Swimwear Success Stories In Summer 2021

Zach Donnenfield
Zach Donnenfield
Aug 17, 2021

With the outdoors remaining one of the safest havens for physical activity, exploration, and self-expression, it’s no surprise that the swimwear industry enjoyed a blockbuster spring and summer. Spurred in part by athlete influencers and global surf competitions, including the Olympics, swimwear brands Rip Curl, RVCA, and Hurley raked in a collective $19.3M in Earned Media Value (EMV) in the U.S. during Q2 2021.

As we enter the tail end of summer, we decided to take a look at how these brands won over beach bums, and the successful influencer strategies they deployed to pull ahead of the competition.

Rip Curl Dominates The Surf Industry Via Sponsored Competitions

Swimwear and surf equipment giant Rip Curl had one of its most successful months to date in April 2021, thanks largely to two of the brand’s hallmark sponsored surf competitions—The Newcastle Cup and the Narrabeen Classic. Rip Curl boasted $7.4M EMV in April, an impressive 261% month-over-month increase over March, and 206% more than the brand’s monthly average in 2021 so far. Athlete participants like Crosby Colapinto (@crosbycola on Instagram) and Conner Coffin (@connercoffin) were among the brand’s top ten highest-earning advocates in Q2, generating a respective $158.3k and $85.1k EMV via posts highlighting their jaw-dropping runs during the competitions. In line with activity surrounding the events, Rip Curl saw its overall influencer potency spike by 276% month-over-month, surging from $42.8k to $161.2k EMV per influencer.

An Effective Collaboration With Evan Mock Boosts RVCA

The California-based apparel and swimwear brand surged in June 2021 on the back of a successful collaboration with model and professional surfer Evan Mock (@evanmock on Instagram), which included Hawaiian-themed board shorts, towels, and surf fins. RVCA closed June with $1.2M EMV, a 33% month-over-month increase over May, enjoying its most successful month since February 2021. Evan ranked as the brand’s top EMV-driver in June by a wide margin, delivering $321.0k, 293% more than RVCA’s second-highest earner. Additionally, the brand saw its community swell to 94 content creators in June, a 25% increase over RVCA’s 2021 monthly average.

Man walking with surfboard in blue Hurley boardshorts

Hurley Wins Gold With Carissa Moore Partnership

Hurley enjoyed steady and consistent growth throughout Q2, averaging $1.1M EMV per month. The brand reached its highest total of the year in July, clinching $1.9M EMV. Contributing to Hurley’s success was a key partnership with brand ambassador and professional surfer Carissa Moore (@rissmoore10 on Instagram), who drove $261.5k EMV for the brand—an 80% month-over-month increase. Carissa’s 14 July posts proved particularly impactful after winning a historic Olympic gold medal in women’s surfing at the end of the month. The star athlete posted multiple images of herself with her Olympic attire and medal, tagging Hurley among her sponsors.                                                                                                                                            

Swimwear Growth Expected To Continue

With a few months left of warm summer weather, we expect the swimwear industry to continue to boom. It’s clear how impactful influencer marketing is for these brands, and the power that star influencers hold to help them beat the competition. We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on which campaigns and partnerships these brands have planned as we approach the end of the year.

To learn more about the brands currently winning 2021, download our July Tribe Top 10 report.