The backstory to Adalù Swimwear is exciting and heartwarming! Valeria Donati who owns Adalù, launched her swimwear company in order to design and produce beautiful Italian surfwear that would be both adventurous and contemporary. Valeria wanted to have her designs ‘made in Italy’ as there was a lack of Italian surfwear across the industry, and she knew the world would welcome Italian-made swimwear.
The heartwarming side to Valeria’s story is that she used both of her maternal and paternal grandmother’s first names (Ada and Luciana) and joined them together to produce her exciting brand Adalù.
People all over the world associate excellent quality Italian made products with the best of the best, and Valeria makes sure that all her swimwear is made in Italy, so that she is following in the traditions and heritage of world-famous designers who believe that Italian materials are the cream of the crop.
We surfed into Valeria’s life for an afternoon of questions about her life and her swimwear brand for our House of Coco Magazine #WomenWorldwide online series.
Q. HOC. We know that you are a passionate surfer through and through, at what point did you leave the surfboard behind for a drawing board and head into designing surfwear?
A. Valeria. From the very start of my surfing experience I felt the necessity to wear something both comfortable and feminine. I just didn’t find the right swimwear for surfing so I decided to try and create one by myself. Since I learned sewing with a friend of mine, and thanks to the help of my mother who is a great sewer and crochet maker, I made my first surf one-piece long-sleeved suit. Then I tried it while surfing and all my surfer friends just felt in love and asked me to make one for them. So it started, Adalù.
Q. HOC. Once you started designing your swimwear collections, did you always know that you would name your business Adalù?
A. Valeria. At first I didn’t know what to call it. When it was the time to think about my business name I wanted to dedicate it to my grandmas as they are everything in my life, and all that I do is down to what they thought me. Ada & Luciana are so important to me, and that is why I named my company Adalù, as it’s inspired by them.
Q. HOC. At Adalù you have a full range of swimwear: from beachwear and fitness wear, to surf gear and accessories? Can you tell us the difference between your beachwear costumes and your surfwear costumes?
A. Valeria. Adalù is focused on surfwear costumes which are properly made for women with water attitudes in mind, so that they are comfortable and it feels like they are wearing as a second skin on their body, embracing all type of silhouettes accompanying them in any kind of water sports, such as surf, windsurf, kite surf or wake board. I decided then to complete the collections with also a line in bikini’s that is perfect for sports but also nice to wear in any kind of beach life experience. They are both made with the same lycra which is 100% made in Italy and top quality. This year I started using an eco-lycra which is made from recycled nylon yarn recovered from the ocean and from landfills, improving the eco-sustainability of my brand.
Q. HOC. Do you have a personal favourite from any of your current collections?
A. Valeria. This year my favorite costumes are the ones from the Mediterraneo collection, which I found perfect to wear both inside and outside the water. I love to wear the Mediterraneo bikinis on the beach while playing beach volley, and I have found that the Mediterraneo one pieces are perfect for surfing or stand up paddling.
Q. HOC. Where do you sell most of your swimwear, is it mainly Italy, across Europe, or elsewhere, and do you have a best selling item that sells out quicker than any other?
A. Valeria. Luckily Adalù is doing very good worldwide. The Japanese market is the best at the moment, but also in Italy my designs are very appreciated, which makes me very happy. The best sellers are the Mezzaluna and the American models that’s why I replace them each year with different patterns and colors.
Q. HOC. How do you market your brand differently to other independent swimwear designers?
A. Valeria. I’m focused on eco sustainability. I try to make the smaller impact possible, so no plastic packaging and all created and produced with low pollution impact.
Q. HOC. What has been the biggest learning curve since you launched Adalù?
A. Valeria. I faced many difficulties as normally happens with small companies. Each time I get into a problem, I see it as a challenge to overcome and to help me grow from a business stance. Luckily I learn a lot of lessons everyday and it is something that makes me happy, as it because it means that I’m growing daily step by step.
Q. HOC. What was the best piece of advice you were given before you launched your online swimwear company?
A. Valeria. Many people who own businesses come from families who do a similar job, it wasn’t like this for me, but my biggest luck was to have the trust of my parents who believed in me and have always supported me, telling me to do what makes me happy and to follow my dreams. This was the best advice ever.
Q. HOC. What advice would you offer someone who is embarking on a career designing swimwear, or any form of fashion?
A. Valeria. First of all to focus on their idea. It is important to have a clear and realistic project in mind, and just follow their heart.
Q. HOC. As you are busy running a successful business these days, can we ask – do you still have time to visit the beach and surf?
A. Valeria. Surfing is a real passion for me and it gives me lot of energy and it helps to push my creativity forward. So, I manage to find the time to do it whenever possible, and I have become very good in scheduling my day without overlooking any surf sessions. I wake up very early, and also I become very productive after sports activities.
For more information visit www.adalu.it Check socials for @adalubikini.
Thank you for sharing your interesting business story for House of Coco Magazine’s Women Worldwide series.