That chill in the air means many of us are already pining for warmer climes. And in the coming months, millions will jet to tropical locales and balmy beaches. But this paradise pastime also means the female types among us are back to picking out the “perfect” bathing suit. Didn’t we just do this a few weeks ago? And finding the right fit can take time. Traditionally, designs did not account for all sexy shapes and sizes.
But fortunately, over the past few years, the designs, they are a changin’. Manufacturers have seen the light and are finally creating swimwear for woman of all curves and cambers. A major slice of this $17 billion-dollar bathing suit business is sporty, active swimwear. But here’s the hitch, ladies looking for active swimwear with upmarket sensibilities have so far been out of luck. The message has been: you can either be active, or sophisticated – but not both. And this is Dos Gardenias, a new swimwear line dives into the story.
Powerhouse business women Dorothy Day and Brighdie Grounds who say they spend a “majority” of their free time “submerged in sand, salt water” have created a chic line of swimwear that can keep up with the most active woman, yet never skimps on craftsmanship or style. Produced in the U.S., the women have sourced only the finest fabrics from France and Italy, and Neoprene from Japan. Grounds says, “We knew that the high-end luxury swimwear market was not designed to appeal to the buyer with an active lifestyle. We set out to fulfill that void.”
Growing up in Southern California the women have spent their entire lives in and out of the ocean. In fact, their passion for surfing can be seen in the thoughtful way Dos Gardenias swimwear is constructed. Day says, “[Ground and I] are both pleasure seeking surfers, so when it came to our brand, making no sacrifice for design while using superior quality materials that actually stayed on when in motion was our motivation.”
It makes sense that their watchword is “utilitarian.” They create silhouettes that aspire to this functional, practical ideal. This translates into a monochromatic, but vibrant color palette that flatters every woman’s figure. But it’s the cut that makes the difference. “Design lines are tricky,” says Grounds, “with each body type suiting a different style.” As an example, she notes that “low-waisted styles are best for high-waisted girls and high-waisted styles for long-waisted girls.” What separates Dos Gardenias from other lines is, well, separates. That is, the company sells deftly designed separates so that you can find just the right fit. It’s more than just a great marketing strategy. Both women are passionate about finding the perfect suit for every woman, one that gives her confidence.
Yet, the ladies are firm believers that just because something is practical, it doesn’t have to be plain Jane. To the contrary, they find creative inspiration from Balmain, Yves Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney, Dolce Gabbana, Givenchy, Thierry Mugler, and Alia.
Dos Gardenias’ pairing of practicality and posh is resonating with women of all facts and figures. However, despite their differences, they share one thing in common. Day says a Dos Gardenias woman is “sophisticated with a wild heart”. She loves fashion but defines herself as an original making it her own. She is not afraid to spend money on the pieces that make up her staple wardrobe.” Staple being the operative word as swimwear isn’t just for summer anymore. With the ease of global travel, swimsuit season is fast becoming year-round. (For the record, the average American woman owns four swimsuits).
However, the Dos Gardenias vision goes beyond a smart business model. The founders are philanthropists who have spent years giving of their time, talent, and resources to improving the lives of people and communities. So it is not surprise that Dos Gardenias will be contributing to causes like Waves for Water (WavesforWater.org), which works on the front-line to provide clean water to communities in need around the world and Glam4Good (Glam4Good.com), a non-profit fashion/beauty movement, that ignites positive social change through style.
These women are revolutioning swimwear one suit at a time, but don’t be fooled. There’s a lot of very hard work behind the glamour. And like other working moms, mountains of sacrifice and moments of daydreaming. Asked what they would consider paradise, Ground says, “It would be to sleep in.” But as a visionary, she doesn’t stop there, no, next stop for the dynamic duo would be a “day spa and lunch break of truffle pasta.” Wearing Dos Gardenias swimsuits, no doubt.
1. Tell us about your love of Mexico.
After falling in love with surfing, I found myself taking quarterly trips to Saladita and Troncones in the state of Guerrero. One day, a friend recommended going to Sayulita, Nayarit. From the moment I set foot onto the cobble stones of the pueblo leading to the main surf break of Sayulita, I knew I found home.
2. How has your love of Mexico influenced you creatively?
Mexico is an exercise in sensory awareness. The colors of the geography, the smell of the food, the sound of the ocean and jungle. It forces you stop and take it all in and once you are in the moment amazing things happen and your creativity soars.
3. How has Sayulita inspired your design specifically- is so?
When I first came to Sayulita, no one really knew about it. Having lived in Europe, New York and California I have always loved people watching and took note of peoples personal style. Now, Sayulita is a destination on the radar on an international level. People come to Sayulita on vacation with their best beach fashion packed and ready to display. I get to see beach chic interrupted in different ways every day.
4. What are your favorite elements of Mexico?
Having road tripped around Mexico with my husband who was born and raised in Mexico, the insider perspective and experience is something that you cannot delve into as a tourist. I love it all… the mountains, the lakes, the cities, of course the beaches most of all the people and always the food.Photo: Nik West
5. You could live and work anywhere in the world, what makes Sayulita special to you?
I have watched Sayulita grow over the last decade and the roots and community have stayed in tact. Its a special place. I always say that Sayulita has a piece of my heart and no matter where I travel I have to come back to Sayulita to make my heart whole again.
6. Tell us about your incredibly creative photoshoots in the water with your models surfing and beach back drop. . What was your inspiration for the black and white along with the beautiful compositions?
Being a fashion model and having been a creative director of a magazine. I see things in black and white or color. I have always loved black and white and admired photographers such as Helmut Newton, Peter Lindberg, and Max Vadukul. I have also had the privilege of working with these legends as a model.We wanted to show the beach and surfing in a different way. Everyone things of blues and greens when they think of the ocean. Composition in the water is up to the photographer and their personal eye. We love, how our water shoots turned out and are looking forward to doing more.