In the city of rain and cloudy skies, local Seattleite Jackie Robinson founded MOMMA, a woman-owned, ethical, luxury swim brand that you can live, swim and hike in all year long.
“I’ve always known that I wanted to dedicate my life to empower women in some way,” said Robinson. “It’s rainy a lot of the year [in Seattle], and I was inexplicably buying a bunch of swimsuits throughout my young adult life, constantly searching for something that made me feel good and that was confidence inspiring. I just could never find it.”
With no prior background in fashion, Robinson said that her journey consisted of multiple catalysts that led her to where she is today. From her time as a student at the University of Washington, to bartending in London and kickboxing in Thailand, Robinson’s life has always been inspired by strength, adventure, powerful women and the environment that surrounds her.
Founded in 2020, Robinson’s first collection launched in April 2021 and was the result of a year of dedication, designing and testing the right fabrics, colors and cuts to find the perfect combination of sportswear and swimwear that made women feel nothing but confidence.
“I am a fangirl for women. I have always been a feminist and the name [MOMMA] was inspired by [my] reverence for the inherent capacity women have to nurture, care for and heal all living things,” said Robinson. “That’s really what [inspired] the name the capacity to be able to gift our emotional strength to other things.”
During the pandemic, Robinson found herself spending more time scrolling through social media and feeling isolated, targeted by fashion and beauty campaigns owned and operated by men, and it drove her crazy.
“I knew I had to change the narrative a little bit,” said Robinson. “I started designing MOMMA, and I wanted everything to be multifunctional so that you could wear it year round, and not just a couple days out of the year when it was sunny in Seattle, and I wanted it to be sustainable because that’s something that I really care about.”
Robinson created a collection of four timeless colors made from non-toxic, OEKO-TEX certified dyes available in a variety of cuts that are flattering for all body types. The initial plan was to do separate swimwear and activewear lines, however, Robinson decided to combine them into one, creating a collection that can be used in and out of the water using a material made from the recycled nylon of discarded fishing nets.
“I knew I wanted the fabric to be made out of recycled nylon, but I could not find something that had the softness that I wanted I just couldn’t find it so we ended up making our own,” said Robinson. After much trial and error, Robinson found the perfect combination of 80% nylon, 20% recycled nylon and 20% spandex.
Although MOMMA suits are currently only available online, Robinson noted that next season, she hopes to explore the possibility of working with local boutiques and stockists. While Robinson eventually hopes to expand her range to include more sustainable clothing options, for now she’s focusing on her swimwear and the feeling of feminine power and confidence that accompanies it.