Q&A: Gina of NU SWIM

Swimsuit season is here and our eyes have turned to all things stretchy, strappy and sand-worthy. We’ve noticed a real change in attitude when it comes to swimwear recently; fiddly straps, fussy shapes and pointless ties are going out of favour in the place of a more streamlined style. There’s a handful of brands who are doing it really, really well, and NU SWIM are fronting up the ranks.

With their simple shaped cossies in a range of covetable colours, NU SWIM are so on point they’ve barely disappeared off our Pinterest feeds all year. This is partly down to their beautiful swimsuits, but also wholly due to their fautless art direction and imagery (next level moodboard-worthy). Designed and produced in sunny Cali, we had to get in touch with the brand’s founder, Gina Esposito, to find out a little more about how NU SWIM are making waves.

How did NU SWIM first come to life and what was the initial idea behind it?

I was feeling really unsatisfied with my career path - I kept taking one corporate design job after the next - at the beginning of my career the exciting design jobs were so few and far in between, so I ended up going down the corporate route to be able to survive. I never envisioned myself being such a small piece in a puzzle. I had wanted to start my own thing for some time, but could never grasp a concept that I could afford - I always wanted a full line including swim. I was having a fun time with friends sneaking into hotel pools or traveling far and wide to discover places to swim, so I was known to always have multiple swimsuits on hand at any given moment. I was laying on the couch one evening contemplating my career and it came to me to start with swim, create a world around this lifestyle that I love and focus on a niche that I could really speak to and show off to the world, if that makes sense.

Did you have any previous design-based experience before you launched the brand?

Yes! I studied Fashion Design at FIT in New York, graduated in 2006 and designed in the industry for 10 years before launching the brand. I do all of the pattern making and tech specs and work closely with my factory on sampling and production. I’m 100% in and hands on. It is very overwhelming, but I hired an assistant last year who works part time and an intern started this year and works one day a week. Not sure how I could do it without them. We handle all customer service and shipping, but I am finally learning how to trust and let go of some aspects, they take over and are such fast learners - sometimes I need a vacation too!

We love your shoots, Instagram and super strong imagery. How important is aesthetic to NU SWIM?

Thank you! Luckily, art direction and branding are amongst my passions, so to be able to do that on my own terms are just some of the perks.. so glad to hear you and so many are enjoying it as much as I do.

What should a swimsuit be?

Simple, multi-functional and comfortable to wear. I know that sounds really basic, but because I’ve been living in swimwear beneath my clothing since I was very young, the concept makes complete sense to me.

And what shouldn’t it be?

Fussy, itchy, irritating, too loose, too tight, uncomfortable. Obviously what you swim in has a factor in all of this and we unfortunately will not cure your skin of stickiness after swimming in the sea, but hope to make you as comfortable as possible.

Can you describe the kind of girl you’re catering to?

Someone who is adventurous, but likes the simple things in life. I am definitely not a simple person, I really do love stuff….so having a swimsuit that has everything I need, makes my life easier.

What do you do to unwind?

I try to take the day off and drive up to Bolinas (Northern California) every Sunday - I turn my phone on airplane mode and don’t check emails until Monday morning, that’s one of my favourite ways to unwind. Also - cooking, music on the loudest possible volume, walking with no agenda, dinner and drinks with good friends, design research.

And finally, how important are ethics and sustainability to your brand?

Very important! I worked in corporate design for a long time, and it really made me realise how closely I want to be to my product. When I was working corporate design, from start to finish there were too many steps that I became uninvolved in and that is not why I became a designer. I want to be there every step of the way, bettering the lives of those who I work with by learning from each other and reminding each other that we are not curing diseases. I usually spend 2-3 days per week at my factory and have an incredible relationship with them. The more I show them I care, the more they care about my product and the better they become at their jobs. That is most important to me. I am not saving lives, but hoping to better the lives of those I work with, even if we are a small piece in the world!

Thanks for chatting to us Gina! For all things NU SWIM, head over to their website.

SS16 Lookbook images:
Art direction: Nastassia Bruckin + Gina Esposito
Styling: Gina Esposito
Photography: Nastassia Bruckin
Model: Dara Peterkin
Makeup: Rita Lee Burton
Assistants: Hannah Bossmark + Fennis Brown

Part II images:
Art direction: Nastassia Bruckin + Gina Esposito
Photographer: Nastassia Bruckin
Model: Kyle Beechey

Share this:

More From The Journal

  1. Untainted: In Excess

    Khandiz Joni is one of our favourite natural and organic makeup artists. So when we found out she’d created an online platform to show off her skills, other people’s skills and champion some cult green brands in the process, we were all ears. Here we chat to Khandiz about Untainted and share a 1980’s-inspired editorial that we can’t get enough of.

    More +
  2. Q&A: Jessalyn Brooks

    LA-based artist Jessalyn Brooks has us captivated with her blocky, contorted paintings of female bodies and faces. We talk to her about her work, her life and her nighttime jazz singer alter ego…

    More +
  3. Six Women We Admire: International Women’s Day 2018

    The 8th March is now well renowned for signifying International Women’s Day. In support of the battle against injustice and gender bias we’ve rallied together six inspirational women to voice their opinion equal rights and the rise of social and political movements in the media.

    More +
  4. Our Mothers’ Daughters

    ​As a new month begins, we’re coming out of hibernation and (slowly) filling up our social calendars. Which is why we’re particularly excited about this female-focused East London event organised by four of our favourite local women in the creative industry. Celebrating women in every form and just in time for International Women’s Day, we find out more.

    More +
  5. Your Brow Questions: Answered

    In the first of our new series, Your Questions: Answered, we pick the brains of holistic makeup artist and beauty pro Sjaniel Turrell on the much debated topic of brows. From the products to use to the shapes that suit us best, Sjaniel answers all your brow-related questions and more.

    More +
  6. Q&A: Thea Løvstad

    ​Using her photography to convey an important message about our environmental footprint, Norwegian ‘eco artist’ Thea Løvstad has got us sold with her beautiful approach to image, shape and colour. We touch base with the sustainably-minded creative to find out more.

    More +
  7. Vincent Ferrane: Milky Way

    In this week’s Reads, we reflect over Vincent Feranné‘s tender yet evocative depiction of his wife and child. Documenting breastfeeding through a diary-like narrative, Milky Way drums up the censorship debate, while captivating family life that is truly relatable.

    More +
  8. Hair Trend: Redhead

    All hail the return of redheads! We’re praising every shade of auburn, ginger, copper and red in our latest Hair Trend, where we revel in a fresh spirit of hair colour self-expression. Braver and bolder than ever, forget everything you know about this hair colour being uncool - instead, meet the new reds.

    More +
  9. Beauty Forecast: Waterless

    ​We’re constantly on the hunt for ways to get the best results out of our skincare without putting unnecessary extra strain on the environment. Enter our latest beauty prediction: waterless cosmetics. Ecologically beneficial and extra potent for high-performance skincare, we find out everything we need to know about going water-free.

    More +
  10. Winter Renewal: Seasonal Self-Care

    ​As January rolls on and the cold weather continues, we’re looking at a few natural tricks and tips to see you through the month and leave you feeling refreshed and ready for spring. With a little help from two Glasshouse friends and wellbeing experts, we’re reassessing what a new year means - focusing on seasonal self-care instead.

    More +
  11. Hair Musing: Charlotte Gainsbourg

    ​Musician, actress, fashion muse and the daughter of much-loved French couple Serge and Jane, Charlotte Gainsbourg is a woman in her own right. With new music out and a new city to call home, we’ve fallen for her equally as new haircut - think boyish mullet meets 70s rockstar. We dissect the style of our latest hair muse.

    More +
  12. Reads: Well Being by Danielle Copperman

    ​In search of a January pick me up? Well look no further. Danielle Copperman’s new book release Well Being is jam packed with remedies and natural recipes to realign the body and mind. Glasshouse sat down with the polymath to discuss relaxation methods, uplifting experiences and the clean eating debate.

    More +
  13. Glasshouse Salon: How We Get Party Ready

    ​Need some top tips on how to get ready before the big count down this New Year? We have you covered. Find out how we prep for a night out, Glasshouse style.

    More +
  14. A Sustainable Christmas

    What does Christmas mean to you? As the festive season brings us joy once more, we’re asking whether excess and over-consumption could be done in a way that has a better impact on ourselves, the people around us and our planet. We rallied around some of our favourite figures in sustainability to tell us how they’re approaching Christmas in a more conscious way.

    More +
  15. Masterclass: Fine Hair

    Fine hair got you tearing your hair out? Don’t despair! Our senior stylist Mia is here to tackle all things fine hair - from the cuts that suit best, to maintaining condition and picking your styling products wisely, our Masterclass is all you need.

    More +
  16. Abel Odor: 100% Natural Fragrance

    Beautiful fragrance without the synthetic ingredients? Meet Abel - developed by a winemaker with a penchant for scent and a master perfumer, this unique 100% natural fragrance brand is crafted with care and consideration - and just happens to be the latest addition to our Glasshouse shelves and shop. Meet the founder Frances and find out more.

    More +
Load more posts