A Dudley Girl knows just how to soak up the season. We’re following some of our favorites to see what they’re up to this summer—in our styles, of course.
Today, that’s the co-founders of STYLEST, a brand that’s changing how we think about our swimwear wardrobes.
DS: How did the idea for STYLEST first surface?
AYB: Three years ago, Joyann hosted a pool party at her home to get to know women in her community after relocating from NYC to full-time in Millbrook, NY. We were in the pool and someone said to Chrissy, “Honey, your bra is showing!” Joyann and I both tuned in immediately to the idea of wearing a bra under swim for lift and support as a genius idea and Chrissy explained it's been her "go-to trick" for years. Joyann, Chrissy and I set out to create the first-ever swim bra engineered for the water and designed to be worn underneath a swimsuit. We called our debut collection of swim bras Aqualingerie™.
The three of us have over 50+ combined years working in fashion (Harper's Bazaar, ELLE, Saks, & Ralph Lauren are just a few headlines from our joint resumes) so between us we've seen everything. We are all fashion lovers and found as our bodies and lifestyles were evolving our wardrobe options weren't keeping up—especially when it came to swimwear. As we were developing the bra, we found an incredible French fabric that has 4x more compression than regular swimwear, and were inspired to create a full swimwear brand to solve all our customers’ swim challenges. We ended up launching with a system of bras, chic swimwear with shapewear built-in, and smart cover-ups to complete your look.
What void does STYLEST fill in the swimwear category?
JKM: STYLEST intersects shapewear, lingerie and swimwear to sculpt your body, while outfitting you in a head-to-toe look. We believe the key to feeling confident is a plan, not pieces. We've built the brand as a system of swim solutions that promise you your best body in a swimsuit and give you a fully styled look for a day at the pool or beach. Our swim systems work their magic from the kiddie pool to happy hour, and everywhere in between.
Why do you think our brands pair so well together?
CM: Both of our brands design for a woman who wants to look polished and pulled together and appreciates a trusted style authority who can help her do that for her everyday life. The most complicated look for many women to achieve actually isn't the fancy once-a-year wedding guest outfit, it's nailing a weekday look that's both practical and compliment-worthy. Dudley Stephens is a leader in designing pieces that easily style together for comfortable, but polished looks. STYLEST pieces are all designed as outfits so putting together a chic (and practical) outfit for a day at the pool with your kids is already done for you.
What’s the best part of launching and growing STYLEST as a brand?
AYB: Giving women confidence is why we got into this business. We’ve had women write to us about everything from feeling like they finally have a beach photo with their kids that they are excited to frame, to being confident enough to put on a suit four weeks postpartum. Shopping for swim is about so much more than “does this fit me." We are so proud to be “swim stylists” to so many women who deserve to look and feel their best, every day.
What are the big trends for summer swimwear this year?
JKM: Barbiecore is still driving a huge demand for our ultra pink styles, and we also are loving our ombré collection. Our bestselling Sculpting Square Neck Tank has a gorgeous silhouette reminiscent of the 90's, which we are seeing come back in modern ways.