Friday, January 6, 2012

Swimming in the Modest Sea

Yosra:  Even before coming to Islam, I felt shy about appearing in public wearing a swimsuit.  It had nothing to do with my body size or shape but rather about my need to cover up more. 

As a teen, I actually bought a vintage 1960s cotton playsuit which came down longer and didn't cling.

Later, in my twenties, as a new daughter-in-law at my inlaws' pool, I bought swimsuits with skirts.

In my thirties, I came to Islam and really wondered how in the world I could still go swimming.  I tried wearing an Indian shalwar khameez (and you wouldn't believe the amount of drag all that material has).  I tried piecing together Nike sports apparel (and ended up looking like an unattractive blob).

Finally, in my forties, I have admitted that I really needed a swimsuit designed for modesty.  I needed to swim comfortably and not just in terms of physically moving but also in adhering to my own sense of modesty and that of my religion.

It isn't always easy to find the right mix of fashion and function.  So to help us today, we have Lori from Modest Sea.

Lori:  Thank you.  I was hoping you could introduce our colorful, quality and designer collection to your readers.  We are a new brand, yet stand behind the quality and believe it is a great alternative to other available swimwear.

Yosra:  I'll give the website so readers can see what we're talking about:

It is a very clever name. Who thought of that?

Lori:  The name Modest Sea was simple to arrive, for we wanted to provide a Modest line for Swimsuits (Sea). After playing around with a few variations, this one was simple and stuck.

Yosra:  What came first for you: working for a swimsuit company and then thinking about modesty or thinking for modesty and there after working for a swimsuit company?

Lori:  Our designers have been active in high fashion and swimwear for quite some time, and then were presented with the need to add such color and fashion to the Modest section.

Yosra:  Where are you located?

Lori:  We are a U.S. based company but we design our swimsuits at our studio in Bologna, Italy.

Yosra:  On-line, your swimsuits look very fashionable. Have you seen modest swimsuits from other companies? Some of them look quite alien. Who is designing your suits?

Lori:  Yes! We have seen other suits, which is how we noticed the need for some fashion sense ;) Our designers have noticed the need we presented and took it upon themselves to solve the challenge and provide such a colorful solution.

Yosra: What about the nano-technology you're using in the fabrics?

Lori: Our solid color designer pieces are constructed of AcquaZero by Sitip, an innovative Italian-made fabric featuring advanced water repellant technology. AcquaZero is a fast-drying fabric, with high breathability and superior moisture management for a lightweight, comfortable feel when wet or dry. Its strong resistance to chlorine makes swimwear by Modest Sea durable and long lasting.

Yosra: I really learned the hard way in that shalwar that lightweight fast-drying material is key.

When I look at your website it is decidely Non-Muslim. When was it that you realized how big of a market there is within the Muslimah community?

Lori: When searching for modest swimwear, we saw the many results and options available Online, and also realizing the lack of fashionable designs available

While the need may be more apparent in the Muslim community, additional women have shown great interest for such high quality fashion.

Yosra:  Who are your customers?
Lori:  Modest Sea's customers are worldwide from all religions and beliefs. While the need may be more apparent in the Muslim community, additional women have shown great interest for such high quality fashion.

At Modest Sea, we have actually attracted women of various demographics and without any specific religious affiliation, who have just showed an interest in modest covering. We have seen this with new and returning clients who were simply looking for something to provide additional covering and still remain fashionable.

I have many friends who own Modest swimsuits and absolutely love them. Besides giving us great compliments, they appreciate the high quality, the comfort, the color and ability to dress modestly when going to the beach.

Yosra:  The caps with the scarf look like a cute accessory. Some Muslimahs wear caps like this as normal streetwear. Are the scarves able to pin under the chin? Other Muslimahs, like me, wear their scarves like this.

Lori:  Yes! It is also shown as so when clicking on the caps in the accessories area; caps can be worn in different ways and also cover the chin

Yosra:  One criticism I have is that your model is very bone thin and very white. It would be nice to have other shades of skin and ethnic features on a woman's body. Is that possible for the future?

Lori:  All our current swimwear models have already had images and promotional items created for them. In the near to far future, when we add additional items, we have already considered additional models to better illustrate it for the audience.

Yosra: Have you ever thought of adding a girl's line?

Lori: We have considered it but have yet to receive sufficient interest to make it a regular design. Perhaps in the near future we would add it to our ongoing selection.

Yosra:  Lori, I really appreciate you answering my questions and really best wishes for Modest Sea in 2012. 

Readers, I'm going to open it up to my readers in the comment section.  Obviously, we've got Lori's ear.  Take a look at what Modest Sea is offering and give some constructive feedback.


Zarina Hassem said...

Yosra thanks for this informative post. The swimwear loooks great and it seems very comfortable and practical as well. I like the addition of differenc colours and styles.The only problem is that it is a bit pricy, well for those of us out of the US of course this would be worst. In any case, I think this is a great line, and as Lori pointed out it is suitable for anyone who wants to be modest and fashionable at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this information. I don't fully cover- but neither do I want to uncover as much as the norm. One thing I might suggest (and your suits may do this already) is a way to "tie down" the top so it doesn't "float up" when in water.

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Zarina and Sandy,

Thanks to both of you for your comments. I know that a lot of women are reading but not commenting.

What's really different about making comments on this particular post is that we have the company's ear! Whatever you like or don't like, you should write it out, like Zarina and Sandy did.

So often, we feel that our words or ideas don't matter; that nobody is listening. Well, I can guarantee that Lori is checking back here to see what comments there are.

Let's get her some more feedback!

:) Yosra

Nashipae said...

I think they're amazing looking!!! Unfortunately, they're way too pricey for most folks. Personally, I'm not a water person, but for those who are and can afford this swimwear, I think it's fantastic! Several stylish fashions to choose from, just too expensive.

MS KHAN said...

Dear Editor,

| Re. Modestsea Swimwear Review |

The only thing you forgot to review about this company is its origin. So I do so here. Lori does a good job avoiding your question about the website being decidedly non-Muslim.

Modestsea is a division of Seasecrets, you can see this at, this is the company that exports the Dead Sea minerals salts and related skin care products from Israel.

This company takes Ramat Beit Shemesh (Israel) as it is main corporate location, where the swimsuits are most likely manufactured. This area also produces another popular US brand which is hydrochic dot com.

If you are not aware of recent news about Beit Shemesh, please google "nytimes ramat beit shemesh"

The company markets to women seeking Tzenuit products such as full cover swimwear for Jewish women, but why not at the same time sell to the larger market of Muslim women population (without disclosing the relationship to the place of manufacture.)

The items are beautiful, no doubt, I am sure someone else makes such products.

One thing that annoys me about full cover swimsuits is the zipper, this causes friction and discomofort. I know some of the Muslim swimsuit makers stopped using zippers, which is a big plus.

In summary, if i purchase such an overpriced item, i would like to know where my money is going to.

Would you please research this more since you have direct contact with the owner?

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Ms. Khan,

Hi, it's just me, Yosra. I'm the only "Editor".

The way my interview with Lori, from ModestSea came about is simple. She contacted me and anyone is able to do so---just like you :)

I do not research one single person who comments or contacts me on this blog. That's not my job. I'm not a detective. I'm not a researcher. I am a blogger.

I am not going to research your comments before posting them; free speech. I'll post them and you will have to be responsible for whether or not they are correct. There is a ayah in the Quran about not repeating rumors you unsure about. I would encourage any readers to avoid repeating your words without knowing the validity of them.

Furthermore, whether or not someone is Jewish, a company is Jewish or the money eventually goes to Jews does not make me regard the product as worthless. I buy quality. If a product is of good quality and made by Hutus, I will buy it. If a product is of poor quality and made by devout Muslims, I will not buy it.

I stand by my original thought that these swimsuits designs are refreshing and of interest to my readers.

Your comment about the zipper is perhaps constructive criticism which could be used to help future designs.

Thank you for whatever you've said which can help others.

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom,

Lori, the woman I interviewed from ModestSea, has been following the comments (as she said she would). She is happy that so many readers have gotten more information about the company's swimsuits.

She would like to go on record as saying, " I also saw the comment talking about a connection we allegedly have with a company called 'Seasecrets'. I wanted to tell you we don’t know this company and don’t have a connection to it. I would appreciate it if you can give this official response to your readers as well."

Fair enough, Lori :) There are two sides to every story. It's always best to hear people out and then sift through what's being said.

Thanks for civil discourse. We could use more of it in the world.

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