August 18, 2023 5 min read

We caught up with Alicia Rountree, Founder of Alicia Swim, to learn about growing up in Mauritius and how she lives and breathes her conscious swimwear brand…


Tell us a little about yourself and what inspires you most?

My name is Alicia Rountree, I am the founder of Alicia Swim. I have worked as a model for 15 years modelling for brands such as Chanel, Ralph Lauren and Victoria’s Secret. I am also a trained nutritionist and author.

I grew up in Mauritius connected to the natural world, which instilled in me a deep love of health, wellness and nature which I bring through my work and brand.



What made you want to start your own swimwear brand?

I grew up next to the ocean. I had a daily ritual of waking up and diving into the ocean, only to come home from school and do the exact same thing. I spent a lot of my childhood in swimwear and it left an imprint on me. My career as a model then gave me a lot of exposure to brands and designs and I felt like I could improve on what was already in the market with this first-hand experience plus my emotional connection to the product.

I'm a creative and I wanted to channel my love of Mauritius, nature and wellness through the product that I believe I know best.



Describe the Alicia Swim brand in 3 words?

Alicia Swim is a portal (to) island life !



Do you live by any mantras that have helped build the ethos of the brand?

At Alicia Swim we say we are connecting you to a life well lived. We are all about paired back Island Living and focus on authentic island style, so there is a purity to the brand. So much of my childhood growing up was surrounded by nature and the vibrant, fresh Mauritian life is embedded within. For me Alicia Swim is a portal to a tropical paradise, drawn from my childhood.

Our product is beautifully made and fitted to ensure that you feel uninhibited and totally carefree. We want to bring back that childlike joy of running bare foot on a beach surrounded by family.

The brand is strongly rooted in themes of freedom and exploration, time spent close to family and surrounded by natural beauty. Plus we are strongly motivated by an environmentally conscious mindset.



Tell us about an average day for you at Alicia Swim…

Every day is different as I oversee so many different parts of the business. Each day will involve designing which is one of my favourite parts as I am much more creatively inclined. I will then cover marketing, PR and business aspects with my team while perhaps planning the next campaign or content shoot.  

I have also just had my first daughter so this has slightly changed my routine to say the least and things are not as organised as they once were! I also still model occasionally and am about to launch a new beauty brand so every day is about juggling lots of different elements.



The prints you create are so unique to the brand, what inspires these?

I’m definitely more of a creative person. I have quite an artistic background having talented artists in my family who did it as a career or as a hobby. I have painted most of my prints while home in Mauritius.

I’m inspired by nature, the sounds of birds, just the feeling of calm being on the island is also a huge inspiration. Once a print is painted, we make it digital then I send it off to our print factory in Italy and the print is trialled on our fabric until we get the colours and sizing right. Two key prints this season are the Bird of Paradise and our signature Coral print which I love. Two motifs that are emblematic of Mauritian nature for me.

It is also important to me that just like the prints the product is made in Mauritius, to give back to the local community I grew up with and to support jobs. The level of skill is so high and I wanted to encourage  awareness of this and further promote Mauritian artisans. I took the time to work closely with the artisans in Mauritius to get the best quality possible as well as choosing to work with factories who have similar values to our brand.



You lived in Mauritius for some time, tell about island life and what you love most?

I now live in London having left Mauritius at 17 to embark on my modelling career in New York but we still go back very often as a lot of my family are still there.

I had a wonderful childhood, I am very lucky and I realize that. I think it made me have a positive view on life and be calm. I learned about eating healthy foods because that’s what was natural growing up, we would eat things we had picked from our garden that morning. My strongest memories are that I spent most of my time outdoors, whether playing around climbing trees, swimming or eating outdoors a lot in fresh air. It was about the simple things in life. We didn’t need much, just family.

I long to recreate this feeling of fresh island living., it was natural to be barefoot and very close to family. I loved this and  build a lot of this way of life into my brand. I have also carried with me the healthy way of life, I believe it has informed my journey to become a nutritionist and sparked my interest in the beauty world.



How do you juggle family life and the brand…any words of wisdom?

I don’t think there is really a trick, it is all a blend of work and family and perhaps you can’t do as much as you once did. However, I find it makes me more efficient and having a strong priority list is a must have for me. More than ever, I need a structure and a plan so I can ensure that I am doing both jobs well. But ultimately it often doesn’t work out the way you want and being OK with that is a skill I am learning.

I didn’t really stop working after giving birth, as my company is my other baby! But I know all will fall into place.



What have been the proudest milestones for the brand so far?

The brand started in a very organic way and we have been building it slowly. Earlier this year we created our most grown up campaign to date and I loved seeing the brand in this way. It marked an exciting new milestone for us as we take the brand to new heights. But equally I am proud every time I see someone wearing something I have created and can’t wait to further the momentum we currently have.


And do you have exciting plans for Alicia Swim in the future?

We are currently working on our resort collection which will launch in October. We also have a very sweet children’s collaboration with Tartine e Chocolat coming soon. And, on a separate note I will also be launching my beauty brand later this year, which centres on the meditative effect of rituals.


We are looking forward to stocking the next October collection of Alicia Swim at Tyde London and also exploring a Mauritius edit to come!