When Los Angeles-native Hailey Marzullo couldn’t find the swimwear options she needed, she decided to design her own. Under the apt brand name Humankind Swimwear, Marzullo set out to provide a selection of beachwear options that would make many previously-neglected customer base feel as though they had a place to shop that they were excited about. After all, swimwear shopping can be daunting enough as it is, let along if you’re searching for non-gendered options that are both stylish as well as comfortable.
Before launching her swimwear line just this year, Marzullo was in the business of studying the industry; that is to say, her job was to help other brands flourish. “I’ve focused my career around growing different brands,” she told COOLS. “I started at a marketing agency and then branched off on my own to work with top brands.” Perhaps you might have heard of some of them, she counts Buck Mason and Kylie Cosmetics among her client roster.
Marzullo says her work helping develop strategies for other brands was the key to finding the confidence to launch her own endeavor. “The idea behind Humankind Swimwear stemmed from my own personal struggle to feel comfortable and confident going to the pool,” explains Marzullo. “I felt pressured to choose between the typical gender-specific options while feeling like I didn’t fall into either category.”
And the designer is not alone. She was simply an active voice for a community who is too-often forced into societal boxes that shouldn’t be so closed-off, to begin with. Marzullo went on to add, “The fashion industry fails to give the LGBTQ+ community the gender-neutral swim options that so many people these days need. We’re forced to search for mix and match pieces from different brands that aren’t even designed to go in the water.” And so Humankind Swimwear was born. Currently, the brand offers one top that is available in four colorways as well as three trunks that can be shopped in eight total patterns. While this is only the beginning for Marzullo and Humankind Swimwear, she is excited about what the future holds, deeming it “endless.” “We have many ideas in the works but right now, we will continue to focus on swim and offer as many styles as possible so everyone can create their desired look,” says Marzullo.
Though Humankind Swimwear is designed to serve the LGBTQ+ community, Marzullo urges all other swimwear brands to embrace a gender-neutral model, sharing “if better-known brands addressed this issue and began to offer options like mine, we would start to see a change in the industry when it comes to gender norms,” adding, “Part of what makes a brand so successful is that it caters to a specific customer base because they can understand and relate to what the client needs. However, I would love to see more brands start to adapt to change times.”