Skip to content

Exclusive Q&A with BAYE London Founder and CEO, Kerry Skyes, and Executive Director, Rachel Patton

BAYE London, spearheaded by South African-born designer Kerry Sykes, is ushering in a fresh wave of sophistication, art, and fashion in the realm of swim and leisurewear.

With meticulously curated collections, BAYE London is set to redefine the summer experience for women, promising an innovative approach to swimwear and leisurewear. We caught up with the Founder and CEO, Kerry Skyes and Executive Director, Rachel Patton following the successful launch in the Mother City.

Image: Dwayne Senior for Ten X Collective/BAYE London.

Glamour: Please elaborate on the role of African artistry in influencing the design and aesthetic of BAYE London's swim and leisurewear collections?

Kerry: When designing for BAYE London, we focussed on mixing tradition with a bit of modern flair. We got the inspiration for our debut collection from Africa’s rich cultural heritage, with its bold patterns and lively colours, as well as its diverse natural landscapes. Our aim is that this blend of influences results in a contemporary interpretation that respects the past whilst embracing the present.

Our Protea print, for example, a tribute to South Africa’s beautiful Protea, with a twist of animal markings for added depth. In including the animal print in this way, we managed to move away from the traditional animal prints whilst still incorporating this element into our range.

We believe in marrying modern silhouettes and contemporary cuts with traditional elements, creating designs that feel fresh and current while honouring Africa's heritage.

Our ultimate goal is to create visually stunning pieces that celebrate diversity and authenticity.

Image: supplied

Glamour: How does BAYE London celebrate the diverse beauty of women through its swimwear and leisurewear offerings?

Rachel: We offer a wide range of sizes (s – xl currently and we are planning to add more), and a versatile selection of styles, with this we ensure that women of all body types can find pieces that fit them comfortably and in a way that flatters. Whether someone prefers a bikini, a one-piece, or a cover-up, there's something in the collection for everyone. This inclusivity allows individuals to choose pieces that not only fit their body but also express their unique personality and style.

We consider, when designing and fitting our garments, that not all women are the same height or size and ensure that our costumes will fit and embrace all these differences.

Glamour: Could you provide insights into the materials and fabrics used in crafting BAYE London's pieces, and how they contribute to comfort, quality, and sustainability?

Kerry: All our swimwear uses an eco-sustainable techno-fabric crafted from regenerated ECONYL Nylon. This innovative material is derived from recycled nylon waste, such as discarded fishing nets, fabric scraps, and industrial plastic waste, which are transformed into a high-quality nylon yarn through a regeneration process. By using ECONYL Nylon, BAYE London contributes to reducing environmental impact by repurposing waste materials and minimizing reliance on virgin resources.

The ECONYL Nylon fabric used by BAYE London is known for its stretchy and soft feel, providing exceptional comfort for wearers. In addition to comfort, the ECONYL Nylon fabric is highly durable and resistant to chlorine, sun creams, and oils. This ensures that BAYE London's swimwear maintains its shape, colour, and integrity even after repeated exposure to harsh elements, such as chlorine-treated pools and sun exposure. As a result, BAYE London's swimsuits are designed to last a long time, offering wearers enduring quality and value for their investment whist in the knowledge they are making a positive impact on the environment doing so.

Glamour: What are some key features of BAYE London's swim and leisurewear that differentiate them from other brands in the market?

Rachel: At BAYE London, we're all about the little things that make a big difference. From our buttery soft lining to the hidden supportive shelf in every swimsuit, we pride ourselves on our attention to detail. We believe every woman should feel her best, no matter her shape or size.

We spoke to many women, during our research and design process, to ascertain what women want and look for in their swimwear and incorporated all of these into our process so we could attain a garment that would satisfy all.

We celebrate the diverse beauty of women through our marketing campaigns and imagery. We want women of different ethnicities, ages and body types to feel seen. That's what sets us apart in the swim and leisure market – our unique designs, versatile styles, inclusive sizing, attention to detail, and celebration of BAYE London is more than just a brand; it's a community where every woman is welcome.

Image: Dwayne Senior for Ten X Collective/BAYE London.

Glamour: How does BAYE London ensure that its swim and leisurewear are both stylish and practical for women enjoying summer activities?

Kerry: BAYE London ensures that its swim and leisurewear are both practical and stylish for women enjoying summer activities by integrating functional features into its designs. This includes removable, adjustable straps on our bandeau styles. Hidden supportive shelves in all one -pieces as well as lightweight and breathable fabrics in our cover up and resort pieces.

Whether the wearer is lying by the pool or on the beach, swimming, walking, having a meal or going to the shops, our swimwear and resort wear offer a timeless selection that is practical and stylish for all occasions.

Glamour: What sort of conversations emanated from the launch in Cape Town?

Kerry: We most definitely want to increase our size range to cater for a wider range of women, we are already introducing wider straps which will be available soon.

It was fantastic to hear how well received the range was. There were so many great comments around the colours and quality of the range. Everyone was impressed by the quality of the fabric, which is so hard to get across online. We were lucky enough to have had a number of influencers who have already posted about the product, we have also been lucky enough to have some great endorsements. We love that customers are also posting pictures of themselves wearing the brand, just because they love it!

Our future plans are very much around offering further choice and fresh styles and prints here in South Africa, we plan to grow overseas in time.

From the beginning we planned to launch in South Africa, and we have been overwhelmed by the support and positive reaction we have had and the joy we have seen when people put on and wear our garments.

Image: Dwayne Senior for Ten X Collective/BAYE London.

Glamour: In what ways does BAYE London contribute to conscious fashion, and what measures does the brand take to promote sustainability in its production processes?

Rachel: BAYE London is committed to conscious fashion and sustainability across our production processes. We prioritise the use of eco-friendly materials, such as regenerated ECONYL Nylon, in our swimwear collections. We partner with suppliers and manufacturers who adhere to ethical and sustainable practises, including fair labour.

We design with durability and longevity in mind. By creating high quality pieces that are resistant to chlorine, sun creams and oils, our brand encourages customers to invest in timeless pieces that can be enjoyed year after year, reducing the need for frequent replacements. We also strive to minimise packaging waste and use sustainable packaging materials where possible.

We are committed to continuous improvement in our sustainability practises, regularly evaluating and seeking out practises that could help us reduce our environmental footprint further while maintaining product quality and customer satisfaction.

Glamour: Please expand on your approach to championing inclusivity and body positivity through your offering?

Kerry: At BAYE London, championing inclusivity and body positivity is at the core of our brand ethos. We believe that everybody is a beach body, which is why we offer a wide range of sizes to ensure that women of all shapes and sizes can find pieces to suit them. Our inclusive sizing allows us to celebrate the diversity of women's bodies and make our swimwear accessible to a broader range of customers.

Our brand's marketing campaign and imagery showcase a diverse range of women of different ethnicities, ages, and body types. By featuring real women who reflect the diversity of our customer base, BAYE London sends a message of inclusivity and empowerment.

We embrace the natural beauty of women by using minimal retouching in our marketing imagery, celebrating imperfections. This commitment to authenticity and realness resonates with women who appreciate seeing themselves represented in the fashion industry.

Glamour: Can you share any future plans or initiatives that BAYE London has in store for furthering its mission and vision in the swimwear industry?

We will continue to work on sustainability across everything we do, looking after the women who make our clothes is as important as looking after the women who wear them.

We do hope to increase our reach globally over time, but right now our immediate focus is South Africa.

We are currently selling the product online as the easiest way to reach most people, we also run parties for small groups of friends, we bring a full range for everyone to try and they can purchase at the event – we feel this is a great way for women to share positive stories and support one another, whether it is helping each other to choose the most flattering garment or just coming together to spend some quality time together.

We are invested in supporting a few select charities as our hope is to help women no matter what their circumstances in any way we can, this will be high on our list as soon as we have found our feet and established ourselves in South Africa.

Share this article: