But swimwear, like swimming itself, has long been democratic, says Christine Schmidt, author of >The Swimsuit: Fashion From Poolside to Catwalk. Just as you don’t need a trip to the French Riviera to escape the heat, you don’t need to empty your savings account for a suit that feels like a million bucks. In the 1920s you could make a swimsuit at home from a store-bought pattern, or you could purchase a suit from one of the newly created collections of elite French fashion designers. Nowadays the swimwear industry—a $3.5 billion-a-year-and-growing business, according to the NPD Group, with women’s swimwear accounting for 70 percent of the market—is rife with competition. Retailers such as Target and H&M sell lower-cost alternatives for even the most basic of suits—the little black bikini—that retail for double at Victoria’s Secret or tenfold with a Dolce & Gabbana tag. More competition brings lower prices—and more excuses to hang out at the pool. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.
Source : http://www.slate.com/articles/life/fashion/2013/08/why_is_swimwear_so_expensive_manufacturing_seasonality_and_design.html