Designer spotlight: Swimwear

Make a splash in the stylish swimwear from these four local labels.

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  • Lailla reversible flower-print-and-black bikini, $266 (normally $295), at...

    Lailla reversible flower-print-and-black bikini, $266 (normally $295), at lilibonnyc.com

  • Sarah reversible cream-and-gold one-piece, $216 (normally $240), at...

    Sarah reversible cream-and-gold one-piece, $216 (normally $240), at lilibonnyc.com

  • Susie one-piece in khaki, $211 (normally $264), at Sucre

    Susie one-piece in khaki, $211 (normally $264), at Sucre

  • Fifi flower-print bikini, $220 (normally $275), at Sucre

    Fifi flower-print bikini, $220 (normally $275), at Sucre

  • Mathilde coral bikini, $192 (normally $240), at Sucre

    Mathilde coral bikini, $192 (normally $240), at Sucre

  • Maya black-and-floral-print bikini, $268 (normally $298), at lilibonnyc.com

  • Lola Black bikini, $187 (normally $208), at lilibonnyc.com

  • Fanny Rose bikini, $179 (normally $199), at lilibonnyc.com

  • Coco Grey one-piece, $194 (normally $216), at lilibonnyc.com

  • Nouch Black one-piece, $194 (normally $216), at lilibonnyc.com

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Designer Emilie Bon

    Designer Emilie Bon

Lailla reversible flower-print-and-black bikini, $266 (normally $295), at...

Lailla reversible flower-print-and-black bikini, $266 (normally $295), at lilibonnyc.com

Emilie Bon of Lilibon (lilibonnyc.com)

Who she is: Born on the French Riviera, Bon grew up in Morocco while her mother ran the Nord Pinus hotel in Tangier. She spent her childhood days scouring beaches for sand dollars, so it's no surprise that she views the swimsuit not just as resort wear, but as a sort of daily uniform. After attending college at Penninghen and Atelier de Svres in France, then opening her own boutique of travel curiosities in the South of France, she once again caught the globe-trotting bug and moved to New York. Naturally, Bon returned to her beach roots, landing a role as a buyer for resort-wear line Calypso St. Barth. "I got to travel everywhere," recalls Bon. "But after looking at all of the bathing suits, I thought, I could do this myself."

About the line: There is a definite Gallic aesthetic to Lilibon's dainty suits and bikinis ($199--$298), which focus less on showing skin, instead emphasizing sophisticated details (a pop of color here, a lace embellishment there). Bon's suits are not for the sporty set; the styles cheekily reference undergarments and vintage beachwear. "You can actually wear the collection like lingerie, but the kind you [want people to] see under your clothes," she explains. The hint of the bedroom is particularly evident in her Lace collection, which is a pinup-lover's dream: Bows, ruffles and feminine nudes and light pinks abound, with snug bandeau tops and low-cut boy shorts. As a bonus, this summer's Black collection is reversible—something Bon didn't originally intend, but was an incidental of her attention to detail. "I wanted each piece to be as nice on the inside as it was on the outside," she says. "So they ended up looking wonderful either way." Unlike her contemporaries, whose creations show plenty of skin, each pattern has a corresponding one-piece, which Bon says she can barely keep in stock. "Sixteen-year-olds wear them, my grandmother wears them," she enthuses. "The one-piece is coming back. We don't need to be showing everything to be sexy."

Buy it here: Mention TONY at Sucre (357 Bleecker St between Charles and W 10th Sts, 212-352-1640) to receive 20 percent off all Lilibon swimwear through June 12. Or use code "TONY" when shopping on lilibonnyc.com to receive 10 percent off all purchases through June 8.

 

Thomasine Dolan of Thom Dolan | Jason Laurits of Paste | Emilie Bon of Lilibon | Carl Cunow of Onia

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