In the world of swimwear, patterns can be polarizing and acceptable sizes, shapes and styles vary per season. Fortunately, Solid & Striped—a brand whose offerings we included when planning for last year's summer season—shies away from all that; producing classic, elegant attire that works in the water and beside it. The brand was conceived in the Hamptons, inspired by an old pair of trunks from St. Tropez's Club 55. While the design inspirations are noticeable, of equal importance is their execution from the finest quick-drying fabrics woven in either France, Spain and Italy. This season, they've released plenty of beautiful additions to their top-of-the-line trunks and they've also introduced their first ever women's line—and both are the perfect mix of modern and classic.
Founder Isaac Ross grew tired with the ostentatious and flashy bathing suits he was seeing on men everywhere—something he jokingly refers to as being "uniformed in ridiculousness" with "eight color patterns." When visiting Water Mill, NY, his friend's father happened to be wearing a vintage pair of striped trunks. Ross found them flattering and versatile, and after much searching to no avail, he realized that if he wanted his own pair he would need to make them for himself. While his background was in business and not design, Ross knew there was a market for such a suit. He made a sample and tested it with friends. What began as a crusade to make a suit he liked for himself turned into an effort to fill a gap in the entire market and in November 2012, Solid & Striped was launched.
New York City's high-end department store Fivestory was one of the first to pick up the brand—opening further doors and initiating a devout audience. Hotels, however, would greatly impact the brand next. Recognizing the quality of Ross' offerings, The Four Seasons commissioned custom monogrammed bathing suits from Solid & Striped. An extension of their shop services, these swim suits were a take-home reflection of the hotel brand, its well-respected identity and a new, intelligent marketplace for swimwear. Quickly selling out, Ross explored other hotels options, all met with great success. It was a hotel, ultimately, that would lead Ross to consider a women's line.
When the Beverly Hills Hotel approached the founder, he began to consider trying his hand at women's suits. Solid & Striped teamed up with designer Morgan Curtis of lingerie line Morgan Lane—a friend of Ross for over 10 years—to create the label's first women’s collection, released for this season. Once again, Ross called upon his classic, tailored aesthetics, which paired well with Curtis’ experience crafting silhouettes that highlight women’s bodies. "We noticed the women's market was filled with crazy embellishments. We wanted to simplify it, tone it down," Ross says. And he did exactly that. Across both women's and men's swimwear, Solid & Striped delivers timeless pieces, accented with modern colors and perfect cuts—and they're as reliable as they are stylish.
Solid & Striped's latest men's swimwear is available online with prices ranging between $130 and $160. Their women's line is also online, with prices ranging between $70 and $80 for tops and bottoms separately, and one-pieces between $140 and $150.
Images courtesy of Solid & Striped