Cia Marítima is a South American brand offering cool activewear and swimwear in Singapore’s Cluny Court – and a Gold Winner in Expat Living’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2023. We chat with founder FERNANDA PEIGO DE LA HAYE about their signature pieces and how they came to be involved in the Miss Universe Singapore contest!
How long has Cia Marítima been around, and when did it introduce its swimwear in Singapore?
We’re a family-owned company that has been in the market since 1990. Since then, we’ve become the number one luxury beachwear brand in South America! We’re also present in the US, France, Portugal, Spain and Japan.
I started the Asian distribution exactly four years ago, handling business online and doing some pop-up fairs. Three years later, I realised that the brand needed a retail presence, and the Cia Marítima shop in Singapore was born.
You’re known for your swimwear in Singapore; what are some of the signature styles and how do they stand out?
We have 33 years of experience and specialise in high-quality materials and cuts. We produce every single fabric that we use in our beachwear in our family factory, Rosset Group, which has been producing fabrics for over 70 years. I decided to open a brick-and-mortar store so our customers can better experience and feel the fabrics in person.
Our signature styles include our triangle bikini pieces that you can adjust easily to fit different body shapes, and our V-neck one-piece swimsuits that are flattering and double-up as a bodysuit. You can wear them with a skirt or a pair of jeans the whole year round in Singapore.
For shoppers looking for swimwear in Singapore, what can they expect from the Cia Marítima flagship store in Cluny Court?
The store is our first Asian boutique, and it’s a cosy little shop where you’re given a customised experience to help you find your perfect piece. We’re here to show our customers the entire “Beachwear” concept, where our beautiful resortwear pieces can bring you “from beach to brunch”. When holidaying on the beach, you can simply put on a matching dress on top of your swimwear, and you’re ready to dine-in. We make comfortable and chic pieces that are perfect for tropical Southeast Asia weather, with light, flowy and flattering fabrics.
As for the Cluny Court location, this is not your usual commercial mall in Singapore. The entire set-up is cosy and memorable, filled with charming high end boutiques and quaint cafés. It’s also a great place to stop by before or after a walk in the Botanic Gardens.
In addition to swimwear in Singapore, Cia Marítima has launched an activewear collection. What are some new offerings to look out for?
Our activewear range heralds from our sister brand back in Brazil called Body For Sure. Similar to our swimwear, our gym-wear fabrics are also 100 percent made in-house. We invest a lot in sport technology, ensuring the gear has the iconic Lycra fibre stretch and top performing fabrics. This technology provides optimal compression during workouts, when you need muscle recovery and freedom of movement. Another attraction is that all our tops are made with biodegradable fabrics. They’re lightweight, breathable, don’t smell and, when discarded in landfills, they decompose in three years so they don’t pollute the environment.
If you want to try our activewear, we recommend our leggings and also our signature Knot top, which you can wear in three ways.
How did you feel about getting a Gold award in our Readers’ Choice Awards this year?
I was so blown away and humbly proud with the Expat Living award. Given the history of our brand, there’s a reason why I have always wanted to bring it here: Singapore doesn’t have anything like it. However, we are still very small locally, and clinching the award from big competitors that have been in the market for so long has definitely shown us that we’re on the right track. I’m very happy and thankful to our customers who voted for us.
Tell us about curating the outfits for the Miss Universe Singapore contest; how did you come up with the ideas?
Miss Universe Singapore was such an incredible experience. The organisers really believed in us, and they were so nice and accommodating. The girls came for a fun, bubbly session at the store and picked their pieces for the swimwear photoshoots. I genuinely wanted them to feel great in what they were wearing, so I let them pick whatever they loved the most. That’s essentially what I want for the brand: that women feel great wearing our designs at the beach and beyond.
The Miss Singapore contestants wore our activewear pieces on the competition day, instead of swimwear, which was a first here, breaking a lot of paradigms. I’m definitely proud to have been a part of that!
Discover more of Cia Marítima’s swimwear, activewear and resort wear pieces in-store. It’s located at #02-02 Cluny Court, 501 Bukit Timah Road.
This article first appeared in the September 2023 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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