When Camille Kostek moved from swimwear model to designer, it happened in the most organic way. After shooting in the Bahamas for a Swimsuits For All campaign, she was approached by the brand in March 2020 to collaborate on an upcoming line. “It was actually at a time where I least expected something like this to happen, and I’m someone who always talks about how timing is everything,” she says. “Every project that I dive into, I want to be hands on and give 110%. I don’t want just a little sprinkle of my attention here, a little sprinkle there.”
With the world at a standstill during that time, she was able to dive in and focus all her attention on designing the best line from the comfort of her home. Kostek incorporated what she loves in a bathing suit with Swimsuits For All’s signature styles that work… for all. “It was also so important to me to have swimsuits that you could style up in your everyday life because it's something that I do regularly,” she explains. “I wanted everything in Season 1 to basically replace my closet of swimsuits. I really had the narrative of beach-to-street when I thought of swim. I want to be able to pack things or style things with a blazer, with a pair of jeans, dress up, dress down.”
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Despite learning over the years what works for her body, she quickly understood that not everyone likes or feels best in those same styles. She was receptive to the feedback and has a variety of cuts and styles which include tiebacks, adjustable straps, wiring, no wiring, high cut that could be more low cut, one pieces and sun coverage.
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With her second Swimsuits For All collection now out, there are more than 70 items with her stamp of approval, ones she would wear over and over. “I hope that whoever wears my suits feels their best, feels confident,” says Kostek. “I want it to be the best suit they’ve ever worn. I want them to just feel so amazing on the inside as they look on the outside.” Keep reading below to hear more about Kostek’s design process and her favorite pieces in the line.
You mention feedback being so important to you…
“I think the biggest learning experience about designing swimsuits is that it's not just everything you want. The Season 1 feedback was that there were a lot of women who wanted to cover up C-section scars. For them, some of my bottoms dipped too low, but that was a bottom cut that was very flattering for my body. My girlfriends and I are like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. We all have different sizes, but we all love the same things.”
As someone who is constantly in a bathing suit, what do you not like in your swimwear?
“I would say the No. 1 thing for me with swimsuits that stands out is that if I can’t pull a bottom up over the hip and create that V-shape and really allow the hip bone to breathe and have my Shakira “Hips Don't Lie” moment, it doesn’t really work for me. It just creates a silhouette of my body that I don’t feel my best in. It also comes down to colors and patterns. I like things plain.”
What is your favorite aspect of designing?
“I like colors that are hard to find. Camille Blue is not quite baby blue. It’s not quite light blue. I like to find some powder blue chaos. I don’t have royal blue. I don’t have cobalt blue. I have electric blue. I have so much fun finding these colors. I don’t like pink a lot, so it has to be either neon pink or a bubble gum pink. In this case, they call it Cotton Candy Pink. It’s been super fun to put little swatches against everyone’s skin around the table and be like, ‘Do you love this? Would you see this color on you?’ I think there’s probably a total of 38 pieces in Season 2 and about 40 pieces in Season 1. It was really hard to narrow it down. I feel like I need to start making stuff for guys. Rob [Gronkowski] loves seeing the design process and me trying them on. He’s seen me going through the sampling, and I would love for him to have a Camille Blue short or an electric blue short. Maybe I need to expand even more.”
Let’s breakdown your favorite suits:
The Jessie, $43
“It’s for people who said, ‘Please give me more coverage up on the stomach, a high cut bottom. A little bit more coverage on the back, but I still want to keep it a little bit cheeky.’ It’s moderate coverage, full coverage on the stomach, and it’s not quite a tankini, but it’s a crop tank that meets the top of the bottoms."
The Camille, $67
“It’s the suit I refuse to let go. I have friends from Tampa to Boston and New York, my mom, my aunt, my friends, my sibling, and their friends who wear The Camille, specifically, and say that they feel their best and that they never would’ve thought they would wear that suit. It makes me so excited. Again, I know how things resonate on my body, and how I feel, but I think that everyone can find love in an adjustable strap, a strap that doesn’t sit close to the inside but on the outside.You can tie the back, so it doesn’t squeeze too tight or worry about the clip popping off when you’re dancing, out on a boat or wherever you are. You can take care of the tightness and the adjustments as much as you need.”
The Pammy, $40-$50
“The Season 2 campaign is Through the Decades. Farrah Fawcett, Pamela Anderson, Cindy Crawford, Tyra Banks and Marilyn Monroe inspired a lot of the swimsuits that were featured. It comes in red, white and black. I created it with the vision of it only being in red, but then it also makes a great bodysuit, so, I put it in black and white as well. I love wearing it with jeans and a little white button-down over it or worn as a black bodysuit. It has a low back; it has a built-in bra in the front. It has that moderate coverage so you can pull it up, lift or cover the bum, whatever you’re more comfortable with. It’s got that high cut. It’s just classic, timeless... A high-hip one piece, I think, is forever and always something everyone should experience.”
The Madelyn Top, $24
“We only made it in brown. I was inspired by a lot of surf shops in Hawaii. It’s a full tie top and a full tie bottom. You can really place the suit wherever you want, feel comfortable. It’s super soft material. It has a little scrunch in the bum, which is really flattering.”
“They are co-ed. They are sized for men because I’ve noticed that whenever we get gifting at the house, they’ll send XXL for Rob, and they’ll send a small or medium for me. Rob will never get his hands on the sweatshirts because I like to wear the XXL. I created sweatshirts in the collection as well. It’s nice to put your feet in the sand and have a sweatshirt to be cozy, watch the sun go down or play or throw a football around the water. Just things that I do in my life, I wanted to have something for everything.”
Flare Pants, $24
“To go with The Madelyn, I would pair it with the ’70s flare set that also comes in brown. That pull set, together with a bucket hat, is just like a chef’s kiss. I’m really into just monochromatic looks. Matching sets makes life so easy.”
For the full collection, visit Swimsuitsforall.com.