With beach season now in full swing, we caught up with an industry insider to talk about trends in swimwear this summer.
From the runway to the beach
"We're seeing a lot more ready-to-wear designers entering swimwear," says Sabra Krock, creative director of multi-brand swim and resort wear retail chain Everything but Water. "For a long time, the category was treated very functionally. It was all about fit and body type. But what's more exciting is that swimwear has become its own fashion occasion." Print-heavy brands Mary Katrantzou and Preen are two of the new fashion names to enter swim this season. Krock says Mara Hoffman and Clover Canyon, designed by L.A.'s Rozae Nichols, are also buzzy brands with an emphasis on fun digital prints.
One-pieces are having a moment
"They're sophisticated and can be just as sexy as a bikini, especially with cutout and open weave details," says Krock. "So people who aren't typically interested in one-pieces are interested because they're not quite as demure as they used to be." (Plus, most of us are trying to stay out of the sun anyway, so tan lines aren't the concern they once were.)
Swimwear as outerwear
Part of what's driving the trend of swimwear as a fashion category is that women have started to incorporate it into their everyday wardrobes, wearing one-piece suits as body suits with skirts and jeans, and bikini or cropped swim tops as bras with backless dresses and shirts. Krock points to two brands that are hot for this season, Marysia, whose scalloped-edge one-piece suits look chic with white jeans, and Kiini, whose hand-crocheted bikini tops are a statement in themselves.
In addition to digital prints, the sport-luxe trend has translated from the runway to swim, Krock says. "It's been a fun trend, with fabrics like neoprene, zippers and mesh insets." Designer Lisa Marie Fernandez and her color-blocked, scuba-inspired suits with mesh insets epitomize the look, Krock says.
Another trend that resonates in both ready-to-wear and swim? Fringe, which is only going to get more popular with the fall season. L.A.-based swimwear brand L*Space offers several sexy suits, bikinis and one-pieces with the of-the-moment trim.