The mantra less is more can be a daunting concept when it comes to swimsuits, but professional models Alison Renner and Scarlett Chorvat believe that when it comes to bikinis, itty-bitty can be quite flattering when done right.
They also incorporate vivid brights, such as fuchsia and a few neons — the latter of which will be used in an exclusive capsule collection for Net-a-porter.com.
Though the suits may seem to be on the skimpier side, Renner, 29, and Chorvat, 37, road test each piece and make sure the suits stay put and cover the backside in the right places. "We're both the fit models," Renner says. "As far as surfing in them, well, we'll leave that to the girls who know how to surf. But we get them in the pool and make sure they don't move or fall off."
Their aim is to make swimwear that doesn't feel bulky. Fabrics are all UV-protective, and suits are made in Los Angeles.
Shimmi swimsuits are $170 to $240 and coverups $220 to $310. Available at http://www.net-a-porter.com, Satine and Madison.
Alexandra Cassaniti grew up surfing in Hawaii and Leucadia, Calif. But after she moved to New York and braved the brisk waves of the Atlantic, she was inspired to create neoprene swimwear that can be worn as a layer in cold waters and worn alone in more temperate seas.
Cassaniti, 28, the former designer of Steven Alan's women's line, is now based in Santa Monica and has expanded her neoprene suits into sexy shapes, added interesting hardware such as oversized black zippers.
For some styles, she salvages scraps of neoprene and pieces them together to form tops and bottoms. All the suits are reversible and have a sporty appeal thanks to the technical material, which Cassaniti says can be challenging to work with. The suits are made in Orange County.
In addition to her wet-suit-inspired bikinis and one-piece suits, she makes tank tops and rash guard-style tops for layering. Cassaniti also manages to incorporate neoprene into her clothing and accessories collection, edging the cuffs of a structured canvas jacket with neoprene, which she coats with recycled surf wax to make it waterproof; using the material for the uppers and linings of simple, '70s-inspired low wedge sandals; and crafting it into a beret.
"I feel like girls don't have a lot of choices for neoprene pieces," says Cassaniti, explaining her motivation for starting a line of suits. She is expanding her range of neoprene by collaborating with San Diego-based wet-suit company Matuse to create two spring wet suits.
Alexandra Cassaniti swimsuits are $130 for a top, $60 for bottoms and $200 for a one-piece. Available at Creatures of Comfort, Opening Ceremony and Curve.