Designer Spotlight: Swimwear Artist Dorothy Shain

March 5, 2018

We’ve long been fans of artist Dorothy Shain’s bikini paintings. With a cheery, retro sensibility, the South Carolinian’s swimwear portraits have earned her a loyal Instagram following. (Not to mention a celebrity clientele—actress Mindy Kaling commissioned a piece for her Los Angeles home).

But recently, we got to thinking: Why simply look at Dorothy’s sunny suits when we could wear them to the beach this summer? Luckily, she was more than ready to add “fashion designer” to her resume.

“I’ve been drawing clothing for as long as I can remember,” says Dorothy. “As a child, I covered my binders and notebooks with fashion sketches instead of paying attention in class. But this is the first time I’ve made a drawing come to life off the page.”

Our exclusive collaboration with Dorothy includes playful one-pieces, mix-and-match bikinis, and versatile cover-ups that go from surf to city.  Thoughtful details like delicate scallop trim, flattering cut-outs, and cheery fringe set the collection apart—but it’s Dorothy’s unique approach to color and print that has us scrambling to pack a beach bag.

“Everywhere I go, I take in the color,” says Dorothy. “I’m always sketching and taking pictures of landscapes, plants, and fruits. When I get back to my studio, I hang them on my wall and wait for certain colors to speak to me, and then the patterns begin to show themselves.”

This collection is inspired by two locales that know a thing or two about sunbathing in style: South Beach and the Bahamas. “I love the pastels and Art Deco vibe of Miami—there’s nothing like it for summer,” says Dorothy. “And the greenery of the Bahamas, it’s almost impossible to recreate. I tried! But there’s a vibrancy to the palms and papayas you don’t see anywhere else.”