Bold Strokes

An Atlanta store specializes in making bikinis bearable, and Byron Lars gets ready to jump into the swimwear game.


NEW YORK -- Byron Lars, who wowed the audience with his cheeky heart-shaped cutout swimsuits at his runway show last fall, said he plans to show some new swim designs at his next show, though his focus will be on functional wear.

"I think there's a void in the market for basic swimsuits, with no frills," said Lars, who added he was disgusted with the "horribly tacky swimsuits I saw on a recent trip to Jones Beach.

"I've seen some really hideous ones that were in a bronze color and were just the wrong fit."

But he emphasized that for right now, he's not aiming to make a big splash in the category.

"I just plan to do it in a small way, maybe sell it to a few stores," said Lars, who declined offers from clients and stores following his fall show. While he doesn't have any concrete ideas for his new designs, he imagines they will be in a soda-pop palette and expects to again introduce a lot of goggles and swim caps.

"The best place and the most free way to experiment is on the runway and see how it's received," he said. "I do see doing swimwear someday, but for right now I just want to flirt with the audience.

"I have too much on my plate right now," said Lars, who just started a hosiery collection and a leather and suede program. "But that doesn't mean I won't consider it seriously if all of sudden I get a great revelation."


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