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Malibu with Midsommar Swim

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Photos by Karen Hernandez for The Style Line

Story by Rachel Schwartzmann – Shop Midsommar Swim – Photos by Karen Hernandez for The Style Line

While summer may soon be coming to a close,

Midsommar Swim is just getting started. Helmed by illustrator, blogger, and style maven (and one of our collaborators here at The Style Line!) Rachel Nosco has once again proven to be a creative jack of all trades. Her latest venture, Midsommar Swim, is a culmination of all of her unique creative talents and respective industry experiences which range from content to design. Though what perhaps is most impressive to us about Rachel, is her ability to creatively express her distinct (and consistent) sartorial point of view and have it translate into something truly tangible. As she stated in our interview below, “I really have to focus on keeping the aesthetic true to myself and cohesive as a collection and as a whole.” So far so good.

The LA-based brand launched its core collection earlier this year which features an array of tops, bottoms, and one-pieces that come in a variety of muted colors including stone, dove, and french vanilla. Aesthetics aside, the Made-in-LA brand is also placing sustainability at the forefront of their design process as their pieces are only produced in small batch quantities. Rachel also added, “Our packaging is made from recycled, eco-friendly materials, and we buy our fabric from quality sources.” With all of this in mind, we were thrilled to have a chance to catch up with Rachel and learn more about what’s next for the season ahead. Earlier this month we met with the budding designer in Malibu, where she took us for a spin around the city and showed us a few ways to style Midsommar Swim essentials that are sure to make a statement no matter the weather. Discover more from our afternoon with Rachel below which features beautifully captured moments from our visit by Karen Hernandez for The Style Line.

*THIS STORY WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN AUGUST 2016

The last time we spoke I had just moved back home to LA

from NYC, and was in the very beginning stages of starting my swim line Midsommar Swim. We’ve come a long way from the first design sketches to the launch of our first collection for summer a few months ago! We’re now working on releasing a few new styles next month, as well as our full Spring/Summer 2017 collection.

Talk to us about the inception of Midsommar Swim. Where did the idea come from and how has being in LA made this project possible? 

My boyfriend and business partner Andrew first had the idea when we were still living in New York. I am the creative one and have always loved design and fashion, and have a slight obsession with bathing suits. Andrew is in finance and knows how to navigate that side of the business, so it worked out perfectly as far as our roles in the company go! The move to LA really made it possible because we get our products made here at a really great manufacturer that specializes exclusively in swim. Of course, it also helps to be in a place that is so beach-oriented and has summer pretty much year-round.

Walk us through these three locations and looks. What about the Malibu area best represents the Midsommar Swim girl and her lifestyle? How do you hope to see her evolve the brand grows?

We live just through the canyon from Malibu, so the town has always been our beach day hangout. It is a pretty good reflection of the Midsommar girl because you have the beach, of course, as well as some really great shopping spots and cool restaurants all in the same area! I really like to incorporate the fashion aspect and versatility into the designs. For example, someone could wear our long sleeved swimsuit out swimming and then throw on some shorts or trousers and wear it as a bodysuit for an easy transition into an afternoon of shopping and even grabbing a happy hour cocktail.

How would you characterize the personal style of LA inhabitants and how do you personally hope to see it evolve? 

I think people in LA dress super casually, and are much more about ease and simplicity than creativity. This is great in some ways, but the fashion and trend aspect of our line, which I think partly stems from the years I spent in New York, is what really makes us stand out a bit in a market that is very much about your typical California girl swimwear.

[CLICK EACH THUMBNAIL IN THESE GALLERIES TO EXPAND IMAGE]

Malibu Farm

Visit: 23000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

“Malibu Farm (on the Malibu pier) is one of my favorite little lunch spots to go to in Malibu. I love the fresh, local food they serve, as well as the whole aesthetic!”

Shop Rachel’s look: Midsommar Swim Barrow top $95, Rag & Bone silk trousers (Similar, $350) Tibi sandals (Similar, $115) Trifecta Los Angeles scarf $48

“The move to LA really made it possible because we get our products made here at a really great manufacturer that specializes exclusively in swim.”

Talk to us about Midsommar’s commitment to small batch quantities. 

We knew we definitely wanted to keep everything close and go the Made in LA route. It was important to us to make sure the working conditions, as well as the garment quality, are as good as they get. It also adds to the whole Los Angeles vibe of our brand!

Was sustainability a factor when designing/building the brand? What advice can you offer to designers looking to implement more sustainable practices in their design process?

Sustainability is definitely important to us, in both our daily lives as well as our business, and we try to limit our waste as much as possible. Our packaging is made from recycled, eco-friendly materials, and we buy our fabric from quality sources. We are still so new to the game, but we are definitely always looking for ways to keep our company sustainable!

[CLICK EACH THUMBNAIL IN THESE GALLERIES TO EXPAND IMAGE]

Malibu Beach

Visit: 20828 ENTRADA ROADTOPANGA, CA

“Of course a beach stop is necessary to include! I like to walk down and hang out on the shore below the pier. The water here is so clear and calm, it’s a really nice spot to hang out.”

Shop Rachel’s look: Midsommar Swim Wooster top $80 and Kenmore bottoms $80, Masscob La Coruna striped shirt
(Similar, 205 €), Ray-Ban sunglasses (Similar, $160)

“Sustainability is definitely important to us, in both our daily lives as well as our business…”

With the end of the summer looming how do you recommend incorporating pieces from the collection all year round?

Luckily the summer in Southern California barely ever goes away at all haha, but our suits are versatile and can definitely be worn as tops/bodysuits with clothing as well!

As a swimwear designer, what has working in this vertical taught you about your personal style?

Working as a swimwear designer has kind of forced me to focus my style and to transfer my sense of fashion over to a small little swimwear garment. I really have to focus on keeping the aesthetic true to myself and cohesive as a collection and as a whole.

[CLICK EACH THUMBNAIL IN THESE GALLERIES TO EXPAND IMAGE]

Malibu County Mart

Visit: 3835 Cross Creek Rd, Malibu, CA 90265

“The Malibu Country Mart at Cross Creek is a great little place to grab a smoothie or Acai bowl and hit up a few boutiques. The cactus garden in the back is also a neat area to check out!”

Shop Rachel’s look: Midsommar Swim Mather one piece $175, Citizens of Humanity pants $153, Helmut Lang vest (Similar, $92) Ray-Ban sunglasses (Similar, $160)

“It’s wonderful to see so many different girls from all over the world and of all different shapes and sizes wearing our suits!”

What do you think swimwear and summer style, in general, can contribute to the conversation surrounding real beauty? 

I think swimwear/summer style is a very minimal, natural category of dressing, and it’s wonderful to see so many different girls from all over the world and of all different shapes and sizes wearing our suits!

How would you advise the next generation of designers/makers to leave an imprint in the world simply by doing what they love?

I would say that whatever you do, stay true to your style and whatever it was that made you want to do it in the first place! It’s always good to get other opinions and ideas, but make sure you go with your gut for the most part.