Claude Kameni is having a big year. Though she's been staying at home, her evening wear designs have been spending time in high places — including the virtual BET Awards (as Amanda Seales' hosting ensemble) and Vanity Fair's July/August 2020 cover (which Viola Davis electrified the internet in). Still, the designer knew that, for those who weren't dressing up for momentous occasions this year, there had to be a way to make her punchy, printed aesthetic available for everyday wear. Thus, Lavie By CK's first swim line was born, and it's here to bring far-flung destinations home, to you.
"For years, I’ve always wanted to tap into swimwear, but never had the chance until the pandemic came along," Kameni tells TZR. "Being forced to be home allowed me to really brainstorm my vision for this collection. Since vacation plans were canceled, I wanted to bring the tropics to the people." The collection, entitled "Le Voyage," features scores of swim styles — zip-up rash guards, one pieces, and bikinis, all rendered in boisterous prints inspired by Kameni's Cameroonian heritage. "Cameroonians love bold prints and styles that make a statement," says Kameni. "We love to show out!" There's a geometric black and gold micro-print; or, for a more feminine look, there's a floral pattern that invokes coral and banana leaf hues. Each can be shopped in four different silhouettes, with two one-piece swimsuits that can also be styled without the pool, and with other ready-to-wear pieces.
For its Miami Swim Week launch, Lavie By CK interpretation of the digital fashion show is taking the unorthodox experience to new heights. Kameni worked with digital models — Dagny, Koffi, Aspen, Boyce, Brenn, and Shudu, the IG-famed It-girl that WWD declared "the world's first digital supermodel" in 2018. "Luckily, I’ve experimented with digital models in the past, so it was a no brainer when the creator of Shudu wanted to collaborate again," says Kameni. "It’s incredible how exact the garment pattern measurements need to be in order to work on the virtual models. It’s a sign of the times that fashion is going digital, and I just hope everyone is excited for it as I am."
Be sure to tune into the show, which will be streaming live on Paraiso Miami Beach's site at 6 p.m. ET, and shop the best styles ahead:
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