Summer is here and it’s time to hit the beach, but finding a swimsuit that complements your personal body type isn’t always easy. Purchasing a suit that flatters your curves and flattens your problem areas takes time. Luckily, these five talented female designers understand the struggle and can help eliminate your poolside woes with fashion that fits.
According to TheRoot.com, when it comes swimwear, these fierce entrepreneurs offer it all. From string bikinis to retro one-pieces, they’ve got what women need to rock confidence and comfort in style.
- According to The Root, Tennille McMillan began designing bathing suits in 2012 after fans of her clothing line, Nakimuli, wanted more from the Brooklyn, N.Y. designer. Her suits reflect African-inspired prints, and she tells The Root that she has just started designing her own patterns, which come in all shapes and sizes. The 34-year-old designer says Erykah Badu wears her line, as does Danielle Brooks from Orange Is the New Black.
- Designer Desiree D’Aguiar’s main focus is swimwear. The 25-year-old started her Winifred Taylor label last year. Although D’Aguiar works in Toronto, where she grew up, the beach plays a large role in her life, thanks to her Caribbean roots. D’Aguiar tells The Root she gets her inspiration from artists, using their work to drive her collection.
- Monif Clarke, the designer behind the Monif C. label, is from New Jersey but traces her roots to Barbados, where the 36-year-old gets some of her inspiration for her sexy, bright and tight line of swimwear. According to The Root, she was one of the first to introduce plus-size bikinis five years ago, when she couldn’t find suits she liked that fit her figure. The swimwear line is an offshoot of her clothing line, which started with the “Marilyn” convertible dress, and is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
- Altrichia Cook is the designer behind the A.Lekay label. She’s been in the swimwear business for two years. The 28-year-old is based in central Florida, where she grew up. Cook tells The Root that her quest for a high-waist swimsuit that would hide certain imperfections led her to design her own. It caught on with her Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority sisters, and the company was born. Nicki Minaj is also a fan and wore an exclusive bikini in July’s issue of Cosmopolitan.
- Risque Dukes founded her swimwear company, of the same name, in 2013. It’s based in Miami, which seems like the perfect location for an über-sexy line. The 25-year-old army veteran tells The Root that she always wanted to be an entrepreneur and designer, so when she couldn’t find a “selfie-worthy” bikini, she decided to design her own. Her current collection includes bikinis featuring prints of Haitian, Bahamian, and Jamaican flags. This year, Dukes showed her suits during New York Fashion Week.
Head over to TheRoot.com to check out four more black female swimwear designers making waves this summer.