Hi! My name is Mel and I'm the founder of Beefcake Swimwear.
I had the idea for Beefcake a couple years ago when I invited a friend of mine to the beach and she said she didn’t have a swimsuit. She dressed very masculine, but she didn’t like wearing board shorts and a rash guard. “What I really want,” she told me, “Is one of those old-fashioned swimsuits, like from the 1920s.” This got me thinking.
The first time I made a swimsuit, I was five years old. I desperately wanted a pink bikini, but my mom and grandma said bikinis were immodest. As a determined little kid, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I cut out two circles of pink construction paper and stapled them to a stretchy pink belt. Voila! My family was amused...but didn’t actually let me wear it. (Probably good, because paper is a terrible material to swim in.)
This time, I’ve worked with professional designers, pattern makers, and manufacturers to create modern versions of 1920s swimsuits. We're custom-printing the material and sewing up the suits right here where I live and work and surf--in Portland, Oregon.
As a tomboy lez myself, I'm stoked to have a one-piece androgynous swimsuit. I'm even more stoked to share these suits with others. I want people with bodies of all shapes and sizes and genders to feel strong and attractive--to feel like beefcakes.