INSIDE EMILY RATAJKOWSKI'S INSTA-READY SWIM LINE

 
 
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Emily Ratajkowski likes to live in her bathing suits. Aside from her signature crop top, swimwear may be her second most loved look, as seen on her Instagram. Now, the actress, model, and self-described “beach baby” has created Inamorata, a line of very like-worthy swimsuits. “I grew up in San Diego and I basically wore a bathing suit every day on the beach,” she says. “When I was 16, sometimes I would literally wake up, not put on any clothes, and I’d put on a bathing suit and get coffees and burritos for the day.”

The six bathing suits—three bikinis (separates are $75; off-the-shoulder tops are $80) and three one-pieces ($160)—come in kicky custom prints like polka dot and leopard spots, as well as solid hues like a rich terra cotta red and mustard yellow. The one-pieces evoke a Ratajkowski attitude through their retro, super-high-cut silhouette, which draws the eye directly to the waist. To nail the midsection-whittling look, Ratajkowski focused on belting and bows. “My waist, and for women in general, that is the thing that you want to accentuate the most, and sometimes it can be really hard,” says Ratajkowski. “In a one-piece, there is nothing that is cinching your waist, so it was important to have something that was flattering in that way.”

Ratajkowski also delved into throwback imagery, drawing from buxom babes of the late ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, and looking through vintageSports Illustrated issues and Helmut Newton photographs. “I was looking at an old Sports Illustrated from the ’70s, and there was a painted swimsuit on a model’s body and it was just belted,” she says. “I was obsessed with the idea [of a belt.].” For the maillot that features a bow embellishment scaling down the torso, Ratajkowski looked to supermodel Stephanie Seymour. “There was a picture of Stephanie Seymour in Sports Illustrated where she has three or four [bows], and it was actually in the back, “ says Ratajkowski. “I thought that was so pretty and such a nice way to show the figure. I loved the idea of turning it around.”

You would be hard-pressed not to notice that many of the one-pieces can work as actual clothes, which was Ratajkowksi’s intention. Her concept centered on the bathing suit not just as pool or beachside attire, but more of a lifestyle. “I also spent the time going to Majorca in the summer, and I saw women in all shapes and sizes, of all different ages, living in their bathing suits, cooking, eating, laying out, and taking care of their kids [in their swimsuit],” she says. “To me, that was the kind of swimsuit I wanted to make and embody.” To wit, another photograph on Ratajkowski’s mood board was a picture of Cher in a bodysuit and a hat, simply walking down the street.

Known for collaborating with clothing labels like The Kooples or acting as the face of brands like Frye, Ratajkowksi, who has an art and design background, went full force into making Inamorata her own project. “It is self-funded. I have basically a consultant and an assistant and then it’s all me. It’s been really, really fun,” she says. “I’ve been doing different things with different people, but to have complete control is really special and exciting.”