Meet the Designer: Competitive Swimmer Erin Hartman


We caught up with Athleta swim designer and competitive swimmer Erin Hartman on the inspiration behind our latest performance Streamline swim collection.

What’s the coolest thing about being a designer at Athleta?3O7C8313

The coolest thing about being a designer for Athleta is getting to be a part of a team that lives and breathes this brand everyday. We are constantly striving to design products that bring innovation, fashion-forward trends, and functional performance to our customers. Being a part of a design team that delivers this is truly special and unique.

“We are constantly striving to design products that bring innovation, fashion-forward trends, and functional performance to our customers.”

Were you always a competitive swimmer? Do you still compete?

I’ve been swimming since age six, competing on a swim team in my youth, and eventually becoming a collegiate swimmer and water polo player. I still swim masters and race to this day!

As a swimmer, what you do you look for in the perfect suit?3O7C8500

A suit that fits tight, but does not chafe or cause any discomfort during a long work out. The last thing you want to worry about is a suit that cuts into your shoulders or causes any sort of pain. I also look for a suit with Lycra Xtra Life, which holds its shape better and stands up to chlorine, heat, and sunscreen.

What was your biggest challenge in designing this suit?

3O7C8240Creating a performance fit lives up to the needs of a lap swimmer. My goal was to design a suit that would stay on without dragging in the water when pushing on or off the walls, and would hold up for long, enduring workouts! I even did several swim wear-tests during the design and fit process to make sure it felt amazing during my workouts.

What’s different about this suit versus all the other performance suits out there?

The Streamline collection is special because it was designed especially for athletes, but also brings in elements of mesh and sleek feminine splicing details to give it that special, Athleta touch. I’m super happy with the way it performs, but I really love the way it looks!

Any good swim suit care tips?Untitled

Always rinse your suit in cold water right after a swim. Chlorine water can be tough on a suit, even with Lycra Xtra Life. It’s also always best to properly hang and dry it after a swim.

What are the 3 things you always have in your gym bag?

A suit, cap and goggles of course!

Shop the Streamline Swimwear Collection

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 2.10.51 PM

Streamline One PieceStreamline Bikini and Streamline Tri Tank

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 2.07.40 PM

Streamline Bikini, Streamline Bottom, and Streamline One Piece 


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Kate Ronan

February 09, 2016 at 5:27 am

I have loved the one piece work out swim suits in the past but I tried this new design on and was quite surprised on how it fit. The back is rather low and the suit seems “short”. I have just ordered a tall to see if that’s any better (I am only 5’3″). Last year’s suit was really terrific and I am hoping the tall version of this year’s suit will be good as well.
However, I must admit I was quite disappointed with the first one I tried on.


February 09, 2016 at 7:09 am

Hi, thanks for the info on the suits. It appears (from the pictures) that the bikini and tankini versions have nice high necks (that don’t scoop water or sag) but the one pieces has a lower neck. Is that true? Or is it just an illusion? Thank you.


February 09, 2016 at 7:34 am

Thanks for making the one-pieces in Tall! It’s always hard for us long-torsoed gals to find one pieces that fit appropriately.

Valerie paul

February 09, 2016 at 10:34 am

Would love to wear a one piece but the torsos are all too long because I am only 5 ft

Paige Harris

February 09, 2016 at 12:14 pm

I am on a swimming scholarship at the University of Florida and I like the design of your suits but I would like a one piece that has a smaller bottom (rear). I think your suits would be more stylish if the back was a little more “revealing.”

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