High-end hotels, VIP tents, and runways this weekend were filled to the bursting point with tall, drop dead gorgeous models, fashion bloggers, and celebrities. Miami Swim Week fashion seems to place a spotlight on hipbones, ribcages, and thigh gaps, leaving other silhouettes in the dark. Sports Illustrated may have Ashley Graham’s dangerous curves blessing their cover, but we have yet to see any of the brands featured this year, appeal to those of us who aren’t size zeroes.

Miami girls, known for their looks and health-conscious lifestyle (whether dainty, muscular, or big boned) all have a place under the sun. Yet, we are hard pressed to find swimsuits designs, never mind actual models, representing a vast majority of the population who may need a bit more….support. FORMES swimwear designs, however, are making quite a different statement at their exclusive premiere at the SOHO Beach House Saturday, July 16th.

On their webpage, designer, and founder Rachel Wirkus says quite simply Always be in love with the skin you’re in! Their designs come in one color. Black. This is already quite a defiant stance, completely opposite to all the neon, animal print, festive palettes debuting on the runway this year. Wirkus takes it another step further by actually embracing the thick straps, stomach and thigh hugging, supportive designs.

And yet, these aren’t shameful waterproof Spanx. These aren’t the one piece rejects, other more confident women forsake for bikinis. Each collection out does itself in embracing and glorifying every body type. The classic, flattering looks appeal to the top heavy, large bottomed, or well endowed in all areas. Shape Up, Buckle Up, and Cozy Up collections are built to keep their shape, have understructure, and help emphasize the figure.

The Capsule collection especially, featuring mesh and custom design, goes beyond swimwear and transitions into a layered look. One we saw Wirkus working herself, in a white pantsuit with black one piece, beneath. There’s something to be said about the authenticity of a product when the designer herself pulls it off flawlessly.


In an interview with LETAGE, Rachel Wirkus spoke to us as both designer and founder of FORMES about what it means to embrace one’s figure.

LEtage: How did you start FORMES?

RW: My decision was based on the fact that I couldn’t find myself a bathing suit. And Im not a big person, Im not a skinny person either. But I couldn’t find anything that fit my bust. Nothing made my flat tushy look good. And I needed to create something. I couldn’t live in a city where I am surrounded by bathing suits all the time and nothing fits me. With my styling background, I knew what shapes would work and I knew I wanted something simple to accentuate the body. Not take away from it, but focus on it.


LEtage: Your colors are very minimalist and the cuts are very classic (though creative!) Do you know if youre going to expand beyond that?

RW: Were going to add a few more colors but were definitely staying true to the simplicity of it. Maybe navy and off-white to start. But its all going to be very modern. The designs might change, maybe a high neck piece will come into the mix.  More mesh and maybe tie back. Well always have the underwire and shoulder straps. Its hard to feel stunning when your neck is hurting and your boobs arent supported.


LEtage: So there really isn’t a compromise for you between comfort and style?

RW: With these swimsuits, the material is stretchy and it feels good. The one piece doesn’t rise up. Its really flattering, and it holds you in. It makes you feel beautiful. And thats the ideal.


LEtage: Who did you create FORMES for?

RW: Everyone. Someone who has curves and isn’t ashamed of them. Loves their body, loves their big breasts or large butt. Thats why my bathing suits are so simple. Its about you, and about being comfortable with what you have. Curves are sexy. Show them off.


LEtage: So its all about confidence?

RW: Inner beauty shines through and makes you beautiful. You dont have to be the prettiest, or one the cover of a magazine. If your a kind person that matters more than how small your waist is or what your nose looks like. People want to be around you when you’re happy. They want to be next to you when youre confident.

For more information go to :http://www.formesswimwear.com/



About The Author

Serafima Fedorova was born in Moscow, Russia and raised in Miami, where she has studied writing for over five years. She has been a Young Arts alumni for poetry and fiction and received multiple writing awards. Her work has been published in Save the Earth Poetry Anthology, Dog Eat Crow, Best Young Writers 2014, and broadcasted on WLRN radio, as well as other online and print magazines.

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