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June 10, 2011 8:48 AM

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Summer Fridays Swim: Amalia Spinardi of Jo de Mer

Like most Brazilian women, designer Amalia Spinardi is a self-proclaimed bikini addict. A former fashion editor, Spinardi started her beachwear line Jo de Mer to create swim pieces for those who want to look good at the beach and...

Like most Brazilian women, designer Amalia Spinardi is a self-proclaimed bikini addict. A former fashion editor, Spinardi started her beachwear line Jo de Mer to create swim pieces for those who want to look good at the beach and still be comfortable. The collection is inspired by the "savoire vivre" of chic women who, like her, love ocean life. IMG_6123.jpgFollowing the birth of her son Joseph, whom the line is named after, Spinardi decided to pursue her swimwear dream. Seven years after its launch, Jo de Mer now operates two flagships in Sao Paulo and is sold at Intermix, Scoop and Saks Fifth Avenue.

And to show she knows a thing or two about women in bikinis, while working at Brazilian Elle and Capricho (a teen fashion magazine), Spinardi is credited with giving Gisele Bundchen, Alessandra Ambrosio and Isabeli Fontana (all Jo de Mer fans) their first magazine covers and photo spreads. Other model fans include Natalia Vodianova and Naomi Campbell.

Here, the designer shares a little bit of her Brazilian wisdom with WWD, talking her favorite beaches, icons and bikini don'ts.

gisele.jpgHow does Brazilian culture influence your design process?

I don't think designers are so focused in their own culture anymore. The world is getting smaller and more connected than ever. So designers get influenced by many other cultures than they use to.

What is the biggest mistake you think women make when choosing a bikini?

Wearing something smaller than their body can carry.

How did you get your start in swim design?

I was always in love with beachwear style, as most Brazilian women are. So I've bought and collected bikinis since I was a teenager. After being a fashion editor at Brazilian Elle, I found out that this market needed more comfortable bikinis; there was something missing for women who wanted to wear chic pieces instead of only sexy pieces.

Is there a swim style you find universally flattering?

The string bikini in a black fabric. There is no way to beat it.

Best bikini you've ever worn?

[Jo de Mer's] Coco style. This is a bandeau top with a ring and a flat bottom which has 2 metal rings on the sides. I think bandeaus are very flattering and chic for women with small breasts (like myself). I wear it in Trancoso, Ipanema beach, Capri or Punta Del Este.

BIKINI COCO BANDEAU - PINK TIE DYE.jpgWhat is your favorite beach in the world?

Any one with the sun shinning on it! But the Gouverneur beach in St. Barths has it all: native location, white sand, crystal blue waters and it's hard to get there.

What do you think is an iconic moment in bikini history?

The Bond girls are always so empowered in their two-pieces! But Ursula Andress is unforgettable in "Dr. No."

The one piece - yay or nay?

Totally yay! When a woman tries the one piece she can have such a nice experience, especially if she is skinny.

What are your beach day essentials?

A bikini, a beauty bag with all kinds of sunblock,  big sunglasses, magazines, books and a nice view of the ocean.

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