This Is the Story of the Swimwear Brand on Every Cool Girl’s Radar

This Is the Story of the Swimwear Brand on Every Cool Girl’s Radar


Manila-based Blackbough Swim has effortlessly captivated the Instagram-savvy crowd both locally and across the globe. Jemina Ty unveils the tales behind its devoted cult-like following

Before Blackbough Swim gained a devoted following in the Philippines and worldwide—catching the attention of Kendall Jenner, Elsa Hosk, and Vanessa Hudgens, as well as popular personalities such as Heart Evangelista, Solenn Heussaff, and Anne Curtis—it was a passion project that quietly brewed on Jemina Ty’s bedroom floor. “I started [by designing and] creating small batches of bikinis in my room for me and my friends,” says the CEO and creative director. Soon enough, her place transformed into a bustling workshop, her bedroom overflowing with bikinis that spilled out into the living room and kitchen.

“Strangers started coming up to me, asking if they could buy a piece or two,” Ty recalls. “From there, I knew that this small business of mine could eventually become bigger.”

The perfect fit

Blackbough Swim swimwear
Ty started Blackbough Swim on her bedroom floor
Jemina Ty Blackbough Swim swimwear
As the swimwear label continues to grow, customers remain the heart of the brand

Since launching in 2017, Blackbough Swim has been on a mission to create swimwear that inspires confidence. Every bikini undergoes “a lengthy, meticulous journey” to ensure a buttery soft feel and durable triple lining.

“Our customers are the heart of our brand. We take the time to listen to what they want through the reviews and comments that we receive,” the 28-year-old entrepreneur shares. “We go through multiple tests and revisions so the pieces look good, fit different body types, and last as long as possible.”

With a strong commitment to sustainability, the brand takes pride in crafting their suits from recycled fabrics and printing only the necessary quantities, avoiding any excess. By prioritizing quality over quantity, Blackbough Swim embodies the essence of conscious fashion, delivering designs that are both luxurious and environmentally friendly.

Height of romance

Jemina Ty Blackbough Swim
A design is deemed ready for production when Ty is 100 percent happy to wear it to the beach

Even with the wide selection of swimsuits on the brand’s website, each piece is deeply personal. “I’m inspired by my interests and the world around me—from travel locations, interiors, and friends, to certain moments in my life. I make it a point to create whatever feels genuine to me,” she enthuses. According to her, a design is deemed ready for production when she is “100 percent happy” to wear it to the beach. “Vacations are the best of times, and if my creations can be part of a wonderful memory while [instilling confidence in our customers], then I know I have done my job,” she smiles.

The Martini Top, Daniella Bottoms, and the Keisha Sarong in Sicily, the creative director confides, hold a special place as her current favorites. Worn together, these items induce a heavy bout of seaside bliss, drawing inspiration from the coastal towns that Ty has visited and immediately fallen in love with. An instant hit, the classic triangle top was one of the team’s first designs back in 2017. Meanwhile, the Daniella Bottoms offer exceptional versatility with the perfect balance of coverage. Ty shares that she adores pairing them with the Keisha Sarong, which can be worn either around the waist or draped over the head. “It’s extremely chic and fun,” she says. 

Good, honest work

Jemina Ty Blackbough Swim
Every bikini goes through a lengthy, meticulous journey
Jemina Ty Blackbough Swim custom
Custom designs are printed directly onto the fabric instead of using dyes

“It all comes down to good, honest work,” Ty begins, “There is no secret to running a successful brand.”

She believes in putting in the necessary hours to accomplish every task, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone. Ultimately, the key indicators of a thriving business are creating quality products that you truly believe in and cultivating a loyal base of repeat customers.

Ty understands the importance of nurturing two vital groups: customers and employees. She expresses deep gratitude for the trust that they have placed in her, whether it be customers investing in her products or employees dedicating their time to work alongside her. “I will never take that [trust] for granted,” she says, recognizing that her brand would not be where it is today without those who have given it a chance.

According to her, one of the best parts of her job is seeing her vision come together. “Knowing that I’ve built something like this has kept me motivated throughout my journey as the CEO and creative director of Blackbough,” she says. “Another highlight is getting to be in the office everyday, working alongside my team, and seeing [the fruits of] all of our hard work. My team constantly inspires me—pushing my creativity to its limits and making each day a chance to establish our brand as the industry’s finest.” 

Jemina Ty Swim
Ty’s goal with Blackbough Swim is to be a platform for women to dream big, take up space, and become leaders in their own right

Proudly, Ty shares that Blackbough Swim has always been led by women, making up 97 percent of their workforce. She believes that women’s leadership and creativity are essential in modern business. Empowering her team members, she encourages them to voice their ideas and opinions, “Our goal with Blackbough is not only [to be well-loved] for our products, but also [to be a platform that amplifies] the voices of women all over the world, inspiring them to dream big, take up space, and become leaders in their own right.”

Blackbough Swim is founded out of the desire to find the perfect, no-nonsense bikini to bum around in the beach. Browse the full collection on their website. For the latest updates, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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