Written for FLARE‘s 9-5 series.

What drew you to swimwear? When I moved to Vancouver, I realized that there was beach culture and saw that something that was lacking. It was a very youth-focused industry. I was faced with my own feelings of not wanting to wear something skimpy, like a string bikini, and on my trek looking for swimwear, I found myself at American Apparel or H&M, but the cuts and quality weren’t right. I just wanted something that felt equally sophisticated and that made me feel comfortable, not embarrassed. As a pretty staunch feminist, I put the pieces together—being able to help women overcome the issues they have with their bodies, one swimsuit at a time.

How is designing swimwear different than other garments? It’s next to skin, and most people feel incredibly vulnerable because it’s the next thing you have to being completely naked. As a designer, it’s about conveying your aesthetic and message in a limited space. You have very little to work with to get that fit perfected, so you really have to make those details and touches right.

How did you make your brand different from what was available? When I first started doing this, I approached it as: What do I want to wear? What do I want to see? I really challenged a lot of the typical silhouettes with things like sleeves, or collars, or turtlenecks. At the beginning people didn’t understand. I sell in a lot of department stores and there was a lot of confusion on where to place the brand, whether it should go in ready-to-wear or swimwear. There was a bit of a learning curve, but I always saw it as trying to bring a new aspect to this type of clothing.

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