Rebecca Klodinsky was only 24 when she created IIXIIST. Now, seven years on, she’s the proud owner of a $7 million-dollar a year swimwear business. She first achieved international success, with the likes of Bella Hadid, the Kardashians and Rihanna wore her bikinis on social media. So how did the mother of one do it? Here, she talks to The Carousel’s Emma Crameri.
Tell us about your swimwear brand Iixiist?
IIXIIST is renowned for luxurious textiles, classic cuts and meticulously re-engineering the basic bikini. Since launching back in 2013, we’ve curated a legion of loyal fans and customers that come back time-and-time again with an undeniable need for high quality, well-structured swimwear that just fits. I’m tremendously proud of the brand and all it’s become – to this day we ship 1000s of orders to every corner of the globe each week.
What motivated you to start the collection?
IIXIIST started as a passion project. I designed swimwear that didn’t exist at the time, such as bralettes and seamless basics. It was a venture I created to fill a hole in my bikini drawer, and evidently a hole in the swim market. I was 24 and knew no bounds with what was possible. The creation of my first label was a venture that was truly fuelled by passion and every aspect of the company was built authentically. I didn’t dive into the industry with huge goals and the brand’s ambitions were never sales-driven – it was for the love of the game, so to speak. As an Aussie, beach culture is ingrained in my DNA and swimwear was something I innately understood. The company has never been a task, job or effort – the entirety of this brand is joy and love!
Can you tell us about the design process?
Quite simply, I design for myself. I create things that would make my life, summer or holiday easier. I do this because the brand was built this way – by filling a hole that existed for me personally. I applied this process to producing for the masses because I was certain that I wasn’t alone in the way I felt, and so, each season – each style and design is created by narrowing down ‘what I want’, ‘what I don’t want’ or ‘what needs to change’.
What are your most popular styles?
From day one, our Darling Bralette + G3 Bottom have remained the most popular bikini styles. The designs never change however are updated with different textures or colours to merchandise with the new season. Both these styles shot to stardom when Kylie Jenner posted a mirror selfie in them, since then they’ve been seen on the Kardashians, Rihanna and more.
What items are ideal for my summer beach holiday?
Any book by Matthew Riley, Biologique Richerche Colostrum Serum, Biologique Recherche Sunscreen, Hermes Oran Sandals, a Jac and Jack Linen T-Shirt… and an IIXIIST bikini of course!
Tell us about the collaborations with Kardashians, Shay Mitchell, and Hailey Bieber?
These weren’t collaborations, they were all simply celebrity call-ins, which is a lot better as they’re 100% organic. We have relationships with celebrity stylists that have developed over the 8 years in business, so it’s not uncommon to receive an email or DM from a stylist requesting a suit for KKW or Hailey Bieber. They’re fans of the brand and keep tabs on each new collection because the love never stops!
Are you releasing any new products in the next couple of months?
With summer on the cusp of arrival, I’m in the process of finalising SS22, which will be shifting gears a little – we remain true to who we are while still coming up with new ways to innovate the bikini and give our customers what they love. However, what will remain the same is our focus on side-stepping mass production and continuing to pioneer conscious designs and sustainability.
What are some of the business lessons you have learnt?
To always keep my finger on the pulse. This has served me extremely well during the COVID-19 pandemic in being able to clearly navigate the entirety of my company without any ‘floundering’ moments. I am a type-A personality (LOL) so my hypervigilance in business pre-covid enabled me to remain in the driver’s seat throughout this whirlwind that was 2020 and 2021.
What are some ways that your company is sustainable?
My swimwear is produced using 100% recycled Lycra. The bikinis have always been made sustainably, even when I launched the brand in 2013, however, this was never really a talking point back then. I have always been passionate about preserving our planet for our children, and so when I entered the market, I made a conscious effort to use only recycled materials, only now has it become ‘a thing’ to do.
What’s it been like juggling motherhood and a long-distance relationship?
A little advice: Don’t sign up for it if you can’t hack it! The juggle is very real but I have been blessed with the greatest child imaginable. Lachie is super-dad and flies in at every chance which has been really important to us. The juggle though is very real and again – I attribute my determined a-type personality for getting me through this year. Tell me it’s impossible and I will show you how it isn’t.
Where can we find Iixiist swimwear?
It is available exclusively via our e-boutique only.
Do you have any plans for the future?
Professionally I am a multi-business owner and an investor. Personally, I am a mother and a partner to a similarly very busy athlete. I have no plans on slowing down however having a child changes you – everything we do is for him so the pause and stop button is virtually non-existent.