The Label: Giejo
Based In: New York
Designed By: Gabby Sabharwal. "The idea to create a swimsuit came about really as something that was initially just for me," said Sabharwal, who is a BCBG publicist by day, designer by night (Giejo is her childhood nickname). "I was looking for a new swimsuit for an upcoming vacation with my girlfriends. We were going to St. Thomas to celebrate my 25th birthday and, of course, I wanted to look fabulous. I had always been drawn to the colorful prints of Missoni and the sleek silhouettes of Eres bikinis, but not to the price tags that came with them. The swimsuits available in my price range (think: VIX, J.Crew, Target, H&M, Ella Moss, Splendid, American Apparel) were so ordinary, and I always knew I could count on seeing another girl wearing the same one. I thought why not make my own?" And that, dear reader, is what she did.
Looks Like: Fun, cool and quirky, just like the woman who created them. "The collection is very reflective of my own personal style," said Sabharwal. "I love to layer and mix and match patterns and textures when I dress and I really kept that in mind when choosing the fabrics and prints for my suits. Of course, the colors were equally important but the fabrics were really where my story began.They had to be different and stand apart from what was on the market. They are not overtly sexy or over the top. They are trendy and interesting; fashion forward without trying too hard. My suits make a statement but are simple and flattering." So while the majority of Giejo swimsuits feature two-tone bottoms paired with contrasting tops (heavy on the stripes, florals, tie-dye and bold Aztec prints), the cuts are classic (bandeaus, triangle tops, boy briefs and side ruches bikinis). And pattern-phobes can match their top and bottom for a more traditional—but still uber-stylish—look. "The Giejo girl is fashion forward and wants to stand out," adds Sabharwal of her target customer. "She's aware of the trends but is also price conscious, and wants an affordable line that is fashionable and not mass market." Done and done. For summer 2012, Giejo is unveiling an exclusive collection for Barneys (set to hit stores later this month), and for spring/summer 2013, Sabharwal plans to introduce four new styles, along with a chic maillot and beach-to-brunch coverups.
Sold At: The Giejo collection retails from $76 for a bottom to $108 for a top. The collection is sold at Barneys New York and boutiques such as Dagny & Barstow, Creatures of Comfort and Dear Fieldbinder in New York, Madison in California, Tenet in South Hampton and the Surf Bazaar in Montauk, and online at Giejo.