Summer is almost here (not that it necessarily left sunny South Florida) and we are already planning our beach attire. We decided to profile Miami girl Lila Nikole who is best known for bathing suit designs for the Miami Dolphin cheerleaders. Formerly known as Amaya, her namesake label has come a long way. Her steamy suits have made the cut in Sports Illustrated. As is typical of her style, the designer doles out swimwear advice to note: this season has no room for boring and typical. Invest in neons, wild floral prints, ruched accents and cutouts a la vintage glam, she advises.
Nikole’s imagination is sparked by music, events and travel. Her latest collection was transpired by the rhythm and beats at Ultra Music Festival.
“House, dance, trance music inspired a wild neon colored collection, music track line prints, with trance and trippy prints," Nikole said. "My last collection was inspired by an old Spanish song called Aguanile [by] Hector Lavoe."
A graduate of the Art Institute, she began designing swimsuits to meet a pre-req and with encouragement from fellow students, decided to create her own label. The Miami girl has positioned her label like a pro, leveraging its caliente flavor well suited to the weather. The best part is that her line is manufactured right here in Miami with fabrics imported from all over the world.
We asked if she was experimenting with any new fabrics.
“I use fabrics like stretch sequins, fringe accents, metallic mesh webs, embossed tan thru metallics and some recycled prints made on a semi synthetic base," she said. "I love to incorporate funky textures with traditional pieces. I experiment with all kinds of material, non-traditional accents and new technologies. Some of our current fabrics are created with recycled materials and inks that are eco friendly."
And how did the sports association come about? As a diehard football fan, Nikole reached out to a handful of NFL teams to handle their swim apparel.
“The match worked well for us all," she said. "I did eight NFL teams last year and two NBA teams. It was an honor to work with the Dolphins. They are an amazing corporation and a lot of fun to work with. I will be working with them again this year! Designing pieces as we speak.”
The next step for the design maven is opening more retail locations locally and nationally and then adding a children’s line to the mix.
Lila Nikole's swimwear designs can be viewed here. Happy shopping!