The Swimsuits Every Fashion Insider Will Own This Summer

Photo:

Maiyo London/Phill Taylor

The fashion space is flooded with collaborations, but Maiyo’s recent swimwear collection designed with fashion insiders Bettina Looney and Anna Vitiello stands out among the rest. For Maiyo founder Roxanne Namaki-Lakani, vintage has always been a point of inspiration. “I love everything that has a little bit of history to it,” she explains. So it was only a matter of time before she collaborated with the like-minded fashion insiders, who similarly approach fashion by looking to the past.

Ahead of the launch, I spoke with Looney and Vitiello to hear more about the collaboration. As they tell it, their mission was to distill the vintage references that flood their mood boards and inspire their personal senses of style into the collection. This is abundantly clear in the design elements they focused on. Swimsuits finished with crystal belts evoke ’80s glam, while high-waisted bottoms trimmed with crochet Lurex ruffles harken back to silhouettes from the ’40s. This retro approach is equally apparent in the campaign imagery. Shot on film and styled with accessories like headscarves, oversize sunglasses, layers of chain necklaces, and delicate gloves, the photos are dripping in nostalgia.

While design—and capturing this throwback mood—was top of mind, it was equally important to them to create pieces that would make women feel good wearing them. They purposely skipped the barely there swimsuits that have recently made a resurgence in favor of silhouettes that work for more body types. “I think it’s so important for a woman to feel comfortable and confident in swimwear, something I think we really captured in this collection,” Looney explains, “and this was one of our biggest drivers from the beginning.”

Ahead, read the full interview with Bettina Looney and Anna Vitiello on their swimsuit collaboration with Maiyo, and shop the collection.

Photo:

Maiyo London/Phill Taylor

Tell us about the collaboration and the process of creating it.

Anna Vitiello: Along with the amazing Roxanne—founder and designer of Maiyo—we wanted to create a collection that brought out the joy of summer in a playful way, being careful to keep the collection wearable. We both adore swimwear and love Maiyo's super-feminine crochet collections, so it was exciting to get to add our own touch to that as well as introducing new design elements to the brand.

How did you two meet?

AV: A mutual close friend of ours, Soraya, introduced us, but it wasn't until a press trip to Ibiza that we became close, once we'd realized that we share a love of almost everything from shopping for vases to very silly humor.

Photo:

Maiyo London/Phill Taylor

What was it like co-creating?

AV: I'm a swimwear obsessive, so it was equal parts fun to work with friends and a real learning experience. It's the first time I've co-created any product, and with swimwear, it's particularly important to pay attention to the finer details and to consider different body shapes, etc., so a great challenge. The most fun was had in the adding of elements like the crystal belt and the various colors.

What ideas influenced the collection and where did you look for inspiration?

Bettina Looney: Like what Anna said, I am also a bit of a swimwear obsessive and have always been a big Maiyo fan! Their pieces have always been a go-to of mine because of how well-fitted and comfortable they are. I think it’s so important for a woman to feel comfortable and confident in swimwear—something I think we really captured in this collection—and this was one of our biggest drivers from the beginning. Anna and I both have always been inspired by anything fashion-related between the '40s and '80s and felt that we didn't have any swimwear to match our constant mood board inspirations, so we decided to include this element into our collection with Maiyo.

Photo:

Maiyo London/Phill Taylor

What are the key swimsuit trends for 2019 you're tapping into with the collection?

BL: Some of the pieces definitely have an element of duality: the T-shirt–style tops will look just as great paired with a pair of high-waist trousers as they will with their matching bikini bottoms. The same goes for the crochet styles—in particular, the one-pieces—and in the brown and nude, in particular, they can slot nicely into your wardrobe as resort wear.

In terms of more specific trends, you'll find metallics, crochet, and belts worked into the collection, but on the whole, fairly subtle and very wearable. The belt is perhaps the most directional piece as it features a fairly blingy buckle that we both adore (and hope you will, too.)

Photo:

Maiyo London/Phill Taylor

Maiyo is a vintage-inspired swimwear brand. How does that fit into each of your personal styles?

AV: It's no secret that we're both very much inspired by archive imagery, particularly from the '40s and '80s, so that element was a natural fit with how we both like to style and shoot. The campaign imagery features a very obvious sense of nostalgia—we were inspired by everyone from Slim Aarons to Helmut Newton and archive editorial images from every era from the '30s to the '80s—and was shot by the talented Phill Taylor on film to achieve that sense of old-time elegance. But it wasn't a gimmick. Our own styles are inspired by those very same things.

Photo:

Maiyo London/Phill Taylor

Which swimsuit trends are you skipping in 2019 that we won't find in the collection?

BL: The super-skimpy, barely there silhouettes are '90s throwbacks that you won't find in here. We really wanted the pieces to work for all body shapes and for women to feel comfortable in the pieces that we've created, so hopefully, we've achieved that goal!

Photo:

Maiyo London/Phill Taylor

What are your key tips for styling swimwear in 2019?

AV: Cliché alert (!) but wear what makes you feel comfortable. Our own swimwear style is maximal. We are all about the headscarves, jewelry, belts… You name it. But many other women prefer sporty styles with minimal accessorizing. The most important thing to get right is the style of swimsuit or bikini that fits and flatters you best. Then, the rest you can build on. Then, depending on how audacious you're feeling, try pairing it with some tonal accessories or a statement beach bag that you can put down should it feel OTT or some statement sunglasses that amp up the look.

Photo:

Maiyo London/Phill Taylor

What is your must-buy piece from the collection?

BL: The one in black with the embellished buckle because who doesn't want to go a bit glam to the beach at times?

AV: The two-piece crochet set in either the green or red. The cup shape flatters no matter how blessed (or, like me, not blessed) you are in that department, and it's a classic style that we'd hope you'll wear year after year.