Cecile Casablancas’s Limited-Edition Swimwear Line Offers an Alternative to Tired Bikini Prints

Anyone going to Art Basel in mid-June might want to pick up a limited edition artist-designed swimsuit in which to display their credentials while sipping coffee and aperitifs in the balmy European weather.

Former jewelry designer Cecile Casablancas, (daughter of the late Elite model agency founder John Casablancas and sister of The Strokes’s Julian) had a career-changing epiphany a couple of summers ago. “I was spending a lot of time with artists out in Orient”—the village at the tip of Long Island’s North Fork is a magnet for painters and sculptors drawn to the light and the bucolic landscape—”and we were swimming and boating,” she says. “The idea was born to collaborate on some fantastic, original designs to hang out in that would provide an alternative to regular brands, which can be so generic.”


She gave her first group of chosen artists carte blanche, and welcomed their input on cut, though, she says, “the shapes we decided on are essentially really simple and minimal because the prints are often colorful and exuberant.” Caitlin Keogh, Jim Drain, Bozidar Brazda, and Servane Mary indeed produced pieces that have more depth and visual interest— with perhaps a touch of weirdness—than your average suit, and come in high-quality fabric and very wearable styles. Launched late last year, they retail for around $300 each on Casablancas’s website, Orientny.com.

Soon Casablancas will be rounding out her line, which also features some artist-designed totes and a beachtowel, with a further dozen or so one- and two-piece designs using fabrics she has sourced on her travels in Italy and South America, available at the end of June. And for next year’s art gatherings? You can find a new cultural costume at her second artists’ collection, with contributions from Hugo Cesto, (a Frenchman who has worked on fashion collaborations with Junko Shimada and Pharrell Williams,) and L. A. artists Jennie Jieun Lee, and Becky Kolsrud, with others to be determined. They will be showcased at the NADA fair at Art Basel Miami Beach in December, just in time for the winter sun.