Italian Girls Would Never Wear This Swimsuit Style

Photo: Bianca Balti

Summer officially kicks off next week, meaning there will be plenty days of ahead spent on the beach or lounging by the pool, test-driving your new swimwear. Swimsuits these days come in a seemingly unending variety of silhouettes, with one-pieces just as popular as bikinis. So when sifting through the endless options to outfit your summer swimwear collection, who better to advise on the dos and don'ts of beach and poolside style than Italian top model Bianca Balti who just designed her very own swimwear line?

Balti's 18-piece namesake swimwear collection debuted earlier this week exclusively on Yoox. Titled California Dreaming, the line was inspired by '60s surf culture. "I thought the bathing suits back then were so cool," confessed the model-turned-designer when we caught up with her the day of the launch. "They were a bit covered but still fun." Declaring that "stripes are the new black," the model infused her line with retro nautical stripes of varying thicknesses on mix-and-match triangle bikini tops, high-waisted briefs, and '60s-inspired one-pieces with button details. Every piece in the collection is entirely made in Italy yet recalls the vintage vibes of the California coast, with swimsuit names like "The Laguna," "The Huntington," and "The Malibu."

Photo: Bianca Balti

I really wanted to please all women.

When designing the line, Balti wanted the pieces to work for everyone—every age and body type. "I really wanted to please all women," she explained. "My family is made up of real women. I wanted my mom to be able to wear the collection." The line runs from size 2 to size 16 and features a diverse range of silhouettes to accommodate every preference for coverage. "This collection has a few pieces that really cover your bust and your belly," Balti referenced the throwback-inspired cuts for those who want to "cover up a little bit more but also stay young and fresh." Balti recalls that when she had her second baby, it was hard for her to find swimwear covered enough for her to feel comfortable at the beach (and still look fashionable). Her own line is "mom-proof," with luxurious materials that are on the thicker side to reshape and keep everything contained, whether you're lounging or making sand castles with your kids.

Photo: Bianca Balti

Since Balti prioritizes comfort—along with looking good—while at the beach, there's one swimsuit style she would never wear: the trikini (think Borat). "I'm super opposed to that style," she saids. "People can really do whatever they want, but me, I will personally never do it." She promises there will never be a trikini silhouette making it into her namesake line. "The tan lines would be horrible—and I find it a bit vulgur."

Head below to shop Bianca Balti's new swimwear collection.

Find shopping for swimwear online a bit daunting? Discover how to find the perfect swimsuit without trying it on.