Hi! I’m Diana, the founder of Bambina, a sustainable women’s swim and resortwear brand that I own and operate with my mother, Janet. I moved to NYC in 2010 after attending fashion school in Boston and am currently located in Jersey City. I love being so close to NYC’s garment district, where our clothing is produced!
What inspired you to start your own label?
I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer since about 7th or 8th grade! I decided specifically on swimwear because I had always loved bathing suits and was always swimming as a kid.
Where did the name Bambina originate from?
My dad's nickname for me was “Little Bambino” so when thinking of names for my company, I thought “Bambina” (the feminine version of bambino meaning “baby girl” in Italian) was perfect! I love it because it has a personal meaning for me.
What challenges did you face when first starting the brand?
I found it challenging to navigate the production process as a new designer. There are so many steps involved from concept to creation and making relationships with factories was super intimidating to me at first! Fabric sourcing is also still a challenge (especially as we expand to do more resortwear) as I tend to gravitate towards bright colors and prints, and it’s been tricky to find sustainable options that match Bambina’s aesthetic.
What has been your proudest moment as a founder?
When people feel great in our products, there is no better feeling! I have a friend that loves one of our original one-pieces and she has told me that it’s her favorite swimsuit she’s ever owned. I love making people happy, and if our products can do that, I can’t think of anything more rewarding as a founder!
What are words of advice you received that have been most valuable to you as a founder?
I think “never give up” is probably the best bit of advice that I have had to tell myself over and over again through the years! There are so many ups and downs as a business owner, but I think if you keep pushing forward, believe in yourself, and not take no for an answer, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
If you could only choose one item from your collection to wear, what would it be and why?
I love our Hali Bralette in Flamingo Pink. It’s been my go-to bikini top all summer! It’s super comfy, adjustable and made with ECONYL® regenerated nylon. I like to mix-and-match it with our Kailini Bottoms in Mint Chip for a different look.
Do you have any sustainable brands you really love at the moment?
I’m a huge fan of Mara Hoffman. I love her aesthetic and the ethos behind her brand. Patagonia is my favorite for sports attire and winter gear, and their commitment to sustainability and transparency across every aspect of their brand is amazing.
How do you start your workday?
Always with a strong cup of coffee! Then I log into Trello, which I use for project management, and start ticking away at my tasks for the day.
What has helped you stay focused, and positive, through the chaos and uncertainty of the past year?
I tried to stick to a routine as best as I could, eat healthy and always make sure to get a run or workout in and that helped me tremendously!
What can we expect to see from the brand in the next couple of seasons?
We’re working on adding more resortwear into our collections and currently designing some new pieces for Spring/Summer 2022. We’ll also be adding some new bikini styles into the mix, and maybe some fun prints!