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Though perhaps best-known as one of Victoria’s Secret's preternaturally beautiful "angels," the South African supermodel has asserted herself within a new domain: as an entrepreneur. Tropic of C, her new line of swimwear, recently launched on Moda and (unlike many celebrity-fronted lines) it is entirely Swanepoel’s creation. She leads her team every step of the way, from the initial sources of inspiration to the design process, fabric-sourcing and final production stages—and is well aware of the unique skill set she brings to the table. One of those is a keen business savvy from years of industry experience. “Modeling taught me the importance of being a businesswoman and… [the meaning of] hard work”, she says.

Tropic of C not only puts Swanepoel in the company of other successful female business owners, but it also is a vehicle for her to connect with passions close to her heart. Everything from the packaging to the garment bags and the techno fabric is eco-friendly (the latter is made from old fishing nets) which reflects her aims to protect the environment. Helping women feel good about themselves is another chief objective, something she is better positioned for than many may realize.
"The negativity and pressures put on women is really sad. Women’s bodies should be celebrated."
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Go-to beach shoe?

Most treasured possession?
Grandmother’s ring that I inherited

The quality you value most in a man?

Spirit animal?

The living person you most admire?
My parents

Guilty pleasure you’ve adopted since becoming a mom?

Showering alone
Three important qualities every businesswoman should possess?
Determination, Organization, and Persistence

World’s best beach?
Shell Beach in St. Barths, Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro and Praia do Bode in Brazil

All-time favorite hotel?
Amangiri in Utah

Currently watching…
When I have time, The Deuce

Currently reading…
Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life by Gisele

Workout you swear by?

Currently channeling…
Bo Derek
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“The material needs to hold you in all the right places. [Personally], I prefer a high-cut leg and a scoop neck—they really lengthen the body.”

She may look "perfect", but Swanepoel is unfortunately no stranger to body-shaming. Earlier this year, she faced a deluge of negative comments scrutinizing her body after paparazzi snapped photos of her on a beach in Brazil just 12 days after giving birth to her second son in June. She responded via Instagram, defending women against unrealistic pressures while also celebrating the miracle of the female body. “Beauty standards are sometimes impossible for women these days," she wrote on Instagram. "I’m not ashamed to show my postpartum tummy, I am proud actually…I carried my son for 9 months in there, I think I’ve earned the right to have a little tummy”.

Not only can she relate to how women want to feel (confident in their bodies), but Swanepoel is also well-versed in what swimwear will ensure they do. Countless hours in front of the camera modeling just about every style of suit you can imagine has given her an understanding of the sort of silhouettes, fits and materials that are the most comfortable and flattering. Translation: the ones that make women feel their best. “I've gathered so much knowledge,” she says. “I wanted to combine that with my love of swimwear to create a line that can be worn by any woman and make her feel sexy and powerful."

Now every inch the multi-hyphenate power woman, Swanepoel is as driven and inspiring as she is relatable and down-to-earth.

—Rachel Hodin
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