Q&A: Niveen Fateha – 425 Journal

Venezuelan heat meets the Bellevue breeze. Niveen Fateha is the creative mind behind the Bellevue-based Adicora Swimwear line. Born in Pittsburgh and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Fateha grew up around Venezuela’s tropical towns, and it was there that she further explored the various elements of design that now influence her creations.

In 2004, she moved to Seattle to launch her career as a fashion designer. In 2009, she launched Adicora Swimwear.

What inspired you to create Adicora Swimwear?

I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When I turned 2, my family decided to move to Caracas, Venezuela, where my mom’s side of the family is from.

One of many life-changing experiences was to have the opportunity to be able to grow up on two different continents — South America and the Middle East — where culture, food, and religion are complete opposites. I experienced the Iraq War while I was living in the Middle East, and during the time I was living in Venezuela, I witnessed the economy plunge and freedom of speech taken away from the Venezuelan people during the Chavez regime. In 2004, I decided it was time to pack my bags to head to Seattle to pursue my fashion career. Soon after I moved, I worked at a women’s shoe company in product development and design. During that time, my knowledge of the industry grew, and in 2009, I took the plunge and started my own swimwear line. I decided to name my swimwear brand after one of the many beautiful beaches of Venezuela — Adicora.

What sets Adicora apart from other swimwear lines?

My line is unique, versatile, and flirty. Most important of all is the fit and cut of my bottoms. My main goal is to always stay away from the basic solid-color string bikini that you can find anywhere. Why be basic when you can stand out wherever you vacation around the world?

How has Adicora evolved since it launched in 2009?

The biggest change I have been observing throughout the years within the demographic I design for is the silhouette with less coverage on the bottoms. The reason why this transition is happening is because women today are striving to live a healthy lifestyle by taking care of themselves, eating healthy, exercising, and feeling confident with their bodies.

How has the pandemic affected Adicora?

2020 definitely was a year where everyone had to adapt to a whole different way of life. It has been a year of change. The fashion industry faced challenges, like the rest of the world. People lost interest in buying swimwear because there was nowhere to go. This pandemic gave me a spiral of 180 degrees for the best. It gave me a true sense of reality within my personal life and my career. I kind of felt like I was going through some sort of a heavy life detox. It was like hitting the reset button, and I learned so many great things life had to offer and said adios to all the ugly. I observed through this process that online shopping sales skyrocketed while causing stores and manufacturers to close their doors. The fashion industry will move forward and move faster from now on by increasing the digital reliance of the industry.

What’s been the most rewarding aspect about leading Adicora?

The whole process is what brings me life! It all starts in my head. I sketch my ideas on a piece of paper, then source the fabrics, see my designs on the runway, plan photoshoots, and then see my customers get excited to wear my newest line.

View the line here.

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