Beachwear is a differentiated segment of the garment industry in Brazil with great export potential. The segment consists of 700 formal companies that produce about 250 million pieces a year, earning US$1.2 billion. The sector of beachwear, such as garments in general, is marked by the presence of micro, small and medium enterprises. According to information provided by IEMI(2006), in 2005, small companies accounted for 70% of garments installed in Brazil, with 19.6% of workers employed in this activity and 11.7% of production measured in pieces produced. The number of medium-sized companies amounted to 26.7% of the units, employing 49.2% of the labor force and contributing 46% of the production.
The large proportion of small businesses is explained by the low barriers to entry in the industry due to the low cost of start a small confection. Many of these confections are opened in an informal way, something quite common in the sector and is checked in several ways as: absence of registration of the companies and of the workmanship or underfilling and/or non declaration of revenues. With this, a large number of companies can be seen more as survivors than as dynamic companies capable of competing in the international market. But for the sector in general, the potential for export exists, above all, in the world demand for our bikinis. But how was this demand formed? Several international fashion magazines highlight brazilian bikinis in their reports. According to the Italian fashion magazine "The Best of Intima", the country has a national beauty, not only in its geography, but also in the bodies that parade in its extensive coast. This beauty, partly due to a great miscegenation, partly worshiped and sought through gymnasiums and plastic surgeries, became a "national identity", under which a strong image of Brazil was built in the world. Within this magazine, Brazil is nominated as a country-label (Brazil would be for beachwear, just as France would be for perfumes). But how did the country become this? Through a sex appeal, which could be understood by the sum of factors such as sensuality, tolerance of differences and the stripped-down way of being ("Brazilian way"), this could still be described as brazilian way of life (strongly drawn by the "Carioca" style in the city of Rio de Janeiro, which is the great launcher of trends in beach fashion, in which a large part of the young population is a culturist in the search for the ideal body imposed by society in general).
Allied to the fact that brazilian women are the big consumers of bikinis, including creating models and adapting lingeries, this sex appeal is not only for beauty but also for joy and "brazilian ginga". This was publicized to the world and is constantly maintained through numerous and notorious ambassadors such as the football team itself and artists such as Carlinhos Brown. In fact, according to the magazine, Brazil was already a trendsetter when fashion professionals began to think about exploiting their characteristics commercially to sell products. For fashion, until then, the country was considered as a great reservoir where sometimes designers and agencies came to seek new talents, born of the rich mixtures of races found here, that allowed to find European traits allied to the unmistakable brazilian swing, such examples of Gisele Bundchen, Mariana Weickert, Isabelli Fontana, Carol Trentini and others. Brazil is clearly seen as a trendsetter in the world of beachwear and it is not difficult to recognize "brazilian influence" in this sector. They copy not only the cuts, but there are cases where even the name "Brazil" or "Brazilian" is incorporated into foreign brands. But beyond the international brands that are interpreting and adapting the brazilian influences to the tastes of each market, there are signs that the changes and / or adaptations in the models are becoming smaller, which makes us believe that the international tastes are slowly converging towards our style.