Designer Interview: B SWIM’s Nikol Roberts


From: Northern California
Years Designing: 6
Weekend getaway vacation: Palm Springs, mid century modern architecture, vibrant colors, Dean Martin, vintage furniture shops, the hot sun
Song At The Moment: Anything from No Doubt. I’m going to 5 concerts over the next 2 weeks. Obsessed? Very
Sunscreen: Love/hate relationship
2013 Swim trends: Pastel-brights that will bring out the color in your skin, strappy and interesting silhouettes that transition to sportswear. I have a “Damsel Demi” bra that comes in every color, and I wear it on the daily. The fit is amazing and it looks interesting under something sheer or plunging
iPhone App: Rhapsody and endless photo filters
Beach: The best so far was Phi Phi Island off the coast of Thailand. No cars, no shoes, no makeup — it's that tiny. Surrounded by majestic limestone rock islands that shoot straight up out of the water, I remember sipping out of a pineapple and thinking to myself, is this for real?
Website: B SWIM

How did you get into designing bikinis?
Nikol Roberts: After I finished design school, I tried everything that involved designing. I worked in costume design, styling, freelance illustration, children’s wear, denim and trend forecasting. Bikinis were the pot of gold to my rainbow. When you design sportswear, you are pretty confined, but with swimwear you can use the whole color wheel and make it as bright as you want.

What's your perfect bikini?
The skimpier the better. The bigger the bottom the more awkward I feel. I like my Cheeky Cupcake because it allows you to go really small.

What influences your brand and its designs?
B. Swim is definitely influenced by sportswear, and the blogger and festival generations also play a big part. Since social media is global, it is important to know what is going on everywhere. We are also very involved in the surf industry. It is fun to design for the surfer's girlfriend, the girl who has an expansive bikini wardrobe. She has it all, whether she is in the water with him or watching him from the sand, and she is not afraid to try new styles.

What's one trend that won't make it to 2014?
Dirt brown. I am not tracking any dirt into 2014, no way.

What inspires you as a designer?
Phew! I’m all over the map. I live for the newest runway shows. It is almost like a game — I like to predict beforehand to see if I’m right and find new inspiration while I'm at it. I also love flea markets! I’m sure most would agree that traveling overseas is crazy-inspiring, even foreign currency is fascinating with the use of colors unlike our own.

What would your dream vacation be?
It would be one that happens every other month, for a whole month. I would regroup, get inspired, and bring it all back with me.