Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Swim, kicked off on Thursday, July 19th, and took place in the landmark Raleigh Hotel, in the heart of South Miami Beach. Boasting spectacular ocean views and a luxe atmosphere, The Raleigh served as an ideal setting for such a fantastic series of presentations.
The 2013 Collection of, Vitamin A by Ahmalia Stevens, was presented at “The Oasis”, on the evening of Friday, July 20th, to an excited group of spectators – all eager to see what this year’s “Mercedes-Benz Presents” designer had in store.
A parade of tropical hues, rainbow shades and sprinkles of classic neutral colors strutted down catwalk. Gorgeous bikinis adorned with beaded accents and fringe, one-piece suits and monokinis flaunting daring cut-outs, cascading silk kaftans and asymmetrically cut cover-ups as far as the eye could see. These looks were marvelous and could not have been more exquisitely put together, from the beach-babe tousled hair, head scarves, and bohemian jewelry, to the rich, bronze glow each model rocked – in short, remarkable! I especially loved the vibrant shades used, such as bold corals and captivating aqua. However, one of my favorite looks was an amazing, jet black cover-up, which could also serve as a dress you’d wear on a warm summer night, accessorized with gold cuffs connected by streams of gold chains connecting from the necklace … stunning- a definite WOW moment. The extensive collection was perfectly crafted and exuded comfort, without compromising the definite sex appeal it so naturally oozed. It’s rare to see swimwear fit so well and move with the body. How many times have we seen someone strolling down the beach when they have to stop to “adjust” their suit? Not an attractive sight. In Vitamin A, there will be no need to “adjust”. Amahlia Stevens has mastered, what she calls, the “California Cut”, which means that the “bottom” of each piece is cut so that it sits low on the hip, curves just right in the back and is precisely not too skimpy and too full; therefore, providing no need for constant adjustment.
So, whether you’re jet-setting to St. Tropez, Puerto Vallarta, Miami Beach or simply visiting your local beach, a Vitamin A by Amahlia Stevens, piece will surely be a hit!
After the successful showcasing of her 2013 Collection, we caught up Amahlia Stevens. She gave us some insight as to what makes Vitamin A so distinct.
First, here’s a little background for you: Amahlia Stevens is a Laguna Beach, California-native and Art Center College of Design, graduate. She has a passion for what she does and has created a line that is often referred to as, the “LBD” of swimwear (Little Black Bikini) – a swimwear line, produced in California, that carries go-to pieces that are effortless, sexy, chic and cater to all body types. A celeb fave, Vitamin A by Amahlia Stevens can also be seen on famous beach-goers such as, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and many more. This month, Vitamin A by Amahlia Stevens was given the prestigious title of “Mercedes-Benz Presents” designer during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim. “Mercedes-Benz Presents” designer recognizes designers that demonstrate dedication, and possess unique style and innovation. Vitamin A by Amahlia Stevens joins a prestigious group of designers who have also been bestowed this honor, including, Hervé Léger by Max Azria, Monique Lhuillier, Badgley Mischka, Trina Turk, Narciso Rodriguez, and Naeem Khan.
Stephanie Zimmer, Manager of Brand Experience Marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA says, “As a designer that grew up near the beach, Amahlia Stevens has authenticity in her designs, which are thoughtfully constructed to fit uniquely different than other bikinis on the market. There is a natural sexiness to her designs.” So true!
Amahlia Stevens was honored, and said, “Mercedes-Benz is a symbol of elegance, quality, and high performance; and Vitamin A shares a similar vision of glamour and superior craftsmanship. I am sincerely honored to have been selected as the Mercedes-Benz Presents designer for this season in Miami.”
Here are some of our interview highlights:
Q : How did you become drawn to design swimwear and establish what is now Vitamin A?
A : It was an obsession. I grew up by the beach and so I was always in bathing suits. Whether it was by the pool, at the beach or while traveling, I was obsessed with bikinis. I was a swimsuit model in college and they (designers) would give me boxes and boxes of bikinis – which was great! When I started designing my collection it was basically because I was just not able to find they type of bikinis that I wanted to wear, to fit my shape. At that time they (bikinis) were very big or very, very high cut and had an unusual fit. I got started by going to an old-school, Laguna Beach custom swimwear shop, and shared my ideas. I wanted a bikini to sit on the hip, this is what turned into the “California Cut”, they sit low on the hips, have a very nice curve in the back, not too full and not too skimpy.
Q : What influences and inspires you when designing a new collection?
A : Many things. There’s not really just one thing that inspires me. I can’t answer it in a simple way. Definitely, my travels inspire me. Also, by things I see – sometimes it’s colors. sometimes it’s nature, sometimes it’s art in museums and galleries, or sometimes it’s a film. I was very inspired by the Thomas Crown Affair, it had that sixties mod kind of feeling. Also, the over-reaching inspiration is my lifestyle in Laguna Beach, and things I wear and live in. I always start by saying. ‘Well, what do I want to wear?’ For this (2013) Collection, I was inspired by a trip to Sayulita, Mexico. It’s a very earthy place, but also has a kind-of jet-setting nature to it, very simple, raw. The water is incredible there. You can walk for miles and miles on the beach and never see a person. I was inspired by the feeling of the place and of course the colors in Mexico. The beautiful turquoise contrasting with the sand, the palm trees and the jungle.
Q. What were some of your favorite pieces from this (2013) collection?
A : Some of my favorite pieces from this collection are the silk kaftans, the ombre and rainbow colors. They really really feel like the sunsets in Mexico, the sunsets in Baja.
Q : What sets Vitamin A apart from other swimwear lines?
A : I think there are few things. One, is the fit, it’s different, it’s very precise. It’s made for a real woman’s body. The fit, the construction and the detailing, are what really set it apart. It’s detailed but it a simple way, minimalist kind of aesthetic, but with a lot of detailing.
Q. Where is Vitamin A swimwear available? Online? Worldwide?
A : It’s available internationally, throughout Europe, Unites, Canada, Mexico and Asia. It’s (also) available online. On our website: http://www.vitaminaswim.com/ , our website points you to all the retailers, brick and mortar retailers and online retailers (that carry Vitamin A).
We can’t wait to see what Amahlia Stevens will create when she gets back to her beautiful Laguna Beach design studio, overlooking the vast Pacific Ocean. The line will, no doubt, continue to exude that cool, chic, California feel. With its ease, sex appeal and mix of laidback luxury this unique line is a “California Cut” above the rest.
© 2012 The Los Angeles Fashion