Join  |  Login

Illustrations for the Sand

by Sofroina Timmons

This summer 2013 the beaches will be overflowed with beautiful bodies in Kate Swim bathing suit collection Kapa Kala Collection (Hawaiian for "forbidden" or "sacred color"). You can catch two eyefuls of her swimsuit collection in Sports Illustrated’s 50th Anniversary Swimsuit Edition with nine complete looks and eleven more online. Expect vibrant saturated colors that won’t escape your vision. Top models such as Kate Upton, Anne V, Jessica Gomes and Irina Shayk are captured in sexy amazing cuts in two-pieces, monokinis and cover-ups that personified the recreation of 1971 cover suit by Oscar De La Renta.

Kate Swim is a high-end luxury swimwear brand that has catapulted trend-setting designs year after year and since the 2012 Sports Illustrated issue has once again mesmerized the swimwear industry with luxurious fabrics and sumptuous silhouettes in full burst of spring hues of ocean blues, blushing pinks, scarlet reds and very rich berries. You’ll also fall in love with the rich textures and textiles of prints, intricate braiding styles and knots that create one-of-a-kind sophistication. Trendsetting hardware and beading embellish the finishing touches of pure exotic wares.

Fellas, if you get caught red-handed looking at the eye candy, just tell her you are trying to figure out which suit you want to see her in. Kate Swim offers custom fittings along with personal consultations (wink). I must say this is the year of the ‘Phenomenal Woman’ in Kate Swim swimsuits.

How and why did Kate Swim start and who started it?
Kate Swim started with owner and head designer Kathleen Bruening. Kathleen began making swimwear in Maui, Hawaii as a teenager for herself, friends and family. As her skills became more refined, she found herself creating bathing suits for the local pageant girls competing for Miss Hawaii. The company grew and Kathleen began turning in submissions for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. She wanted to expand the company so she chose to move to Las Vegas, where pool parties are popular and tourism is high. She also felt that is was an untapped market for designer swimwear as many companies flock to the fashion cities of Los Angeles and New York. After landing the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 2012 with Kate Upton the company has flourished. This summer will mark the first year of retail sales for Kate Swim with the Kapa Kala Collection.

What was your inspiration for your spring 2013 collection?
The inspiration for the Kapa Kala Collection in one word is freedom. We used bright-saturated color to allow women to stand out in a crowd and to show her true colors.

Give us more details about the name Kapa Kala.
The Kapa Kala Collection is Hawaiian for forbidden or sacred color. The whole idea behind the name was that the bright saturated colors would bring feeling back into a desolate world, one where the wearer would be the only thing shining in a sea of dullness. Someone who wears this collection will surely be noticed and their personality will be shown in the design they choose.

What was the hardest thing about conceptualizing/designing the latest collection?
Trying to focus on just one cohesive story in a collection! There are so many different things that we love to incorporate that we always have to edit as a team to focus on that story and create the best collection possible.

Can you give our readers some tips for specific body types?
Focus on the part of your body that you love first! Whether it be your chest, your butt or your legs, find something that maximizes that area and brings attention there by drawing the eye straight to that feature and away from any flaws you feel you have. From there, find something that makes you feel confident and comfortable, people will always notice confidence!

What is the biggest mistake people make when buying/wearing/caring for lingerie?
Washing it in the washing machine and putting it in the dryer! That is so bad for your garment!

Are your designs versatile?
Yes! [Our] designs are very versatile. We built our "Kapa Kala" Collection to be able to interchange with it and our Kate Essential pieces. That way, the customer can choose a look that suits her body and personality best and stay within her budget.

What should a fashionista always bring to the beach or pool?
A great tote bag, such as the beautiful bright bags that Michael Kors comes out with every summer, wedge sandals for height and comfort, and a great pair of sunnies, a new trend we love are colored lenses!

How do you remain competitive in this market?
Offering bikinis at different price points and always trying to find new and fresh ways to recreate swimwear.

What's next for Kate Swim?
We are hoping to continue our growth by getting into retail stores around the US and launching into a lifestyle brand within the next 5-10 years.

Do you design for both men and women?
We currently only design for women.

Where can the Kapa Kala collection be purchased and what are the price points?
Our suits are available for sale at with prices per piece ranging from $48 to $300.

Do you have any social media campaigns or promotions that we should know about?
Yes! Please follow us on Twitter @kateswim, Instagram (kateswim) and facebook ( for up to date info on what we are doing! Also, we created a promo code for 10% off your entire order exclusively for FashionLedge readers! Enter code (Fashion10) at checkout!

Click here