If one thing can be said about Bermuda, it’s that its uncompromising beauty and charming cultural nuances have served as inspiration for countless projects and initiatives across the creative spectrum. Fashion being no exception, Argentinian designer Uki Deane has continued this tradition to create Bermies, an unprecedented line of men’s swimwear that’s taken the public by storm with its Bermuda-themed patterns and shorter inseam design which challenges the current boardshort trend.
“Typically, shorts share very similar traits in terms of patterns, length and choice of fabric. At Bermies we try to be different!” says Deane, adding that the shorter style of swim trunks has made a comeback around the world virtually everywhere but North America. Sensing an opportunity to capitalise on this lack of diversity in our market, he quit his job in finance and committed to becoming a full-time fashion designer, confident that his idea would prove to be a hit. “While there are several companies around the world which offer this style of swimsuit, there are very few which sell cool patterns with comfortable, breathable, fast-drying fabrics at affordable prices.”
Deane employs an impressively shrewd marketing strategy to get the word out about Bermies in the form of his college ambassador programme. Since Bermies specifically targets 18–30-year-olds, he figures the best way to promote the product is to let college students become walking, talking personifications of the brand itself on their respective campuses. “Bermies ambassadors have access to first-hand entrepreneurial advice and the chance to compete with fellow ambassadors in challenges that provide real-world experience in business and marketing. They also get to be part of a company from its very start and are able to contribute ideas that can help them grow and get better.” Noting that his target demographic is largely social-media-savvy, he also takes advantage of image-based platforms to truly connect with his audience. “We build the Bermies community through our Instagram account (@bermies), where users share their pictures from their adventures around the world.”
Environmentally conscious, Deane partners the brand with sustainability-focused non-profit organisations which promote ocean conservation. “At Bermies, we care about our oceans and want to create awareness that we’re treating them like trash bins. Plastic that pollutes our waters is being eaten by seabirds, whales, sea turtles and other marine life, causing them to die from choking, intestinal blockage and starvation.” To advance this cause, he donates 10 percent of Bermies’ profits to two groups: The Ocean Cleanup and Ocean Conservancy (Dutch and American, respectively).
In terms of turning his concepts into reality, Deane’s design process is highly intensive, as he always aims to stay ahead of current trends. “I spend countless hours researching patterns, images and designs online. I use Pinterest, Instagram, fashion blogs, magazines and even Google images for inspiration.” he says, elaborating that he’ll often test run new patterns on Facebook to source feedback before turning them into a finished product. The most popular design has proven to be a trunk pattern called Sharkies, which incorporates hand-drawn sharks for an added level of symbolic charm. “Much like many of our male customers, the hand-drawn sharks featured on these trunks embody certainty, strength and power, while mastering a sense of beauty and grace.”
With a passion for fashion, a philanthropic spirit and the determination to bring Bermies front and centre in the public eye, Deane continues to grow his business through a combination of creative marketing and a truly captivating line of products inspired by our local culture. “In many parts of the world today, shorts, and even swim trunks are referred to as ‘Bermudas,’ so what better reason to reinvent the Bermuda short and make some sweet swim trunks in their inspiration?” he adds.
Bermies can be purchased online at www.bermies.com and at various retailers in Bermuda and throughout the world. Visit their website to learn more.