Designer swimwear can be affordable and suit every body type, according to bikini model Shayla Cofini, who is about to launch her own swimsuit brand.
You only need a quick scan of Shayla Cofini’s Instagram account to know that the 25-year-old model has a keen eye for a cute bikini. Surprisingly, it’s not the countless swimsuit photoshoots she’s done that ignited her passion for swimwear, but rather her unique upbringing on the beaches of Costa Rica and California.
“I was born in Costa Rica and lived there for the first five years of my life,” Shayla explains. “After that, I moved to the Laguna Beach area in California with my mom. It definitely got me interested in swimwear from a very young age.” In fact, she often designed her own bikinis and clothes while growing up, even learning to sew so she could wear her own creations.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the gorgeous model is about to launch her own swimwear brand – Shayla Swimwear.
Swimwear should be synonymous with confidence – not self-consciousness
As a model, she’s worked for various bikini brands, and the experience has taught her firsthand how their companies are run and also what sets some bikinis and swimsuits above others. “What it comes down to is fit,” Shayla says. “The fit makes such a big difference in how confident you’re going to feel in your bikini. Most women are really able to relate when I say that because, unfortunately, they know how uncomfortable it is to wear a bikini that doesn’t fit well.”
For this reason, Shayla intends to sell the tops and bottoms of her bikinis separately, allowing women to ensure they have the perfect size for their own bodies. “Very few women are able to buy a single-size bikini off the rack,” she explains. “I want my collection to cover all body types to ensure that every woman can feel confident in my swimwear.”
Her line will focus on resort collections and is also going to cover a broad range of options, from cheeky Brazilian cuts to fuller bikinis and even fashionable one-pieces. “I’ve found that, even though a girl has a certain body type, that doesn’t mean that she only wants to wear one type of swimsuit,” Shayla says. “As women, we love having a variety of options.”
In fact, social media has completely changed the ways that women wear bikinis. “These days, if girls post themselves in a bikini on Instagram, they won’t post another photo of themselves in that same bikini. They want different bikinis for each of their photos. So the days of wearing one bikini all summer long are over,” she explains.
For this reason, it’s also been important to Shayla that her swimsuits are well-made and durable. “I want my bikinis to last for at least a couple of years,” she says. “Swimwear is so expensive that you don’t want to only get a single season of use out of them. So I’ve been very focused on ensuring that my bikinis have good stitching. They also versatile and have been designed with convertible straps because I personally like the option of having a strapless tan, and I’m sure many other girls do as well.”
If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere
New York City isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think about swimwear, yet that’s where Shayla Swimwear is being designed. “I moved to New York four years ago for my modeling career,” Shayla explains. “But there certainly is something strange about designing bikinis in a city that has no beaches.
“There are advantages to living here, though, since New York is closer to the Bahamas and to European destinations where we could do destination photoshoots,” she adds. “I have to be more creative, but it’s also much more exciting.”
Another challenge that Shayla has had to face is the global coronavirus epidemic, which has shut down beaches and pools around the world and has hit New York especially hard. “This is certainly not the best time to be launching a new brand,” she says. “I was supposed to launch in May, but the current situation has meant that I’ve needed to postpone.”
Nevertheless, it’s given her time to work on her business model, which will include online shipping around the world. “I’ll definitely launch online first, but then I have plans to sell in stores as well,” Shayla explains. “I’ve been doing a lot of research into specific retail outlets that I’d like to have to carry my swimwear – stores that line up with what my own brand represents. I’d like for someone that chooses my bikini to be able to buy other items to go with it from the same store, like sunglasses or flip flops.”
She’s also priced her bikinis to ensure that they’re affordable for a younger demographic, with the most expensive set priced at just $120 for a top and bottom – even though they are eco-friendly (and too often, eco-friendly is synonymous with expensive). “My bikinis are made with recyclable fabric and will be shipped with less packaging,” Shayla says. “I’ve even done away with the label since it can be printed into the swimsuit. I have a lot of respect for brands that consider the environment.”
It’s clear that Shayla has given an extraordinary amount of thought into all the elements of the perfect swimsuit, and we certainly can’t wait to see her debut collection when it finally does launch. In the meantime, we’ll keep an eye on her Instagram feed and dream of the days when we’re able to do a bit of island-hopping and sun-worshiping again.