We first met surfer and Acuarela Swimwear founder Linzy Smith on a choppy day on the Pacific side of the Baja coast. After an eventful session, she sat down on her towel and got to work sewing swimsuits while surrounded by other female surfers. This is, evidently, a typical day for the designer. Smith started Acuarela for the same reason so many companies are founded: pure necessity. She couldn’t find swimwear that fit right, that she liked and could afford—so she began making them. Now, she creates custom swimwear from scratch—all modeled by real surfers—for women of all shapes and sizes in bright, cheerful colorways and interesting cuts. We spoke with Smith about living more and wearing less.
Tell us about Acuarela’s beginnings.
I created Acuarela in 2011 a few years after I moved to the Baja to surf. Because I was on the “surfer budget,” I could not afford to buy bikinis. Since I spend every day in one, I decided it would be a great idea to make them myself. So when the waves were small, I began learning how to sew by watching YouTube videos. It began as a hobby, but before I knew it, I was making suits for my friends and strangers too.
My pieces are definitely inspired by the endless body shapes and sizes and my desire to accommodate them all.
What inspires your designs?
My pieces are definitely inspired by the endless body shapes and sizes and my desire to accommodate them all. After doing customs for so many women, I see the need for swimwear that is comfortable and functional along with being unique and beautiful.
Is there a “perfect” style for surfing?
Different styles work better for different body types. And believe me, there are no two bodies alike. I personally love to surf in the traditional triangle style top, where many women would say that is the absolute worst.
What has been the best part about creating Acuarela?
Testing out my new creations was the best part. I would design something then wear it surfing, go straight home after and make adjustments. I became pretty good at creating pieces that would stay on in the water, but nothing completely—no bikini will stay on perfectly while getting pummeled by giant waves. That’s the truth. But at least I can provide bikinis that look cute and stay on better than most.
Tell us a little about your motto, “live more, wear less.”
It’s simply my idea that if you are somewhere wearing your bikini, you are most likely somewhere awesome. Whether you are at the beach, a pool, or on a vacation in the sun, you are wearing your bikini and feeling good. You are really living more.
What’s next for Acuarela?
Acuarela is a result of me following my heart. It will continue to grow this way. The future of Acuarela is unknown and exciting.
Acuarela Swimwear is available for order on Etsy, where prices start at $22.
Images courtesy of Acuarela