Woe is the woman who prepares to don a swimsuit.
But not according to Malia Mills. (Recognize her name? She just won best swimwear in NY Magazine's Best of New York 2011). Mills is opening her first Brooklyn swimwear shop on Atlantic Avenue today.
For "Brooklyn gals," she said.
The ideology and mission behind Malia Mills Swimwear is simple - to inspire women to celebrate their bodies, and to provide swimsuits that make women, in Mills’ wonderfully vivid words, “stand and stride to the water.”
“Swimwear should represent sun, vacation, fun with friends and family. It is a joyous part of life,” says Mills. "And yet it becomes such a source of stress and anxiety.”
Each year as swimsuit weather approaches, women are systematically assaulted with “Ten Tips” on how to get into shape quick, or charts on what kind of suit you should never wear if you have thick thighs, shapeless thighs, a flat chest, a busty chest, too short of legs, too long of legs, too many curves, not enough curves…you get the point.
For Mills, those words “should be uplifting rather than demeaning.”
Oftentimes women come to Mills looking for “the perfect suit” for what they perceive as their, well, “imperfect body.” They focus on bits and pieces, she said, poking critically at their waists, their bums and their chests.
But Mills encourages women to look at “the big picture” - the whole body, from head to foot. In essence, she encourages us to throw out the notion that has been implanted in our heads that there is a “perfect suit” with “perfect proportions,” and rather to explore suits that make us look at our reflections in the mirror with the experience of satisfaction and pride in what we see.
It’s not about changing the way our bodies look; it’s about changing how we look at our bodies.
In recognition of our bodies’ variations and differences, Malia Mills two-piece suits are purchased separately, so if your top is smaller than your bottom, for instance, (here’s lookin’ at me), you never have to sacrifice fit.
Proudly and "lovingly made" in the USA, Malia Mills swimsuits combine premium fabric, design and fit.
You will be pleasantly surprised by the sophistication of color and cut. This is not your Hawaiian tropic bikini (not that there is anything wrong with that – Mills herself is from Hawaii). Rather, you will discover retro cut bottoms like the “Calendar Girl,” or chic one-pieces like the one-shouldered “Bianca” (yes, as in Jagger).
“Your swimsuit should look like it came out of your closet,” explains Mills. “It should look like what you would put on any other day.”
This is another belief of Mills’. Swimsuits, just like your landlocked wardrobe, encompass a whole world of fashion. You can have different suits for different occasions, just as you have a variety of outfits for varying moods and events. You might wear a different suit on a vacation at a swanky hotel than to a lake house upstate.
This philosophy underscores Mills’ assertion that there is no “perfect suit.” There are, however, many perfect suits that will make you feel beautiful and joyous.
“You’re always good enough for a swimsuit,” says Mills with a smile.
Stop into Malia Mills Swimwear’s opening celebration today and meet Mills, enjoy a glass of prosecco, and try on some swimsuits, 375 Atlantic Ave., 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.