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Voda Swim designer and model, Yulia Drummond, moved from her home in Kyrgyzstan to the United States when she was only 18 years old. Modeling in her home country, she met her American husband, a Marine, at an event while he was on tour guarding the embassy. "I went an hour and a half late on purpose," she explains of their second meeting at a Fourth of July party. "As soon as I walked in, he looked and I thought, 'I got you.'" Two months later the couple was engaged and heading to Oregon to get married.
After some time in her husband's home state, the couple did a brief stint at Twentynine Palms before finally being transferred to LA where Drummond was keeping up her career as a model. It was through modeling that she saw bikini tops geared towards women with smaller chests were lacking in the market and, with her husband's push, decided to enter into the world of swimwear design. "It was my birthday and my husband and I went the mall," the designer recalled of the 'ah-hah' moment. "I probably tried on at least 20 swimsuits. I just wanted something sexy and after trying on so many, I was frustrated and disappointed." Drummond complained to her husband that she wanted a bikini that made her feel good to which he said, "Go and make one."
Six months and a hundred tries later, Voda Swim was born, a bikini line with just the right push-up to add 1-2 cup sizes without the discomfort of underwire. Drummond has tapped into a woman's dream. Beginning at $110 for a classic string bikini, the designer has developed a line of mix-and-match swimwear that won't sag after it gets wet, keeping a lady's assets perky at all times. "It's for the girl that walks on the beach, sexy and confident."
We met the bombshell designer at Earthbar in West Hollywood right off the heels of a shoot for the line's spring/summer 2013 collection. There, we found out where she goes to cheat on her diet, her favorite bikini style and how she stays so fit.
What are you drinking today?
Pacific Ocean or Atlantic Ocean?
"Can I choose Caribbean? Caribbean is where I want to be. I close my eyes and I see a little house next to the beach, two reclining chairs and a palm tree. That's my vision board."
If you could only wear one bikini for the rest of your life what style would you choose?
"My favorite bikini is a Hoop String Bikini from Voda Swim in the Caribbean color. It's a bluish, turquoise color that is very rich and looks beautiful on. It comes with 14k gold-plated jewelry accents. That color swimsuit with the gold accents in a Brazilian bottom looks very hot!"
Hot or Iced?
What's the last book you bought?
"I actually don't buy books. I'm old school. I go to the library. The last one I checked out was The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra."
Hills of Malibu or Hills of Hollywood?
What's your guilty pleasure?
"I take a bath at home every Sunday and pour myself a glass of champagne. Every week, I look forward to my relaxing Sunday in the bathtub. Does that count as a guilty pleasure?"
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
"I went to Paris this year! I actually had a modeling job and I've always seen Paris as overrated but after I got a chance to go there and my husband got to come with me, it was absolutely beautiful. It is so historical, so cultural and people were so nice. I always hear of French people as rude but all the people were nothing but nice. The Eiffel Tower itself was something to remember. Until then, the Caribbean and tropical islands were my dream place to be. But after being in Europe and seeing the culture and people and food, the experience was fantastic."
Pepsi or Coke?
What's your favorite workout?
"Hiking. In Pasadena there are the San Gabriel Mountains and within a five-minute drive from my house there are so many great hikes. Last spring, my husband and I bought a book called Afoot and Afield in Los Angeles and it tells you about every single hike in LA, anywhere. It goes from half a mile hike to very intense hikes. My goal is to try every hike in that book."
What restaurant do you go to for a diet cheat day?
"I would go to redwhite+bluezz, it's a great place in Pasadena. I would order a cheese plate, a glass of wine, and a filet mignon steak with scalloped potatoes. Then another glass of wine in the end."
Morning or Night?
What are your favorite three pieces in your closet?
"My black leather jacket was the best purchase I've ever made. The Forever 21 dress I am wearing, I really love it. Also, my black skinny jeans, they're not skinny jeans they're actually tight pants. I modeled them once for a Bebe fashion show and my husband was like 'You have to get those pants!' I would never go anywhere without them. They look great but they feel like sweatpants."
Describe a typical Wednesday night.
"I come home, I would make a dinner, pour myself a glass of wine, crash on the couch and watch a new season of Dexter. I love Dexter!"
What's your all-time favorite thing to do in LA?
"Yesterday my husband took a sailing boat and we went out for a day just sailing along the coast. My favorite thing was going to the front of the boat and I just slid down there by myself in peace and quiet and you have the sail going and you can see the beach, it's just amazing. I came home last night and I was so happy. This is great."
Superman or Batman?
Who is the last person you had a missed call from?
What advice would you give someone looking for a bikini?
"Don't necessarily go for the trends because sometimes trends are not what will look best on you. Go with your gut and get a bikini that you really feel great in. Go for a great color and a style that makes you feel sexy."
What has been your worst fashion moment of all time?
"Probably the outfit that hooked my husband. It was bright pink, almost fuchsia, pants. When I bought those pants I didn't have a top to wear with it so I made myself a bright pink halter-top. The whole back was open and it came down just below my breasts so you can see my stomach too. Now that I'm thinking about it, I would never wear it! The pants were pretty much see-through and I didn't wear a bra, but I was 18! I wouldn't wear it now but that was probably the outfit that made the difference."
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