Interview With Swimwear Designer Elizabeth Kosich

Elizabeth Kosich Swimwear Designer Studio Spring 2012 Collection

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By Nevena Rousseva

Summer is practically here. In my mind it’s already Memorial Day weekend and I’m chillin on the beach.  And what am I wearing? Ideally an Elizabeth Kosich knit bathing suit!  I first discovered Elizabeth Kosich this past  September when I saw her show during fashion week. I instantly loved her bathing suits. Her designs have been featured in Vogue Knitting, WWD, and Sports Illustrated. I wanted to know more about Ms. Kosich and her collection, so I visited her lovely studio and asked her a few questions. Here is what she had to say.

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1. How long have you been designing for?

I launched my line in 2009 and am currently designing my fourth season. Prior to launch , I was in product development for 3 years. My intention was to create something special and different, which required extensive and rigorous due diligence. After a seemingly endless prototyping effort, I finally developed a product with a strong point of differentiation that I felt confident going to market with. Alas, Elizabeth Kosich New York was launched spring/summer 2009.

Elizabeth Kosich Swimwear Spring Summer 2012 Collection

S/S 2012 Collection

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2. How and why did you choose to work with knit fabric rather than spandex and lycra for your line?

I hand knit my first prototype, so the business emerged from a personal hobby. Since knitting is one of my favorite pastimes, knitwear was already a natural passion point and authentic point of view. From a business perspective, I examined the retail landscape across the fashion industry and identified an opportunity within the luxury knit swimwear market. It is not a crowded space relative to most categories, so when I identified less competition within that segment I knew I was on to something.

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Elizabeth Kosich Swimwear Spring Summer Knit Bikini

Elizabeth Kosich Swimwear Spring Summer Knit Bikini

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3. What’s the process to developing the knitted fabrics?

My bikinis are made on sweater machines, so it is a completely different production process from the standard cut and sew method. To insure the material performs with ample stretch, I have the fabrication reinforced with stretch lycra yarns so that the garment grips the body when, and where, necessary during wear.

Elizabeth Kosich Swimwear Spring Summer Knit Bikini

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4. Where do you find your inspiration?

I have endless sources of inspiration: art, literature, history, travel, inspiring historical icons, New York City, pop culture. My first collection was inspired by New York City’s Gilded Age and its rich historical markers: Edith Wharton’s writings, Mrs. Astor’s 400, the architecture of Stanford White and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s legacy. My s/s 2011 season was inspired by YSL’s Mondrian Day Dress, which I interpreted into geometric, color-blocked motifs for my bikini and caftan designs. My current 2012 collection captures an art deco moment and makes reference to multiple colorful and divergent sources: New York City’s Jazz Age, Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture, Sonia Delaunay’s artistry, silver screen sirens Constance Bennett and Carole Lombard. Finally,my 2011 summer capsule collection for MyHabit.com was a love letter to my favorite global getaways: Cap d’Antibes, Bodrum, Cartagena and Lake Como.

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5. Where do you produce the bathing suits?

All the knit bikinis in my collections are produced in China, while the 1-piece swimsuits and silk caftans are manufactured here in New York City.

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6. You’ve created a decadent velvet bathing suit “The Edna”. Can you swim in it? Will you be making a two-piece version?

Yes, “The Edna” bikini is made of a water-friendly velvet material that performs well in the water. At the moment, there are not yet plans to expand into more velvet silhouettes. However, Elizabeth Kosich New York is happy to accommodate custom bikini orders, so I would be delighted to design a one-of-a-kind velvet bikini per special request!

Elizabeth Kosich Swimwear Designer Edna Velvet Bathingsuit

The Edna velvet bathing suit

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7. What’s on your mind for the next collection?

My s/s 2013 collection pays homage to Liz Taylor, specific to her personal jewelry collection and 1963 role as Cleopatra. Think vibrant jewel tones, python prints, cheetah spots and rich Mesopotamian earth tones. Egyptian opulence!

Elizabeth Kosich Swimwear Designer Spring Summer 2013 Fabrics

Fabrics for the S/S 2013 collection

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8. What do you think about sustainability and sustainable design? Are you incorporating sustainability in some capacity in your company?

Sustainability is important for all businesses to address, mine included. I recently learned of yarns made from recycled water bottles and plan to investigate further, conduct product tests and evaluate the fiber’s viability relative to my product requirements and design sensibility. In the meantime, I am doing what I can to increase garment production here in New York City, in an effort to support both domestic job growth and the revitalization of Manhattan’s Garment District.

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For info on where to buy click here.

One thought on “Interview With Swimwear Designer Elizabeth Kosich

  1. Pingback: Introducing: Minimale Animale Swimwear!!! « Heels and HipHop

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