Dive Into Summer’s

Best Swimwear

text by Julia Savacool   photos courtesy of Barney’s New York

Whether you’re headed to Malibu, Cabo or St. Tropez, what will you be wearing to the beach? From elegant caftans to daring bikinis, the looks this season are all about glamour. The trends we spotted pair elegant retro silhouettes with bright colors and playful prints. Here’s the scoop from our fashionable friends at Barneys who chatted with the talent behind five of the most exciting swim brands of the summer.

Designers Nathan Romano and Carl Cunow

Above: ONIA X WEWOREWHAT Lydia Lemon-Print Bikini Top and Bottom

How do you describe the brand?

Carl Cunow: It was built around the concept of function, fit, and fabric. Onia is for the modern explorer who wants the ease of traveling. We draw inspiration from all over—most specifically, vintage textile archives that we work with on a seasonal basis.

Nathan Romano: Our latest collaboration with Danielle from WeWoreWhat is inspired by the rugged shoreline, cliffside lemon groves and vibrantly colored fishing villages of the Amalfi Coast.

What design elements distinguish Onia?

Nathan Romano: The thing I feel sets us apart is the ability to put out product that is functional, classic and stylish all at the same time. Our team always keeps functionality and wearability at the forefront.

What’s your favorite beach memory?

Romano: Definitely the time I was lost and discovered the beaches of Tulum—it was about eight years ago when I accidentally stumbled onto it with friends during spring break.

Cunow: On the beach in Tel Aviv 10 years ago, my wife came up with the name Onia. We were lying in the sand, looking out in the horizon, and we saw a boat go by [onia means “sailboat” in Hebrew]. And Onia began!

Designers Jannine Vinci and Isabella Cavallin

Above: OSEREE Sequined Bikini

How do you describe the brand?

Jannine Vinci and Isabella Cavallin: We take vintage styles and turn them into contemporary pieces, focusing on elegant one-piece swimsuits and bikinis with high-waisted bottoms and triangle tops or bralettes. We want to bring a chic touch to summer’s everyday life.

What design elements distinguish Oséree?

A combination of clean, flattering silhouettes and rich fabrics define the Oséree collection. We are constantly researching unconventional materials to use for beachwear, such as lace, Lurex, gems, and velvet. In this way, we are trying to suggest a new code for swimsuits—a much more sophisticated, yet comfortable, approach.

What’s your favorite beach memory?

Snorkeling on a small island in the Maldives, which exists only until sunset and then is covered by the ocean. It was a unique experience, swimming in the blue depths with corals, fishes. But above all, it is the feeling that has remained: that magical silence that makes you feel connected to the universe.

What is your favorite beach to visit?

Cala Saona in Formentera. The blue sea and white sand are immersed in a red-colored cove. It is very wild!

Designers Jamie Coulter and Lindsey McClain

Above: LA VIE STYLE HOUSE Floral-Embroidered Mini-Caftan

How do you describe the brand?

Jamie Coulter and Lindsey McClain: Unique, effortless, and fashionable. We draw inspiration from vintage and our travels—picking up cool caftans in Morocco and kimonos in Japan. The vibe this season is ’70s glam—resort styles that can be worn as a cover-up during the day and a fabulous dress at night!

What design elements distinguish La Vie?

We are a one-size-fits-all brand—that’s the big element that sets us apart. Also, our avant-garde fabrics, hand-sewn laces, and bright, vivid colors.
What’s your favorite beach memory?

McClain: Diving under waves in Hawaii with my dad, and playing in the ocean with my kids in Turks and Caicos.

What is your favorite beach to visit?

Coulter: Bondi Beach in Sydney! We spent last Christmas there as a family and it was an epic spot—to hang at iconic Icebergs and then head to the beach.

Designer Natalie Martin

Above: NATALIE MARTIN Heather Sun-Face Cotton Voile Dress

How do you describe the brand?

Natalie Martin: Relaxed and effortless, with a hint of luxury. My style inspiration comes from my girlfriends—the way they wear pieces, what looks good on their bodies. I get my print inspiration from my travels to Bali, where the collection is made. I am always amazed by the traditional batik stamps and hand-painted batik fabric. I just love it!

What design elements distinguish Natalie Martin?

Our prints are hand screened and hand batiked. It’s a slow process, which can be frustrating at times, but ultimately I love the inconsistencies in the print and color that can result from these media. I like that many hands have been involved in the process and that this human touch is visible in each piece.

What is your favorite beach to visit?

It will always be Little Cove in Noosa, Australia. This is the beach I grew up going to, and whenever I go home to Australia, that’s where you will find me. I always feel alive and cleansed both physically and emotionally after a dip in its waters.

Creative Director and CEO Crispin Jameson

Above: Coming soon to Barneys.com: ODYSSEE bikini top and belted bottom

How would you describe the brand?

Crispin Jameson: At its heart, it is a curation of luxury essentials for men and women. Each collection is informed by an extraordinary destination, the first of which is Antibes and the Côte d’Azur: the colors and shapes of Matisse cutout palm leaves, deep azure blues, glowing pinks, and blasts of orange. Generations of writers, thinkers, artists, and free spirits have found their home here. It is a place to play, to work, to love, and to create.

What design elements distinguish Odyssee?

The aesthetic is all about editing: immaculate construction and attention to detail. Simple forms in beautiful fabrics mainly from Italy; noble fibers for apparel and performance fabrics for swimwear. The prints are bicolored, bold, and graphic, inspired by a golden age.

What’s your favorite beach memory? 

Almost every summer of my life has been spent on the remote Greek island Patmos, where from an early age I have had a singular obsession with skin-diving for fish. I started taking my son spearfishing with me a couple of years ago. He would stay on the surface and watch me dive. On one occasion, I was diving deep enough to need a halogen light to see into an underground cave. Something brushed past me—which gave me the fright of my life. I envisioned a shark! What I turned around to see was my 7-year-old son holding his breath at a depth of 11 meters.