The Future of Women’s Swimwear

By Diana Colson

Meet Sarasota’s modern day version of Annette Kellermann, Charlotte Marin

I think the future of swimwear is certainly going to be more fashion forward.  A day at the beach or pool is now another opportunity to wear something that reflects your style and personality. Thanks to social media, the swimwear industry has exploded within the last five years and because of that there are so many buying options for finding something special. In my opinion, a plain old bikini is no longer acceptable.  Here at Floridita, we love beads, lace, crochet, velvet, bright colors and patterns and anything unique! The most important thing, of course, is the fit – something that hugs and lifts in all the right places and makes you feel comfortable and beautiful,” says Charlotte Marin.

I’m very involved with international swimwear pageants. Just got back from St Kitts, Miss World Bahamas, and am headed to Miss Venus next week in Anguilla.

Charlotte Marin‘s life centers around the water. She double-majored in Biology and Spanish at Eckerd

College and now holds a full-time job working as a marine biologist in fisheries. This entrepreneurial and beautiful young lady founded Mermaid Swim School, and has built it into a thriving business. She  founded a swimsuit company called FLORIDITA SWIMWEAR, where she designs and produces hand-made, luxury bathing suits in beautiful patterns and colors, all handsomely studded with embroidery and beading.

Born Charlotte Mansfield, she was raised in La Crosse, Wisconsin, located at the edge of the Mississippi River. Brought up by a young single mom, Charlotte spent an idyllic childhood enjoying nature, crafting and searching for new swimming holes. She attended Catholic School, where—as a young fashionista—she was forever pushing the limits of the dress code by wearing patterned tights and piling on the accessories. “I came really close several times to being sent home to change, but I always got away with it” – Charlotte grins.

“My first job was in a pizza parlor at age 15. My mother dragged me over there. I soon realized that I

hated being micromanaged. I decided from that point forward I was only going to take jobs that I liked and were good for my resume.  I knew I loved the water, so at 16 I became a lifeguard and swim instructor, and started working at the local community pools.”

Of Norwegian descent, the lovely blonde went to Los Angeles one summer where she found a job working for a company that sent instructors to teach private, in-home swimming lessons. After she returned to Florida and graduated from Eckerd, she continued to teach in-home lessons, building a large client base. Her brush with the Rich & Famous, as well as the inherent need for water safety in Florida, inspired the idea of starting Mermaid Swim School, www.mymermaidswimschool.com.

Always the water-lover, Charlotte is big into sailing. She worked as a First Mate sailing aboard various boats docked in St. Pete. These vessels took customers on various day sailing trips, mainly Dolphin Watching and Sunset Cruises. She nearly accepted a position sailing around the Caribbean, when along came a full-time job opportunity as a Biologist working in fisheries, the job she had always wanted.

In spite of her passion for science, Charlotte always loved art and was looking for ways to fulfill her creative side. While studying super challenging courses such as physics and organic chemistry in college, she thought to herself that her “backup plan” would be to attend design school.  After moving to Sarasota, she met and married Sebastian Marin, a soccer lover who was born in Medellin, Colombia, and had moved to Sarasota as a boy.

In 2011, the couple went to visit his family in Colombia. The trip was an eye-opener for Charlotte. “The

details of the clothing really caught my eye. They have really intricate stitching, lots of embellishments, bright colors, interesting patters—and amazing body confidence. In Latin America, it doesn’t matter what size you are: you’ll rock a bikini.  I wanted to bring that spirit back to the United States, with my own Latin-inspired line of swimwear.”

To say Charlotte’s Floridita swim suits are beautiful is an understatement. They are stunning and utterly unique! The suits look lovely on the website, of course, but when you see them for real—WOW!   Charlotte is drawn to color, and uses a wide array of florals and an assortment of patterns—just as she did during her early years at Catholic School!  You can find pictures of her suits at www.FloriditaSwimwear.com. You can also shop for them at CALIFLORIDA SURF & SKATE at 5221 Ocean Blvd. on Siesta Key.

Always the water-lover, Charlotte is big into sailing. She worked as a First Mate sailing aboard various boats docked in St. Pete. These vessels took customers on various day sailing trips, mainly Dolphin Watching and Sunset Cruises. She nearly accepted a position sailing around the Caribbean, when along came a full-time job opportunity as a Biologist working in fisheries, the job she had always wanted.