You Make Me Wanna

The welcome return of the crochet bikini.

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BY ZINZI EDMUNDSON
PHOTOGRAPHED BY RYAN BRABAZON

Of the throwback fiber trends in circulation—plant holders and granny squares and Sheila fever—we’re maybe the most fond of the bafflingly adorable, yet utterly unusable crochet swimsuit. Really, there’s no better representation of 70s handicraft, the patterns for which you can find in ample supply on Etsy, usually with a dubious cover-up or shawl to match.

But if confusing navel eyelets and too-chunky-for-summer vests aren’t your thing (hi), there’s She Made Me, a swimwear line from Australia that takes from vintage styles, while keeping its wearer safely clear from Brady Bunch danger zone.

Designer Chloe Dunlop spent years in the swim industry as both a production assistant and buyer before she started She Made Me. “I was passionate about swimwear and crochet,” she says, “but couldn’t find a tasteful, well-fitting crochet bikini.” She took her ideas to Bali—where Chloe now splits time while overseeing production—and worked directly with artisans there to bring her dream suit to life. 

Doing business in Bali, especially in the fast-paced garment industry, may seem a bit inefficient, yet it’s exactly that island way of doing things that seems to make the line what it is. “I feel this has such a positive influence on my work,” she says, “Work is not very high on their list of priorities, so it’s important to be patient, especially when deadlines loom.” 

As She Made Me continues to expand, Chloe remains tied to the island. “I’ve looked at moving production elsewhere,” she says, “but there is something special about the human connection and feel of the garments produced in Bali. We are teaching more women how to crochet, creating jobs across the island.” 

Eschewing weirder vintage, supporting women artisans, and potentially, through fiber osmosis, attaining island laissez-faire? Yup. And lined in Lycra, we might even go swimming in them.