When an Australian news report showed yet another surfer in a black wetsuit being mistaken for a seal, Sarah Brown felt inspired. The mother of two had no prior experience in wetsuit fashion, but imagined a beautifully printed suit a far superior getup for cruising a wave. So emerged Alopé, in a flush of flowerly patterns, intricate prints and lush color—all in flattering, fashion-forward, and, more importantly, functional cuts.
"Too many wetsuits have been designed by men and do not celebrate the shape of a woman," says Brown, who named the line after a Greek sea goddess. "We want to show off those curves while keeping our suits practical and comfortable." Inspired by cultural touches like Moroccan tiles, Russian Ballet costumes and Peruvian dresses, Brown says the "Alopé girl is young or old but confidence is what sets her apart from the rest. Strong, healthy and fearless would define her well."