Senior Launches Women’s Swimwear Brand


Tirrell’s frustration caused her to launch her own swimwear brand. (Courtesy of Instagram)

As a competitive swimmer, you train a lot. At a Division I program like Fordham, that training often consists of spending over 20 hours a week in the water, on top of strength training and conditioning. When you spend that much time in the pool, it is important to have a training suit that is comfortable, durable and, of course, fashionable. 

Unfortunately, the market for women’s training suits does not always meet these requirements. Women in the sport often have to deal with uncomfortable straps digging into shoulders, little or excessive coverage in the wrong places and unflattering designs. They are then left with the nearly impossible challenge of finding a suit which allows them to both look and feel their best while training, without having to sacrifice comfort. 

Audrey Tirrell, GSB ’23,  captain of the women’s swim team at Fordham, was tired of putting up with flimsy and badly designed training suits. She decided to take matters into her own hands by creating Freestyle Swimwear, a women’s swimwear company whose designs are actually made with the female athlete in mind. 

Having been a competitive swimmer for 15 years, Tirrell knows what women look for in a training suit better than anyone. Aiming to help other women in the sport find the ultimate practice suit, she began the process of creating Freestyle Swimwear: “I’ve always been disappointed with the limited choices available for women’s training swimwear, as well as the inaccurate proportions of the suits, which is why Freestyle Swimwear was created.” 

Tirrell’s first line of swimsuits is called the Contrast Collection. She currently offers three different one-piece training suits and two bikini sets. The suits come in multiple colors, contrasting between bright pink, green and blue with black. Her designs take on a variety of styles, but Tirrell said the main inspiration for her designs has always been to create a suit which emphasizes strong athletic and feminine features. “The biggest inspiration for the designs was to create a silhouette that truly flatters a swimmer’s body, and offers the most optimal comfort in each swimsuit.”

She didn’t just make a suit based on her own personal preferences, though. Before coming out with prototypes, Tirrell spent months surveying female swimmers across the globe in order to find out exactly what they look for in a training suit. “The greatest component of my designs came from surveying thousands of female swimmers from around the world, to take their candid input into my design process,” Tirrell said. The survey consisted of questions on a variety of different preferences in colors, straps, coverage, sizing and even an open-ended response on what women personally look for in a practice suit. Tirrell used this as the basis for her first line, combining all of the most popular responses to come out with the Contrast Collection. 

Audrey said the process of starting her business has been a challenge. Afterall, she’s doing something that not many people can say they have, which is starting her own company entirely from scratch while being a full-time student athlete. On top of her already demanding schedule, Tirrell had single-handedly coordinated every element of her business, from marketing to production. “I took full responsibility for every aspect of the venture, including sourcing high-quality materials, assembling a team of manufacturers and sewers, crafting branding elements, rigorously testing each prototype, developing marketing strategies and even constructing a website from scratch,” she said. 

However, Tirrell said her biggest challenge when creating Freestyle Swimwear wasn’t about the production process. “The biggest challenge overall was balancing my demanding schedule as a D1 swimmer, training 20 hours each week alongside coursework, while testing products during training sessions and single-handedly building the brand.” 

Tirrell had been preparing to launch Freestyle Swimwear for the past two years, and she is now finally getting to see all of her hard work and vision for the business come to life. With the official release date having just passed on April 14, 2023, Tirrell had already been busy packaging and shipping out pre-sale orders. She admitted, “it has been crazy, as I currently run this brand out of my dorm.” 

“But I am so excited with how many incoming orders I’ve been receiving, and enjoy packaging orders and carrying pounds of swimsuits in my duffel bag to the mailroom,” she laughed. 

Despite having just launched this April, Freestyle Swimwear is already making a big splash in the swimming community. With publicity from the Swimming World Magazine Instagram page and even going viral on TikTok, Freestyle Swimwear is making a name for itself. 

Tirrell said her biggest goal for Freestyle Swimwear is “to not only provide women with great performing swimwear, but act as a platform for inspiring women to feel empowered and be their best selves.” 

She also believes that Freestyle Swimwear is for everyone, even if you’re not a competitive swimmer. “Whether you are a competitive swimmer or not, we offer athletic bikini sets as well for anyone who is interested.” 

If you want to check out Freestyle Swimwear and support Tirrell’s business, you can head over to the company website,, or follow them on Instagram at And if you want a live look at Tirrell’s suits, you can also stop by the pool and catch some members of the Fordham women’s swim team sporting the Contrast Collection.