TARIFA and Co. is a new Spanish brand of custom-designed men’s bathing suits. The main principal of the company is to create a quality bathing suit, with a one-of-a-kind design with over 15,000 different combinations available.
KITE Invest: Please shed light on concept behind the launching of TARIFA and Co. and how the market gap was identified?
Iñigo Amoribieta & Agnes Wanat: Men’s premium swimwear was a segment where few companies had managed to create a global brand, Vilebrequin being the pioneer. We also discovered that the majority of the fabrics used were Spanish quick-drying polyamides, yet there was no brand in Spain competing in this narrow segment.
With our geographical advantage, we were able to talk to experts in the field and understand what was required to launch a Premium swimsuit project and gain access to these fabrics. However, there was an element missing in this Premium segment: personalization.
That’s how TARIFA was born, bringing together the finest materials, experts in the swim trunk segment, and technology to allow the interaction of both with just a few clicks from anywhere in the world. And of course, inspired by the marvellous town of Tarifa, Spain, that we encourage anyone to visit if they are in Southern Spain, a unique location, right where the Mediterranean and Atlantic meet!
KITE: What is the clientele targeted by TARIFA and Co.?
IA & AW: We target those men that value quality, craftsmanship, and fashion. After all each swimsuit is done on an order basis, and so far we have not sold two that are the same. That uniqueness is something our customers understand and value. Our core group lies in the 25-45 age group.
In addition, a swimsuit is a fairly important piece of clothing, as we tend to wear it with little else on! The amount of effort and selection we tend to put into it we felt was not commiserating with the importance swim trunks should have in men’s wardrobes!
It is hard to put a description on our customer, in our short life we’ve already sold in three continents and to men (and many times women seeking a unique gift!) that are hard to describe generally, although the share common traits: well travelled, adventurous, and inquisitive! You have to have a bit of all these things to find us and take the plunge!
KITE: The quality of the bathing suit is the utmost priority of TARIFA and Co. Each bathing suit has the price tag of € 159.What measures are taken to ensure the best quality and customer care?
IA & AW: Our customer promise is that if there is a problem with the swimsuit from our production, we refund it fully, 100%. We stand behind the product we offer fully.
An advantage of doing the swim trunks one by one is that there are no batches and no random sampling quality controls: each swimsuit is reviewed and inspected before sending in to our clients. In this sense, it receives a lot more attention than a regular piece of clothing off a production line.
Finally, our process involves up to four people reviewing each piece: when we receive the order and it’s being prepared, during production, once production is finalized, and during shipping and handling. These are four different people that ensure everything is in order, and a process that allows us to make the promise we’ve mentioned.
KITE: Where do the fabrics and designs come from? Where is the product assembled?
IA & AW: The fabrics are all Spanish, as most high-end polyamides used in premium and luxury swimsuits. Polyamide is polyester with a soft-cotton like touch that is then given different treatments to ensure it is quick drying and different feels to the touch. Spanish and Portuguese suppliers have been serving the premium market for decades, and we are fortunate to have a nice geographical access to them.
The production is also done in Spain; our delivery times are between two and three weeks, depending on where you live in the world. Spain also gave the quick turnaround time needed to fulfil orders, and also proximity to ensure the highest quality standards. Our workshop handles each order as they come in, and we try to deliver as quickly as possible as most of our customers can’t wait to head for the beach!
KITE: TARIFA and Co., although a young company, has big plans to make its mark in the swim ware market. In terms of the business plan, what is the long-term goal? Are there thoughts of expanding to include other lines – women and children’s bathing suits?
IA & AW: The long-term goal is to build a swimwear line known for its quality finishes and full personalization. We do not aim to take over the segment, or the world for that matter. We want to build a product that our customers and ourselves, can be proud of, understanding each of us has put a bit from their side into making the product.
We have a vision for 5-10 years, to work to find the customers that will value what we do in our swim trunks. We are not in a hurry to grow, and we are both devoted to grow the company with the care it needs for such an objective.
We are looking into expanding into other resort wear categories, but we are also listening to what our customers have to say, and they very much want us to stay only in swim trunks: more models, more fabrics, and yes, we have a few mothers that have reached out asking for kids sizes too.
These are all cards on the table, but like with our original swim trunks, we want to take time and grow with our core product, before expanding into additional lines. The premium swimwear market is growing healthily, and we are growing comfortably with our current proposals.
KITE: What are the company’s thoughts towards other markets and partnering with others outside of Spain?
IA & AW: TARIFA was international from Day One. In fact, the first sale through our web site (we sold by word of mouth before) was from Mexico! We offer free worldwide shipping anywhere in the world, so while we are in Spain, there is no impact on your TARIFA experience based on where you are (except you will just have to wait a few more days for the package to get to you!).
In this sense, we are looking to partner with brands with a similar philosophy and customers with the mind set in travel, wellness, and luxury goods. We collaborate with them in various situations and in partnerships that allow small companies like ours to grow without major capital outlays.
KITE: Is TARIFA and Co. seeking funding, and if so, what is the company offering investors in terms of a return on investment?
IA & AW: TARIFA is funded by its founders, and we are not looking for outside investment for the time being. Our model is very efficient capital wise, with little working capital, which allows us to reinvest heavily in making our project known.
We have our projections and numbers, but fundamentally TARIFA is born out of the enthusiasm and will to build a unique proposition in the fashion world. That’s what keeps us charged and hustling day to day!
TARIFA & Co. officially launched its Kickstarter campaign in March 2015. Found here: