The challenges of COVID combined with the desire to live by its values are some of the driving factors behind Rip Curl using its own staff for its new bikini Fit Guide, senior swim designer Natalie Bortolotto has revealed to Ragtrader. 

Bortolotto said that one of the main challenges in launching the interactive online tool was sourcing a wide variety of women to model for it during the pandemic.

"We put out a notice to look for some real women who wanted to get involved," Bortolotto said. "But we weren't really getting much back.

"In the meantime, I'd been researching and looking at catwalks and a couple of the designers had very cleverly pulled together their shows using their in house models, so it was really personable and I loved it. 

"Then I thought, 'the team are such advocates, we really love the brand,' so I just asked them; 'How would you feel if we all modelled for the guide together?'

"It was really nice to put ourselves forward for it.

"We believe in the brand, we want to show women what real women look like and it's a real nice way to have an inward look into who we are and what we do," she said. 

Rip Curl's bikini Fit Guide features six of Rip Curl's staff, allowing customers to choose the body type that best aligns with their own, to find the best fitting swimwear for a surf in the waves or lounge on the beach. 

And while it's only a week old, the tool is already translating into sales, Bortolotto said. 

"The response has been really positive, everyone has loved the process," she said. 

"Our marketing and eCommerce teams have said that it's seen a massive uptake - from rolling out the global campaign to the actual click through process that has resulted in sales.

"I think that curiosity to click through is helping drive the interaction.

"The biggest thing for me was that it brought attention to the fact that we do cater for a lot of different sizes, busts and coverage needs," she said. 

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