Model Bianca Balti talks to us about her new swimwear line that's inspired by California in the '60s
You may know Bianca Balti as the face of Dolce & Gabbana’s fragrance campaigns, or from her covers for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar,or from her walking in shows for Marc Jacobs, Gucci, and Victoria’s Secret. The busy Italian model is now lending her expertise to the other side of the fashion industry with her very first swimwear collection. The namesake line, exclusively launched at Yoox.com, is a gorgeous 15-piece collection filled with retro-inspired stripes.
The pieces, available in sizes 2 to 16, feature a variety of silhouettes that completely slay — whether they’re worn as is for a day at the beach or underneath a denim jacket for an evening lewk.
Via email, HelloGiggles talked to Bianca about the inspiration for her swimwear and whether we can expect more collections from the model-turned-designer.
HelloGiggles: How did the swimwear collection come about?
Bianca Balti: When I came back from Houston for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue launch, I received a text from Federico Marchetti, Founder of YOOX and CEO of the YOOX Net-A-Porter Group, asking if I wanted to design a swimwear line. I had never thought of designing a swimwear line before, but I never miss a good opportunity in life! I jumped onboard the adventure and immediately started the research. I went through all my photographic books and found a Pirelli calendar shot in 1968 by Harry Peccinotti and knew immediately that would be my inspiration.
HG: What is the theme or inspiration of the collection?
BB: The California beaches in the ’60s, the song “California Dreamin’,” The Beach Boys songs, and surf culture. I liked how covered up and modest the swimsuits were and how the girls still looked super cool, sexy and fashionable. I also loved the thicker fabrics used in the ’60s, which contains curves better, and the many details swimsuits had like zippers and buttons. They felt more like clothes than bikinis.
HG: Was it important to you to offer a bigger size range than the typical 0-12?
BB: Well, my friends and all the women in my family are different ages and sizes and I wanted all of them to be able to wear my pieces! In the world of couture fashion, the sizes offered are often even smaller and I couldn’t bear having my name on a collection that doesn’t represent all women.
HG: Do you think you’ll do anything aside from swimwear in the future?
BB: I will definitely do something else in the near future, but I can’t reveal it quite yet. It will be very unexpected and dedicated to a specific type of woman that needs extra help in fashion. That’s all I can say!
HG: What is your favorite piece from the collection?
BB: It’s really hard to choose, but I will probably be wearing The Malibu the most to the beach because, as a model, I can’t have strange tan lines on my body. I will definitely wear The Malibu bottom a lot, which is a skirt, with a little t-shirt and I’ll wear the one pieces, The Newport and The Zuma, with jean shorts during my strolls this summer in Laguna Beach.
Check out some of our faves from the line below!
The Malibu Bikini Top in Blue, $60, and The Doheny Bikini Briefs, $50
The Malibu Bikini Top in Red, $60 and The Laguna Bottoms in Red, $70
Shop the rest of Bianca’s line, which ranges from $50 to $100, here.