California Knows Their Swimwear — Here's Proof


California-girl style (laid back, effortless, minimal) can be spotted from miles away, and has remained a point of inspiration for the fashion industry. The same can be said for swimwear. While trendy bikini brands thrive across the world, it makes sense that with California’s warm climate and beach culture, its local brands are sure to be bearers of the latest trends, if not the pioneers. Currently taking over Instagram feeds are L.A. swimwear brands like Melissa Simone and SAME, who approach swimwear as statement garments, while lovers of minimalism and simplicity will flock to brands like Anemone and LACAUSA.

As beachwear becomes increasingly aligned with larger fashion industry trends, options extend far beyond a basic Speedo. Cut-outs high-cuts, underwire bra tops, and anything animal print are all gracing pools and shorelines this season. And as with many Californian apparel brands, sustainable values are weaved into much of the region's swimwear. Biodegradable and compostable packaging, recycled fabrics and local production that promises fair wages and working environments for employees are common practices. Another prominent component of Californian swimwear are collections with mix and matching elements. Coupled with high-quality fabrics, the idea behind mixing and matching your swim sets promotes reduced wardrobe turnover, and instead, embracing your collection of swimwear for years to come.

Ahead, here’s 20 L.A. and beyond swim lines you may not want to plan your next vacation without scoping out. From vintage references to modern silhouettes, swimwear is more fresh and versatile than it's ever been, and each of these brands incorporate elements of what’s trending now.

We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Californian Swim Brands: Indigo Swimwear

Courtesy of Indigo Swimwear

From a solid-colored selection of bikinis to mix and match your way through summer, to poppy, jungle-inspired prints, Indigo Swimwear embodies the laid-back California swim aesthetic. Founded in just 2018 by Philippa Brenninkmeyer, Indigo is set on contributing to the decline of ocean waste. Based in Encinitas but manufactured in Bali, Indigo donates a portion of all swim to beach clean-up initiatives in both California and Bali, in addition to creating its pieces with 100 percent regenerated nylon.

Californian Swim Brands: Melissa Simone

Courtesy of Melissa Simone

If it seems like Melissa Simone’s ELYSIAN collection is all over your feed right now, soon to be followed by the brand’s most recent MANGATA collection, that’s because it kind of is. Dubbed a new summer staple by Bella Hadid, Kylie Jenner and more, Melissa Simone’s cheeky designs are a must-try. Each Melissa Simone collection tends to have a signature design element, with the focus currently on a floral fusion of colorful prints. Hitting a ton of swimwear trends on the head at once, trendy, double-strapped one-shoulder designs, cut-out one pieces, and high-cut bikini bottom are an ode to those daring to make a statement.

Californian Swim Brands: Frankies Bikinis

Courtesy of Frankies Bikinis

CEO and Creative Director of Frankies Bikinis told The Zoe Report that at the core of her design process are pieces that possess the ability to mix and match, are easily paired with apparel, and are made of quality fabric. Their current selection — and it’s a hefty one — is a testament to the new age swimwear, welcoming non-standard materials such as crochet and terry cloth. While you’re likely to find muted hues such as powder blue, pale yellow and black, Frankies doesn’t steer away from vibrant color and patterns either — they are just as keen on neon pinks, emerald greens, snake skin and zebra print. For a flirty element, have a look at the brand’s new, floral-loving, 8-piece sustainable capsule.

Californian Swim Brands: Mira Zadeh

Courtesy of Mira Zadeh

Mira Zadeh’s founder and designer, Elmira Zadeh, takes an approach to swimwear that elevates the illusion fabric trend. With an interest in interior design and architecture, Zadeh incorporates a geometric element into her designs. The result? Abstract mesh placements and cut-outs are the brand’s signature, coming in variations of high-waisted bikinis, cheeky bottoms, flattering one-pieces and maxi cover ups.

Californian Swim Brands: Anemone

Courtesy of Anemone

Inspired by 90s minimalism, Anemone’s luxe swimwear is defined by classic silhouettes, clean lines, and a modern touch, tapping into the underwire bra trend with their best-selling Balconette top. Co-founders Joshua Shaub, former Moda Operandi buyer director, and Lauren Arapage, formerly of Stella McCartney, founded the brand in 2018, with not only aesthetics, but sustainability in mind, using compostable packaging and vegan fabrics. “We find inspiration everywhere, but we try to avoid trends,” Shaub told The Zoe Report. “We want to make designs that you can always wear.” With earth tones at its core, these pieces are sure to be staples, and the brand’s occasional and subdued floral print make Anemone the perfect destination for an elevated flower-child look.

Californian Swim Brands: SKATIE

Courtesy of SKATIE

Former FIDM design majors, Skatie Noyes Hutchinson and Mandi Glynn Launched Venice-based brand, SKATIE, in 2016. Playing off the idea of mixing and matching, you can find their loved prints such as leopard and tie-dye in various styles from bandeaus to triangle bikinis to one pieces. Not stopping there, the brand offers workout-friendly pieces too, like sports bras and biker shorts, in case you like to get active with a water view.

Californian Swim Brands: SAME Los Angeles

Courtesy of SAME

As swimwear continues to move from simply functionality-based to an extension of our wardrobes, CEO and Creative Director of SAME, Shea Marie tells The Zoe Report she wanted to create swimwear that was “fashion forward, trend-setting and a statement on its own.” As a fashion influencer herself, Shea knows a thing or two about on trend swimwear. Deviating from the idea of the traditional Californian look, SAME’s Grace collection pulls inspiration from French style with a vintage twist. Ribbed materials with buttoned detailing give the pieces a luxury, womenswear appearance. Concerning the remainder of their selection, elements such as oversized waist belts, stand-out prints and V-shaped underwire bras ensure that any item will stand out from your collection.

Californian Swim Brands: ENVYA

Courtesy of Envya

ENVYA encompasses endless references to feminine and flirty playfulness. Polka dots, gingham, tropical floral prints and frilly details cater to a whimsical, fun in the sun vision. On the contrary, the brand provides more simplistic styles, like their Kalie Mesh One-Shoulder, making this a one-stop shop for any given summer mood.

Californian Swim Brands: Galamaar

Courtesy of Galamaar

Galamaar is born from designer Blakely Wickstrom’s east coast meets west coast style. The brand’s Core Collection features contrast stitching, introducing a sporty-chic feel to their swimwear. Ruching and flowery patterns infuse the brand with the playful feel of California beaches.

Californian Swim Brands: Jessica Rey

Courtesy of Jessica Rey

Rey Swimwear is only one corner of what founder Jessica Rey brings to the fashion industry. Factor in her accessories and apparel, you can consider this your well-rounded summer capsule. Youthful elements are at the core of the brand’s identity, but an offering of majority full-coverage pieces makes Jessica Rey a hit for all age ranges. In addition, her collection of swim dresses serve as an easy transition from the water to your favorite beachside diner.

Californian Swim Brands: Banshee

Courtesy of Banshee

Banshee’s capsule may be minimal, but it packs a punch. Created by Amanda Fronckowiak, the brand describes its designs as built on the philosophy of “going your own way and being unapologetically you.” Mesh styles with subtle, ruffle detailing set Banshee’s bikinis up for an instant cool-girl look, and a highlighter yellow variation seals the deal.

Californian Swim Brands: Ama Saturday

Courtesy of Ama Saturday

Ama Saturday’s on-trend freshness is represented through unexpected cut-outs, zipper detailing and mesh designs. The Black-owned brand, co-founded by Devonna Trope and Mijoi Fields, boasts a size range from XS to 3XL. "Each style is designed with all body types in mind," Trope tells The Zoe Report. "Therefore, we focus on a consistent fit in fabrics that are soft and comfortable."

Californian Swim Brands: Reformation

Courtesy of Reformation

Reformation’s California cool-girl apparel has already reached cult-favorite status, co-signed by celebrities like Kaia Gerber and Emily Ratajkowski. Known as the destination for any and everything on trend, their swim collection doesn’t fall short. Regenerated nylon and clean-cut lines offer a crisp finish to the brand’s selection, while trendy elements like squared necklines, cross-back straps and V-cut bikini bottoms provide the signature fashion-forward flare fans have come to expect.

Californian Swim Brands: LACAUSA

Courtesy of LACAUSA

With an array of jumpsuits, dresses and more alongside their swim collection, your vacay wardrobe isn’t complete without a LACAUSA addition. Relaxed, tie-dye tanks and dresses serve as cover-ups for shoreline strolling. LACAUSA’s current swim selection is strictly solid-colored, leaning on essential hues like black and blush pink, making a bikini top and lightweight trousers an effortless pair for a day on the go.

Californian Swim Brands: Gil Rodriguez

Courtesy of Gil Rodriguez

Predominantly known for Instagrammable basics like high-cut bodysuits and midriff baring crop tops, Gil Rodriguez’ approach to swimwear fuses edgy with modern, and is an instant attraction to anyone looking to celebrate their curves and skin. Welcoming more pops of color than its apparel line, Gil Rodriguez has adopted the current two-toned trend with ease, offering combinations like orange with blue, and sea green with blush pink.

Californian Swim Brands: LPA

Courtesy of LPA

As another brand at the forefront of modern fashion, statement and feminine design elements are at the core of LPA’s DNA. Their signature aesthetic translates over to their swim collection in the form of puffy-shouldered swim tops, textured floral detailing, and lingerie meets swim elements such as lace. With a size run that expands to XXL and style options that range from classic to eclectic, LPA boasts variety fit for any occasion.

Californian Swim Brands: KYA

Courtesy of KYA

Founded in 2012 by Kylie Genesoto, each KYA swimsuit comes with a reversible design — an instant reason to add this brand to your bikini drawer. Meticulously detailed, many KYA pieces feature two-toned touches, whether in the form of color-blocked straps, or exaggerated lining. While this adds a unique flare, the fact that the brand employs an elevated variation of classic styles makes this an easy go-to for any beach goer.

Californian Swim Brands: La Isla

Courtesy of La Isla

La Isla is an eco and social-conscious LatinX-owned brand marrying multiple fashion POVs. With the brand founded in Columbia and transplanted to California, references to founder Enrique Sanchez-Riviera’s home country are made through colorful prints that nod to the wide-range color palette of Columbia’s nature. Laced-front details and cut-out hips are a few design elements that lend to the brands trendy, girly aesthetic.

Californian Swim Brands: CASTAMIRA

Courtesy of CASTAMIRA

Created by former model, Chantel Davis, CASTAMIRA is the destination for fun one-pieces. Focused on sustainable fabrics, each swimsuit comes with a modern twist on classic styles, absent of prints for a timeless and elegant finish. Designed to “leave a bit of mystery left for the imagination” according to the brand’s website, CASTAMIRA leans more toward full-coverage (though they are fans of a backless look), but not without feminine elements like ruffles and geometric cut-outs.

Californian Swim Brands: Stillwater

Courtesy of Stillwater

The soft-patterned and subdued color palette of Stillwater’s swim collection beg for a relaxed beach outing. Their current succulent-inspired print is offered in both black and white, from a single-strapped or backless one-piece, to a selection of various two-piece styles. Swimwear is only the brand’s added bonus to their apparel line of effortless, boho-chic apparel, most of which is fit to throw on over a bikini if your weekend activities consist of beach shop-hopping.

Californian Swim Brands: Roxana Salehoun

Courtesy of Roxana Salehoun

This self-titled brand is designer Roxana Salehoun’s ode to vintage beach glamour. Salehoun finishes off her feminine designs with unique and fashion-forward touches like textured, floral neck and hip lines, and color-blocking married with rouching. Just as unorthodox are their coverup sets; currently Roxana Salehoun offers one made of a rich, purple velour fabric. The brand’s attention to detail leave you with pieces so good, you’ll be itching for your next summer outing.

Californian Swim Brands: Jade Swim

Courtesy Jade Swim

The sleek, classic designs of Jade Swim has made it a universal favorite among fashion It-girls. Founder Brittany Kozerski hits the sweet spot in her designs between trend-forward and minimalistic. This is the type of swimsuit you'll find an excuse to wear after you're back from the beach, too.