From June to October, I am in a bikini almost every day.”
In celebration of National Bikini Day, we got the itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny scoop on Vitamin A, one of our favorite swimwear brands, straight from the founder and designer, Amahlia Stevens.
BR: We love a fellow California brand. What made you decide to design and produce here?
It was only natural for me to design and produce Vitamin A locally. California has always been a leader in terms of sustainability and bikinis. Being born and raised here in Southern California means the concepts of conservation and sustainability are a big part of the DNA of the brand. At Vitamin A, not only do we hold ourselves to high environmental standards, but we know that each of our local partners do as well. Keeping production local means we support our community workforce, and it also allows us the opportunity to decrease our carbon footprint by reducing fuel needed to transport our raw materials.
Your signature EcoLux fabric not only looks good, it does good. What makes it more environmentally-friendly than the swimwear standard?
It’s the first premium swim fabric made from recycled nylon that combines sustainability and technology, to fit like a sexy, second skin. EcoLux is a superfine matte jersey with superior stretch, made locally in California. We also have EcoRib: a new sexy stretch ribbed swim fabric from recycled nylon fiber.
BR: We love that, as a swimsuit company, you give a portion of your proceeds to environmental organizations that help protect our oceans. Can you tell us about your favorite?
I don’t have just one favorite. Oceana, 5 Gyres Institute, Surfrider Organization, and Plastic Oceans are a few organizations that I trust and support because I have seen firsthand the incredibly important work they are doing and how they are serving our communities by helping oceans, ocean life, waterways and helping to influence informed public policies.
BR: You have so many fun colors and prints. Where do you get your inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere, especially when I’m in nature. I’ve found inspiration for past collections almost anywhere I look: in the wardrobe styling of classic films, in art exhibits that spark ideas, in architecture or home interiors I find amazing ideas for color palettes and clean shapes. My home beaches are an endless source of inspo for sure. And I’m always very inspired when I travel.
BR: Who is the Vitamin A muse?
Any woman who is confident in her own skin and who shares a love for travel and adventure.
BR: Vitamin A is the originator of the “California cut”. What makes this silhouette so flattering?
The key is to find a balance of coverage mixed with a flattering cut and shape. My personal preference has been to have a curve in the back that’s scooped just perfectly on the high hip.
BR: A fair amount of your bikini tops and one-pieces could be worn for a night out. Do you ever wear your swimwear on land?
Always. I prefer my bikini tops to bras, especially with tops that show a peek of what you’re wearing underneath. Lately, I’m wearing a bodysuit under everything—even dresses.
BR: How much time would you estimate you spend in a bikini per year?
From June to October, I am in a bikini almost every day. If I’m in a tropical place, I can sometimes wear a new suit for each swim, from morning plunge to afternoon dunk to sunset dip. During winter, I travel or enjoy the warm Laguna beach days in a bikini. Even when it’s cold out or if I’m in a cooler destination, you’ll find me in my bodysuit walking to the spa or hot springs.
How many bikinis do you have?
BR: How many swimsuits in general?
Too many. That’s one reason I started Vitamin A: to have justification for my addiction. I literally have built drawers in my closet and organized boxes on my shelves to house and categorize my swimsuits—and I still can’t fit them all. Each season I do my best to clear out a drawer and start fresh. Most of the time these pieces become part of the collection archive of “bests” in my design studio.
BR: Tanlines. Love ‘em or hate ‘em?
I’m all for a cute tan line in pictures, but personally, I will rotate swimsuit shapes and straps to try and keep an even tan, filling in with self-tanner in places that need it.
Too many bikinis, too little time… just kidding! You can never have too many—treat yourself to a new suit here.