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Lounging in La Isla

by Sofroina Timmons

Summer wardrobe staples are important to our lifestyles. The summer isn’t summer if you are not equipped with a swimsuit, floppy hat, coverall, a sweet pair of sunglasses and stylish footwear. I can start you out with a few of these essentials from La Isla Swimwear.

This swimwear line is full of spirited and contemporary styles featuring warm hues of the Colombian jungle to vibrant electrifying tones of the Caribbean to the western Pacific coastlines. The impeccable craftsmanship has stunning fabrics, unique hand embroidery, fashion-forward sexy bikinis, separates, and one-pieces that set the tone for a stroll on the beach, or taking in some sun or even casually dinning on the pool decks of resorts and exotic getaways.

Each design is constructed from all natural, organic resources featuring, trend-settings styles of ruffles, hardware, and rich embellishments. La Isla also carries casual contemporary wears showcasing digital printing on tees and t-shirts, and Oeko-tex certified fabrics that give the consumer quality wears with a high-end look. I’ll be wearing a piece of California and Colombia on me when I take a dip into the sea this summer 2014 when I don La Isla Swimwear.

How and why did La Isla start and who started it?
I started the company with my sister Ana Luisa in Cali, Colombia about 13 years ago. My sister started manufacturing with one seamstress and at home in a “garage” situation. We saw an opportunity to leverage the incredible talent of head of household seamstresses in Colombia and help build and be a part of the swimwear explosion in Colombia. Colombia at the time was on fire in regards to making great swimwear with companies like Onda de Mar and Agua Bendita. We strongly believed in the quality of the product and knew we could compete with the best brands in the market. My sister and her seamstress at the time were making some beautiful swimwear and I had been doing photography for fun for a very well known modeling agent in New York City. He trusted me to shoot his models and I was able to put some of my sister’s bikinis on them. The stylists and the models absolutely loved them and I thought we had to bring the suits to the US. This, together with the conviction we had on the beauty and the quality of the suits, made us want to grow the brand and sell it abroad.

How do you remain competitive in this market?Br> Innovation.

What was the hardest thing about conceptualizing the latest collection?
Nothing was hard, we enjoy this too much and it never feels like a job or like anything is difficult to do. We manufacture our own swimwear (unlike most brands) and that makes it even easier for us to be able to get our ideas across and build any suit we want.

What types of features are incorporated in your designs?
We use different color linings and some beautiful details like zigzag Lurex stitching and “convertibility” of some of the suits.

What differentiates your line from the other brands in your industry?
We are bright and happy and we are a brand and a company that has a very deep soul. Not that other brands don’t have one, but I just know we do and people recognize that. Our fit is most definitely something we are constantly praised on and the care we take in the manufacturing process is outstanding. The quality of our fabrics is also stupendous. One other very important fact is that we are an amazing combination of both Latin American and Californian culture. That is very unique.

Do you have any personal dos and don’ts when choosing a swimsuit?
I am a guy so . . . I like my board shorts to have a relaxed fit and I like shorter trunks for swimming. I really like my fabrics to have a four way stretch. It allows me to wear my trunks for yoga and surfing and many other things. I like a swimsuit that I can basically “live in”. That’s what I had in mind when I designed the men’s board short line.

Do you design for both men and women?
We do. This is our second year designing a men’s graphic tee and board short line. We are so excited about the prospects. Our line is already being carried at many resort shops like The Four Seasons in Punta Mita, the Lowes Hotel in Santa Monica and the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami.

Is there a body type that your suits/collections work well with?
We have suits for every type of body. We offer bandeaus, underwire suits and traditional triangle bikinis. That is something we pride ourselves in, offering a very varied line up that works for many types of bodies.

As a follow-up, can you give our readers some tips for specific body types?
This is important: the bigger the bootie, the smaller the bikini cut - it works, trust me!

Where can La Isla be purchased?
We sell our entire collection on our website at laislabrand.com and also in many beautiful boutiques across the US and abroad.

What's next for La Isla?
More artist collaborations and a wider range of men’s items. We also are looking forward to continue to expand our women’s offerings for both on and off the beach.

Do you have any social media campaigns or promotions that we should know about?
Most weeks we have what we call “giveaway Wednesdays” on Instagram and Facebook where anyone can repost and tag one of the product images we feature and enter for a chance to win that particular piece. We love that game :)

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