Collections and what they mean to me go incredibly deep… get ready to swim guys.
I’d love to say that I created swimwear because I want to empower women to feel sexy while showing a little more skin than they’re used to. While that statement does hold truth, it goes a lot deeper than that one little powerful sentence. I do completely want woman to feel empowered in my swim collection– but why and where does that notion of me wanting to empower women even come from?
Why DO we feel less in “less”? Why is it that our bodies have to be covered for us to have significant worth as women?
As a young woman, my body developed incredibly early, leaving room for every single adult around me to teach my younger self “how to cover up.” It felt like a really bad YouTube series if they even had YouTube then… how to cover my chest, not wear tight clothes, not wear anything short, not wear anything too bright. I mean, COME ON.
Allllll this did was lead me down a path of being uncomfortable with my own body and subconsciously ashamed of myself.
Think about it for a second– if you are learning as a young woman how to present yourself to the world and learning how to express that, and all you hear is how to cover yourself up, you begin to wonder why you are being told this. At that age, it usually resolves in self-inflicted shame, leading us to think it’s our fault if someone treats us disrespectfully—and that reason is because of the way we dress. What the fuck? This is infinitely wrong on sooooo many levels.
Instead of teaching our daughters how to cover themselves up, can we start by teaching them how to love their bodies first? Can we teach the young women of this generation to love the areas we so openly shame? Let us start by helping them navigate through their own personal style and decorate their own bodies in pieces and garments they love, and that make them feel more empowered and CONFIDENT. Not shame them into covering themselves up out of fear they may be taken less seriously or, even worse, abused in many ways.
Let us put the decision of self-expression back in their hands and help guide them towards garments that flatter their body type. Let them choose garments for their own personal reasons, expressions and preferences. Let us not teach our daughters that your stomach, shoulders and legs are a distraction, and instead teach them they are beautiful and unique and special places, and how to honor them in whichever ways they choose to.
All I wanted as a young woman was to get rid of my curves that I inherited from my Italian roots, because I was taught by society that they were not wanted. And the more I pushed at a young age to be comfortable in my own skin, the more I was body shamed and sent home for it. It sent me down a path of self-hate and depression for a very long time, until I began to teach myself ways to repel this behavior from people.
My most powerful tools were black clothing and pieces that had hauntingly beautiful imagery on them. Call them the thorns to my rose, but they protected me in a way that nothing had before. It became a shield for me– which is what I think a lot of women need at times. Garments that represent power, to throw over our bodies to protect us at the times when we feel like we have no power at all. Reminders of how powerful we are and can be. Modern renditions of armor.
And although times are much different today, we still need that armor. The images I have placed in some of the bikinis, and the colors (or lack thereof) represent just that– armor for women today. I use renders from Gustav Doré that show triumph through great sorrow, because that is what represents my journey as a woman coming into her own body and being proud of the skin I LIVE IN and my constant fight for that feeling. I wanted my swimwear to make women feel powerful when they put it on, and I want everyone else around them to feel that power.
We are powerful beings, and we deserve to be treated as such, with a lot of clothes on or with none at all.