After her senior thesis collection at Parson's School of Design caught the eye of major retailers Calypso, Barney's and Searle, native New Yorker Brette Sandler launched her namesake swim line in May 2005 at just 22.
Brette Sandler swim and resort-wear offers women a wardrobe meant for more than just the beach with a sophisticated, metropolitan approach -- from the body-conscious construction to the fashion-minded attention to print, color and detail like jewels, chains, ruffles, cut-outs and pleats. She also boasts some notable devotees -- Courtney Love, Kim Kardashian, Whitney Port and Lindsay Lohan are just a few of her celebrity fans.
Sandler is such a devoted beach babe that she answered our questions while she was vacationing in the Hamptons -- from her BlackBerry.
How did you get your start in swim design?
I always had a strong feeling for swimwear while I was a student at Parsons 6 years ago. I found that designing swimwear came very easy to me. I decided to just go for it and constructed a swimwear collection for my senior thesis -- I got such a good response and it hit me that this was something I could really do! A friend of mine showed my line to Christiane Celle at Calypso, and I was in business before I graduated!
What is the biggest mistake you think women make when choosing a bikini?
Sometimes girls think less is more, and too many cutouts on a suit isn't always sexy.
Is there a swim style you find universally flattering?
A triangle side tie bikini should never fail.
What is your favorite beach in the world?
My favorite beach right now is a private beach in South Hampton off of Halsey Neck Lane -- and it's dog-friendly.
What do you think is an iconic moment in bikini history?
The Chanel eye patch bikini.
The one piece -- yay or nay?
What are your beach day essentials?
Big sunglasses, blackberry, a towel for two, lots of water and SPF, a Pro Kadima paddle ball set, a football and my dog.
How would you describe the Brette Sandler customer, the girl you envision when designing?
I think my customer is sophisticated, looks for classic shapes and is very conscious of how she looks in her bikini, so I always design with attention to color and fit. My suits have a retro feel. They are for a girl with a distinct sense of style, where the suit does wear her -- SHE wears the suit.
Would you tell someone if you didn't think a suit was particularly flattering on them?
Yes! And all my friends always ask me for my help when they need to buy bikinis!