Floreal bikini by Agua Bendita

Photo: Agua Bendita

Designer Spotlight: Agua Bendita

Learn why Vogue can’t get enough of this colorful Colombian brand!

Spanish for ‘holy water’, Colombian swimwear brand Agua Bendita is celebrated for its heavenly swimwear, ready-to-wear clothing, and accessories. Popular for its eye-catching prints and bold colors, Agua Bendita is a youthful brand with a joyous point of view. This popular woman-owned swimwear brand has seen remarkable success with stores and stockists across the globe. While their products and styles are more in demand than ever, this colorful brand continues to work with local artisans and honor the principles of social responsibility, and sustainability.

2022 marked the coining of the phrase ‘dopamine dressing’ by fashion psychologist, Dawnn Karen. This viral trend and phrase is used to describe when people dress in a way that releases a rush of happy hormones. Dopamine is one of the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters in the body, hence the phrase, ‘dopamine dressing’. Followers of fashion use this term to refer to colorful outfits, whimsical prints, and nostalgic silhouettes that induce joy in the wearer, and no swimwear brand does this better than Colombia’s Agua Bendita and its sister brand, Agua by Agua Bendita. Their floral prints, beautiful fabrics, and bright colors feel like sunshine you can wear.

The History of Agua Bendita

The story of Agua Bendita began over twenty years ago when Catalina Álvarez met Mariana Hinestroza. These two women were both students at a college in Medellin studying fashion design and quickly became best friends. Then in 2003, the two women began business partners when they launched their first brand, Agua Bendita. This now famous luxury brand had humble beginnings as the two designers started by making bathing suits for their friends and family using Catalina’s grandmother’s sewing machine and discarded fabric scraps they collected from a local clothing factory.

These two unstoppable women soon made history in 2007 when Agua Bendita became one of the first Colombian companies to export local fashion. Their unique handmade designs became highly sought after, making it a leading fashion brand in Colombia. Today, Agua Bendita is sold in over fifty countries worldwide.

In 2018, Agua Bendita introduced Agua by Agua Bendita to cater to their luxury clients. Both Agua Bendita and Agua by Agua Bendita are inspired by the biodiversity of Latin America, unique shapes, and tropical prints. Both brands are also handmade by local artisans. 

Agua Bendita’s Influences

One of the most popular resort wear and swimwear brands on the market, both Agua Bendita and Agua by Agua Bendita receive praise regularly from major fashion publications like Vogue Magazine and WWD. Just this summer, Vogue proclaimed Agua Bendita as “...one of the best swimsuit brands”, and publications like D Magazine excitedly discussed the arrival of an Agua by Agua Bendita pop-up in Dallas, Texas.

Both Agua Bendita and Agua by Agua Bendita also have a huge demand for brand collaborations. In 2023, Agua Bendita became part of Target’s highly anticipated spring designer collection. The sold-out Agua Bendita x Target collection included ready-to-wear and swimwear pieces in their signature tropical style. 

2023 was a major year for this Colombian brand as it also became part of the exclusive 2023 Gucci Vault Summer Capsule. This unique concept from the legendary Italian fashion house included offerings from eight leading brands from around the world, including Agua by Agua Bendita. As of 2024, Gucci Vault has been reborn and reimagined as Gucci Vintage.

2024 promises to be another banner year for collaborations for both Agua Bendita and Agua by Agua Bendita. Influencer favorite Revolve has created the Agua Bendita x Revolve collection with bespoke bikinis, swimsuits, cover-ups, and ready-to-wear pieces. This vacation-ready collaboration collection allows shoppers to get a taste of the Agua Bendita aesthetic for a more wallet-friendly price.

Supermodel swimwear brand, Tropic of C, worked with Agua Bendita to create a groovy, psychedelic-inspired swimwear collection. The Tropic of Cancer x Agua Bendita capsule collection includes fashion-forward bikinis, men’s swimwear trunks, children’s swimwear, and trendy mesh beach cover-ups.

The intricate prints of this South American brand are beloved by more than fashion insiders, it’s also a favorite for those working in home design. Recently, Misette, a modern home decor brand dedicated to artful dinnerware and breathtaking tablescapes partnered with Agua by Agua Bendita to create an exclusive collection of embroidered linens, hand-blown glassware, hand-painted plates, and luxury candles. The limited edition Misette x Agua by Agua Bendita collection perfectly illustrates the versatility of this Colombian fashion label.

Spotlight on Agua Bendita’s Designs

Everyone remembers the first time they stumbled across an Agua Bendita design. Cries of “Where did you get that?” or “Oh my god, I love that!” were probably heard quickly after spotting one of these designs in the wild. Whether it’s a style from Agua Bendita or their Agua by Agua Bendita line, the unique aesthetic and elevated taste of this brand make it stand out anywhere. This feminine swimwear brand perfectly walks the line of being flirtatious and bright without ever feeling immature or tacky. Both lines of this South American label are consistently luxurious, well-designed, and flattering.

Carrie One Piece

Girlhood-inspired styles have seen a massive resurgence in popularity recently. Often described as the ‘coquette’ aesthetic, this feminine-forward trend embraces the pretty bows and pastel shades seen in young girl’s clothing. This nostalgic trend involves adult women reclaiming their childhood favorites and challenging the dismissive attitudes the culture has toward feminine styles and identities. This trend of embracing girlishness with fashion is not new. In the 80s and 90s, we saw this with fashion icons like Princess Diana and her embrace of twee fashions. Twee style, which also came back in the 2010s, indulges in cute prints, like Princess Diana’s famous black sheep sweater, florals, and bows. This coquette aesthetic is also tied to the ‘dopamine dressing’ trend we discussed at the beginning of this article. Now more than ever, people look to fashion for escape and emotional comfort. 

Carrie One Piece Swimsuit by Agua Bendita

Photo: @aguabenditasw

Carrie One Piece Swimsuit by Agua Bendita

Photo: Agua Bendita

One swimsuit that expertly blends all of these complex fashion ideas into a wearable and well-designed style is the Carrie One Piece from Agua Bendita. This cutout bandeau design features two adjustable soft ties down the front of the suit. This exclusive print is expertly paired with an accented border trim and delicate handcrafted details. Made with adjustable or removable straps and removable cups, you can customize this feminine swimsuit to your liking. Providing medium coverage, this floral one-piece is made with sun-protective fabric with a rating of UPF 50+. The contrasting border accent with the floral fabrics of the swimsuit adds visual interest and depth to the style, elevating this luxurious vacation look. The Carrie is feminine without veering into the juvenile. This glamorous swimsuit is perfect to wear poolside at a romantic five-star villa or on the beach making sandcastles with your family. I also love that this one-piece swimstyle works on women of any age or life stage. This is no doubt intentional as both Catalina Álvarez and Mariana Hinestroza are proud mothers who value versatility as well as style.

Olmo Petalo Bikini Top and Nopal Petalo Bikini Bottom

Long before I ever started writing for MySwimLook, I was a fan of Agua Bendita/Agua by Agua Bendita. No brand has ever come close to matching this label when it comes to their unique and artistic prints. Their handmade prints seem like they came out of a museum design archive and yet they never feel old-fashioned or stuffy. This Colombian label’s textile designs paired with their streamlined silhouettes seem classic but fresh. Their swim designs could be worn casually on any beach or modeled for a Vogue fashion editorial. Both Agua Bendita and Agua by Agua Bendita effortlessly thread the needle of making editorial style seem attainable. That is where their true magic lies.

The Olmo Petalo Bikini Top and Nopal Petalo Bikini Bottom from Agua by Agua Bendita exemplify their ability to make classic beauty seem rare and current. Featuring a square neckline and a sweet ruffled trim, this feminine two-piece swimsuit is a must-have for luxury fashion fans. Sustainably made with recycled polyester and thoughtfully lined, this high-waisted two-piece is elegant and artful. The print’s pairing of crisp white with French blue is a masterful combination, making the design feel lighter and romantic.

MySwimLook’s Picks From The Agua Bendita x Tropic of C Collaboration.

Agua Bendita and Agua by Agua Bendita are both kept busy with new collaborations and new collections. There’s no doubt that their company will continue to grow with time to become one of the biggest swimwear labels worldwide. 

Below are some of our favorite styles from their recent limited edition TOC x Agua Bendita collaboration. Tropic of Cancer, the new buzzworthy swimwear brand from supermodel Candance Swanepoel is a perfect collaborative partner for the well-loved Agua Bendita brand.

toc x agua bendita coco top and lo bottom in navy mushroom all over

Longtime collectors of Agua by Agua Bendita can snag an all-new print and pattern with this colorful mushroom bikini. Fully lined with supportive underwire cups, this TOC x Agua Bendita style is as playful as it is practical.

toc x agua bendita praia top and bottom in mushroom patchwork

Make this your ‘summer of love’ with this unique and psychedelic bikini top and bottom from TOC x Agua Bendita. This colorful patchwork-inspired print adds hippy flair to this classic triangle bikini top and side-tie bottoms.

Where To Buy Agua Bendita

It’s not hard to find Agua Bendita or Agua by Agua Bendita! You can use their helpful store locator to find a brick-and-mortar Agua Bendita store or Agua by Agua Bendita store near you. They are also carried online on their Agua Bendita website and Agua by Agua Bendita website. This fun Colombian brand is also carried online by major retailers like Revolve, Anthropologie, Nordstroms, MyTheresa, and more!

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