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Vaccines are rolling out, theme parks and indoor dining are reopening, and Los Angeles is aiming to get back into the swing of things by June 15 — is this finally the end of the pandemic era? We're remaining cautiously optimistic that this will be the summer of shame-free pool parties and hot weather staycations, and one way to fuel that positivity is by preparing with water-friendly wardrobes.
While swimsuit season is year-round in the City of Angels, now's an opportune time to restock on splash-ready pieces before the rising temps spark a retail therapy dash. That's why we've rounded up some of the best swimwear brands hailing from SoCal offering everything from itty bitty bikinis, curve-showcasing one-pieces, vintage-inspired maillots, sporty swim separates, and more.
Whether you're planning a beach day, spending a WFH day by the pool, or heading out of town for a getaway, check out our favorite L.A.-made swimwear labels below in alphabetical order. Bonus: The majority of these pieces are made from sustainable fabrics.
Demi Moore-approved, L.A.-made colorful swimwear startup Andie is known for its comfy, form-hugging one-pieces ($95 and up) in a variety of fits, from full-coverage suits to cheek-baring cuts and support for different bust sizes. The brand also makes maternity swimwear ($95), bikini separates ($45 and up apiece), and bathing suits for kids ($40 to $50).
We love L.A.-based Bikyni's affordable seamless swim pieces, which are made from luxe Italian fabrics and were designed to be mixed and matched. Separates are priced at $58 each and one-pieces go for $110.
For when global getaways aren't an option, this playful "Papaya" print by L.A.-based Bromelia offers plenty of vacay vibes. The Brazilian-meets-Californian brand uses 50+UPF fabric to create its fair-wage and sustainable swimwear, which features separates and one-piece silhouettes with clean lines, macrame finishes, and sportswear-inspired cuts. The label also makes men's swim trunks, too. Separates are $80 and up and one-pieces are $158 to $182, while resortwear ranges from $88 to $98.
L.A.'s Cult Gaia has come a long way since its Coachella-ready turbands. In addition to offering artful womenswear and globally-inspired bags (which have become cult-favorite It Girl accessories), designer Jasmin Larian also creates equally chic swimwear with cut-out detailing, hardware accents, and other high-end touches. For summer 2021, the brand offers '70s-inspired crocheted bikini separates ($148 each) and one-pieces with floral-inspired cutouts ($218 and up), to name a few.
Affordable swim label Dippin' Daisy's has something for every poolside aesthetic, from criss-cross tops and low-rise thongs to ribbed rainbow scoop neck tops and full-coverage bottoms and many other silhouettes coverage options. Prices range from $40 and up for separates to $76 and up for one-pieces, and the brand's Repurpose line also offers tie-dye and neutral styles in eco-conscious materials.
Malibu-born label Frankies Bikinis recently teamed with actress Hailee Steinfeld on a collection ($70 to $180) of retro bikinis, one-pieces, button-down shirts, and head scarves in throwback florals, fuzzy (and water-friendly) fabrics, and chic striped prints. There are plenty of sustainable options from the collaboration as well as from the brand's main line.
L.A.-based luxury label Gigi C is known for its sleek silhouettes punctuated with stylish cutouts, such as perforated neoprene surf suits and classic bikini separates ($80 to $375). Designer Gigi Caruso (yes, she's the daughter of the L.A. developer behind The Grove and other cool shopping haunts) also offers activewear, and we're told a new collection is set to drop soon.
Good American is already trusted for its booty-boosting denim and curve-happy bodysuits, and its swim line is no different. Co-founded by creative director Emma Grede and Khloe Kardashian, the L.A. label's swimwear offers cool prints and support in all the right areas. The brand's latest swim range ($39 to $115)is comprised of '90s-inspired silhouettes in chic neutrals, such as spaghetti-strap one-pieces, reversible bandeau tops, cheeky bottoms, and more alongside post-dip robes, sarongs, and loungewear ($59 to $139).
Designer Heidi Merrick is known for her California-luxe aesthetic with a hint of surfer cool, as evident in her effortless swimsuits and bikinis. Her latest collection of swimwear ($95 to $265) features two-piece contrast trim sets, chic long-sleeved one-pieces, tie-top bandeaus, rash guard tops, and her best-selling Vicente high-waist bottoms as well as adorable matching girls styles ($68 each).
Leave it to cool new mom Em Rata to dream up chic, lingerie-like swimwear that inspires all wearers to be unapologetically sexy. Her label, Inamorata, offers bikini separates, one-pieces, and cover-ups, and the latest collection ($75 to $160) features safari-inspired colorways (think giraffe and leopard prints) as well as bold '80s-inspired patterns.
Minimalist style aficionados will have some difficult decisions to make thanks to Jade Swim, which was founded by former Marie Claire fashion market editor Brittany Kozerski. The New York-based, made-in-L.A. line offers pieces that go from the pool or beach to dinner and drinks — think swimwear made with French terry, ribbed fabric, and nylon/lycra spandex.
Shop: Jade Swim at FWRD.com
Already a go-to for Cali-inspired swim pieces and beach-ready womenswear, L*Space will soon launch a collaboration with Malibu Barbie just in time for summer (stay tuned for more!) The brand also offers an Eco Chic line of swimwear made from 100% regenerated nylon fiber that's spun from fishnets and other nylon waste; the sea-friendy collection offers vacay-ready floral and palm tree prints alongside solid shades like cream, black, sky blue, and coral.
L.A.-based sustainable label Lacausa launched its first swimwear line last year. The Endless Summer collection ($60 to $120) is comprised of classic silhouettes made of recycled polyester. Think Baywatch-esque bathing suits (like the above Riviera One-Piece) triangle bikini tops, and sportswear-inspired tops, and briefs in bikini and high-rise cuts — all made ins Downtown. Plus, a percentage of sales go to LA Food Bank and Lunch On Me.
Known as the originator of stylish scalloped swimwear, ballet dancer-turned-designer Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves' namesake luxury line also includes the SWIMCLEAN line of Marysia's best-selling playful silhouettes sustainable fabric made from 100% certified recycled materials and dyed using a non-toxic process that meets Oeko-Tex standards. Expect chic clamshell-like bandeaus, one-shoulder maillots, cutout one-pieces, bikini separates, and rash guards in a range of colors and styles ($137 to $429) as well as resortwear.
Orange County-based swim label Mikoh was founded by sisters Oleema Miller (a former pro surfer) and Kalani Miller, both of whom were practically raised on the beach — so you know their bikinis and one-pieces can withstand the waves. The brand also offers coastal-inspired womenswear and kids swimwear.
If you prefer barely-there bikinis, Minimale Animale has you (semi-)covered. The brand is known for its skin-baring pieces and high-cut styles, such as one-piece swimsuits, triangle tops, and minimalist bottoms that seem to hang on by a string.
Ethical and sustainable L.A. label Ookioh uses fabric made from 100% regenerated fishing nets and other materials pulled from the sea for its vintage-inspired swimwear. Expect high leg/low back one-pieces, bikini tops in triangle or underwire cup silhouettes, and bottoms in high-waist or low-cut options.
Shop: Ookioh at Madewell.com
Sustainable L.A. label Reformation's current pool-ready pieces ($58 to $68) include sleek black bikini tops and bottoms alongside chic smocked separates. Expect the eco-conscious brand to drop more swimwear as we get closer to summer.
Founded by model Monti Landers in 2016, Riot Swim is beloved for its minimalist high-cut bikinis and one-pieces in a range of neutral, fluo, and vibrant shades. Look to the L.A. brand if you don't mind getting cheeky by the pool or beach (if you catch our drift).
Shop: Riot Swim at Revolve.com
Founded by blogger-turned-designer Shea Marie, L.A. swim label Same offers retro-chic pieces inspired by vintage style icons (think Sophia Loren and Grace Kelly). The brand even offers kids swimwear and accessories so you can match with your mini.
Inspired by '90s supermodels (Naomi! Linda! Claudia!), designer Sarah Sidway Godshaw launched her namesake swimwear line after creating pieces for brands like Puma, Show Me Your Mumu, Nasty Gal, Andie Swim, and others. Her label, Sidway, features one-pieces and bikinis ($90 to $145) — like square-neck tops, high-rise bottoms, boyshorts, and more — made from flattering jersey and spandex fabric and Fulflex rubber that won't weaken with wear.
Known for its colorful basics and striped prints, the L.A.-based brand's swim line features reversible bikini tops and bottoms alongside stylish one-pieces in stripes and star patterns.
Created by former Rock & Republic founder Andréa Bernholtz, new L.A.-based label Swiminista spins swimwear from eco-conscious nylon made from recycled plastic bottles. The result: Silhouettes with waist sashes, ruching, and strappy ties that flatter every figure.
Celeb-loved designer Leila Shams' body-sculpting swimwear line, TA3 (which spells "EAT" backwards, and we're here for it), promptly sold out after launching last June. The brand's one-pieces ($178) are made of comfortable compression fabric (similar to your favorite leggings) that support the twins, smooths silhouettes, and features adjustable ties and zips so you can customize the fit. We love that the swimwear comes in short, regular, or long torso size options, too. The brand also donates 10% of profits to Girls Inc.
If your swim style muses include Brigitte Bardot, Bond girls, and Audrey Hepburn, you'll love vintage-inspired L.A. boutique Unique Vintage's lineup of retro bikini separates, swim sets, maillots, and more that take cues from the '20s to '70s.
After seeking the perfect recycled materials for swimwear (and being told by manufacturers that there was "no market" for such a thing), Vitamin A designer Amahlia Stevens decided to develop one herself — and that's how her sustainable swim line was born. The Laguna Beach-based label (which is also a member of 1% for the Planet) uses its own Eco-Luxe fabric made of recycled nylon in its stylish SoCal-inspired bikinis and one-piece suits, and the brand also offers eco-friendly loungewear.
Last (but certainly not least!), new sustainable label Zonarch's holiday-inspired pieces are great for your wardrobe and Mother Earth. In addition to offering staycation-worthy swimwear (think belted maillots and bikinis in cheeky and covered-up styles) that blends California's laid-back cool with Europe's effortless chic, the brand uses all compostable materials for shipping and donates a portion of proceeds to environmental nonprofits.
This story was originally published September 1, 2020 and has been updated.