meant to be functional, you won’t see any superfluous design touches on an Abysse swimsuit. That means, no crazy straps, risqué cutouts, or anything else that might get in the way of your surfboard. The aesthetic of this brand is much more classic than other swimwear companies.

You can expect to find well-designed triangle bikinis, bodysuits, rash guards, surfsuits, and more. This classic aesthetic, however, doesn’t mean that they only use solid black fabrics. This island swimwear company uses beautiful earth tones and some funky yet tasteful prints to add a splash of whimsy to their offerings.

In terms of online aesthetics and terminology, the vibe of Abysse’s designs is very “clean-girl”, minimalist, and quiet luxury. These luxury swimsuits are meant to be timeless and although that can be styled with the passing trends, they are elegant and will become your go-to for many seasons and vacations.

Billie Volcano

Hanalei Reponty-Gudauskas has said before in interviews that she is deeply inspired by Jenna de Rosany. Jenna de Rosany, like Hanalei, is a professional athlete turned model turned mogul. This iconic blonde beauty is a famous American windsurfer, also partially raised in Tahiti, who broke the World Speed Sailing Record seven times, starting in 1982. Similar to Hanalei, Jenna’s father was also involved with the surfing world and founded Surfer Magazine, a publication that would later feature Abysse swimwear in their articles. These two incredible women seem cosmically intertwined and I see this 1980s-inspired collection, and the Billie Swimsuit in particular as an ode to female athletes of the 80s, like Jenna de Rosany.

Billie Volcano Swimsuit by Abysse

Photo: Abysse

Billie Volcano Swimsuit

Photo: Abysse

The Billie is a retro-inspired long-sleeved swimsuit that is backless with a cheeky cut and high neck. Double-lined for comfort and a high-waist silhouette for a flattering fit, this swimsuit offers great performance in the water for surfers of all levels. While this one-piece swimsuit shares inspiration with the swim silhouettes of the 80s, the taste level of Billie's design choices makes it a high fashion take on the often tacky decade. The brown and black colors ground the organic lines and flirty fit of this swimsuit making it elegant. Brown swimwear is one of the biggest trends of 2024 making this luxury swimsuit a must for your next surfing adventure. 

Personally, I’ve never surfed a day in my life but I love the silhouette of classic surfer swimsuits. Swimsuits can often feel like a glorified bra and panties set and I love the idea of showing a lot of your bum and back but covering up in the front. It’s definitely a way to stand out on the beach when surrounded by a throng of thong swimsuits. For those of us who have zero athletic prowess, this surfer swimsuit lets me live my fantasy of being one with the ocean and catching a wave without ever having to paddle my way out into the ocean. Furthermore, this on-trend swimsuit also dries fast and offers great UV protection, making it a pale girl’s dream.

The Margo One Piece in Ocean Rib

I touched on this when describing the last swimsuit but so much of the appeal of swim styles lie in the fantasy they portray and allow you to participate in. With this concept in mind, what I love about the Margo, beyond its minimalist swimwear aesthetic, is the rich blue shade of this one-piece swimsuit. Blue, the most common favorite color across the globe, is synonymous with the ocean. The color of this suit doesn’t just represent the ocean, but the beautiful blue waters of Tahiti. 

Margo One Piece in Ocean Rib by Abysse

Photo: Abysse

Margo One Piece in Ocean Rib by Abysse

Photo: Abysse

As I began my research into Abysse, I was so amazed by the unique blue shade of the lagoon that surrounds Hanalei’s hometown in Tahiti. So rarely do we get to experience pure nature and the nuanced shade of this swimsuit has me dreaming of the private beaches and expansive horizons of French Polynesia.

This sporty one-piece swimsuit is available in sizes XS-XL and features a racerback that quickly shifts into an open-back design. The Margo, which is available in a variety of colors on the Abysse website, is double-lined and constructed with a supportive bralette without the bulky padding. The side peekaboo cutouts of this piece gently enhance your silhouette, giving you an effortless hourglass shape. For those who plan to spend their time in a pool rather than the ocean itself, you’ll be happy to know this chic one-piece is chlorine resistant as well as UV protective.

MySwimLook’s Picks From The Roark Collection

Roark is all about designing gear that's ready for any adventure that comes your way. Drawing on the beauty of travel and the rush that comes with athleticism, they ensure every item is built to last, comfortable to wear, and kind to the planet with sustainable fabrics and Fair Trade partnerships.

Roark joining forces with Abysse is a true meeting of minds as they both share a love for the great outdoors and a deep respect for our environment. Abysse brings a unique perspective to the Roark label, resulting in a collection that dares you to answer the call of the wild. The Abysse x Roark collection is a tribute to women who push boundaries and the shared ethos of these two brands.

Here are some of our new favorite Abysse swimwear pieces!

Hawkins Bodysuit Abysse x Roark - Leopard

Take a walk on the wild side with the Hawkins Shorty Bodysuit. This classic bodysuit is the perfect fusion of functionality and glamour. This standout piece, an impressive example of the collaboration between Abysse and Roark, offers a fashion-forward edge while championing environmental responsibility. Patterned with a striking leopard print, this swim piece is designed to celebrate adventurous spirits everywhere.

Brinkley Davies wearing Hawkins BodySuit in Leopard byAbysse

Photo: @brinkleydavies

Hanalei Reponty wearing Hawkins BodySuit in Leopard byAbysse

Photo: Abysse

Zamba Top and Faye Bottom x Roark - Leopard

Meet the zesty Zamba Top and the fierce Faye Bikini Bottom,  a new dynamic duo from the Abysse x Roark collection that's turning heads and setting sustainability trends. Designed with a fierce leopard print, this bikini set brings out the best of both brands: a love for adventure with an environmentally conscious heart.

With a dedication to eco-friendly fashion, these pieces are crafted from recycled materials, giving you that feel-good vibe every time you slip them on. And let's talk style – the Faye Bikini Bottom has a high-cut leg reminiscent of the '90s, paired with cheeky coverage that's flirty and chic.

Where To Buy Abysse

The best place to shop for this eco-friendly brand is on the Abysse website. If you prefer an in-store experience, visit their stores in San Clemente, California at Motu, and at Byron Bay, in Australia. This popular sustainable swim brand is also sold by other major retailers, including, Free People and SSENSE. Last but not least, you can find their latest collaboration, the Abysse x Roark Collection online.

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