The motivation behind the collaboration between Paloma Elsesser and the cult New York based swimwear brand Dos Swim was the lack of size inclusivity in the swim category. That is why Dos Swim founders Shay Johnson and Paula Hess teamed up with Elsessor, a supermodel that has broken the mold of what size a model should be. This partnership couldn’t be anymore perfect.
“We’re in the day and time of where every body is a swim body,” Johnson told BAZAAR. “There was a time when people would like be like, ‘Oh, shit, it’s bikini season—I need to go to the gym! But now, people are really starting to just not give a f*ck. A lot of swimwear brands would before just showcase any white girl into a bikini and make people feel like that is what should be idolized. There is something sexy about seeing someone in a bikini that has, like, curves and stretch marks and all these other things, and being like, ‘Damn, she looks good!'”
Elsesser, the most prominent face of the body positivity movement that has taken over the fashion industry in the last few years, is leading the brand’s new campaign. Elsesser and the founders of the brand are voicing their motto, that everyone should feel sexy, no matter what size you wear.
“While the swimwear industry has exploded in the last two years, it did feel like there was a decline in swimwear that was cool and passable and chunky-girl friendly,” Elsesser says. “Shay and Paula and I are friends, and because of our relationship, we were able to walk through all the steps of what might feel good on a range of body types.”
The collection titled, Heat Wave, features a range of styles including bustier-inspired bikini tops, high-cut bottoms, and strappy one-pieces in earthy tones and vibrant patterns. Keeping practicality in mind, the pieces can be worn at the beach to the pool to a hiking or lakeside trip.
The swimsuits and coverups go up to size 3X and the collection has been nearly a year in the making. “The inspiration for the collection was what it is like to be in the city in the summer,” Johnson says. “So many people go upstate on the weekends, go to the lake, rent a house together with a group of friends. We wanted to show that through the collection, which is why the collection has a little bit of a sportier vibe, but also still feeling sexy. Also, we use paracord trimming, which is a reference to camping and hiking, like being outdoors.”
This cool girl clique from New York looked to their other friends when putting the campaign together. Nail artist, Madeline Poole, helped create three of the prints, including a camo-like motif with Paloma and the brand’s names hidden within it. Plus, photographer Mayan Toledano and stylist Zara Mirkin were behind the launch’s campaign shoot, which took place at a lake in upstate New York.
“A lot of swimwear brands that are out there now for curvy or bigger body types, so often they focus on all coverage. And sometimes, thicker girls want a skimpier moment,” Johnson says. “We put [one of our models] in, like, our tiny bikini top, and she was like, ‘Oh, my God, finally somebody gets it!’ Just because you’re thicker doesn’t mean you don’t want to be sexy or skimpy or want a tanning bikini. We wanted to create something girls could relate to but also felt cool in, as well as something that’s not on the market right now.”
“This collaboration was about that,” Hess adds. “It was also a great experience for Paloma to see what it takes to bring a collection to life, also because she is in the industry and knows what is out there, and what she wants and sees, and knows what the public wants. So it was just great to be able to work with her together on this.”
Get your hands on this collection on Dosswim.com before it sells out and don’t forget to share a selfie with you wearing the pieces on Instagram.