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The Dani Kates Effect

by Sofroina Timmons

Whimsical with a little edge reminds me of the “Tom-boy Tinkerbel” with original, figure flattering silhouettes and attention to fit and detail, but just enough girly, vibrant elements that won't steal the stage from the Lost Boys. Designer Dani Kates and swimwear can be compared to Gold Medalist Dara Torres in a 50 meter freestyle swim. Top notch! Kates's line is an example of her personality: confident, exuberant, adaptable and optimistic. Her collection is sophisticated, playful and has a plethora of fresh, sexy designs.

Dani Kates Swimwear Collection is similar to having a hybrid; you can expect more and still have the quality of a high-end selection that has a tangible price point. Interesting how she is so attuned to swimwear and was born and reared on the east. That's right, a New York native who knows a whole lot about fashion in the sun. She graduated from Parson's School of Design and studied Fine Arts at Cornell University that helped her develop a foundation of knowledge with a deep aesthetic and conceptual understanding of color and design.

She also enjoys art, nostalgia and pop culture which is the essence of her passion for her collections and impeccable taste which never loses sight of the importance for what women want: quality swimwear that is comfortable, a range of coverage and support.

What was your inspiration for your spring 2010 collection?
The inspiration for the spring 2010 collection for Dani Kates was saturated berry-colored pigments, luxurious textures, and bold graphics.

What do you think are the biggest swimwear trends right now spring 2010?
Ruffles, Shirring, Bandeaus, Vintage, Monokinis

What era in fashion does your line remind you of?
There is not one particular era that my line reminds me of. In the 2010 Collection, there are elements from the 50s (high-waist bottoms), the 60s/70s (optic prints) the 80s (oversized resin hardware). For me as a designer, it's all about being inspired by key trends from the past and mixing them up and reintroducing them to make something that feels current and fresh.

Now that sheers, nudes and blushes are the fad for this spring, what colors did you choose to use?
I chose a nude (ivory) base for a lot of my prints, but opted not to go with any nudes or blushes in a big way because those are hard colors to wear for my customers.

Is your swimsuit line more conservative or edgy?
Dani Kates Swimwear is actually intended to be a balance between conservative and edgy.

Do you design with an age in mind or lifestyle?
I definitely design with a lifestyle in mind, I have a picture in my mind of who my girls are and I design for them. I'm always paying attention to colors stories, prints, and shapes that inspire me. Wherever I go I see ingredients for bikini designing. I keep an open mind and gather as much inspiration as I can. Then I put it all together and look for recurring themes. I then do trend research and analysis and find relevance between the trends I've found and what I've been inspired by.

Where can your collection be purchased?
Dani Kates retails from $110-$135 (for sets, but are sold as separates) can be purchased online at and is available in boutiques throughout the US, including Big Drop in Miami and NYC, as well as Exquisite Swimwear in Arizona.

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