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We've been watching Shea Marie's hustle for a few years now. When we treated her to a juice back in 2012, the then 26-year-old UCSB alum's blog was called Cheyenne Meets Chanel and she was already a local success story, traveling the globe on brand-sponsored trips and inspiring young girls to follow their dreams because "there's a bigger world out there."
Now older, wiser, and backed by a blog name change (Peace Love Shea), this California girl and major source of body inspo has just launched Same Swim, her debut swimwear line that's set to hit stores this September. (Bottoms will retail around $165, and tops will be about $195.) Here, we chat with the blogstar to learn more about her big leap into designing while getting her to reveal where she works out in LA and which racy popstar she'd love to see in her teeny bikinis.
What inspired you to launch swimwear and not apparel or bags or shoes?
It's funny you should ask because before deciding on swim I had been considering both bags and shoes! I actually spent a month touring leather factories in Italy last year for it. There's a few things in the works there but much further out into the future. Swim is so fun, and the swimwear industry is really booming right now. Being a born and raised Southern California girl, it just seemed like the right fit for my first entry into the design world. I've done design collaborations in the past but this is the first line that is fully my own.
What's the story behind your swimwear brand's name?
It's the first and last letters of Shea and Marie. I didn't want to use my name because I don't want to use myself to push the brand—that's something I'm so against. I want the quality and the designs to speak for themselves, with or without me attached to it. Of course, it helps that I have a following in the fashion world but I would never exploit that. I didn't want to appear in the campaign, I didn't want to call it "SAME by Shea Marie," which is what many people suggested. I actually got to shoot the campaign though! I'm getting to do a lot of other things I love, like photography, design, and creative direction.
What was your favorite part of the design process?
To be able to sit and think: "If I could have any swimsuit in the world, perfectly how I want it, what would it look like?" That's exactly what I thought to myself. I drew sketches, pulled fabrics, threads, made Photoshop mockups, and took them all into the swim factory and said, "Can you help me?" I knew nothing when I started, and now I've learned so much. It's been fascinating, and more work than I ever imagined—ever.
You presented your debut collection in Miami. Were you nervous?
Actually no, not at all. I think if you really love and believe in what you've created, you won't be nervous. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what everyone else thinks if you are truly proud. Maybe it was the fact that I spent so many hours, days and months working on it that there was no room to be nervous.
What is your very favorite style in the collection?
The "It-Girl" halter top and the "Everything" bottom in Noir with white stitching. It's my prized possession, and there's nothing more Me.
Where can your debut collection be purchased and when?
It will be available for pre-order on our site www.sameswim.com at the end of August. You can sign up on the site now to get an email when sales begin! We are also working with several online luxury retailers and specialty boutiques (as the line is designer swim), but we can't release the full list just yet.
Which celebrity would make you pass out if you saw them wearing one of your swimsuits?
Oh gosh, I don't know. There are a few, but maybe Rihanna!
Girl, tell us: where do you work out in LA?
I used to work out all the time—I'm obsessed with boxing. My favorite place is Prevail on West 3rd Street. But lately I haven't had time to work out. I go to the DTLA factory early in the morning until midday, and then I spend the rest of the day and evening working on my own projects for my site and other fashion projects I have going on. Last summer I traveled the entire world. This summer I didn't get to plan a vacation at all. Last night I worked until midnight. It's never-ending right now.
We hear that. Any tried-and-true summer health and fitness tips?
Republic Bike let me design a beautiful custom made bicycle and I've been using it all summer to get to and from meetings that are close to my house. I love it because it's a way to exercise even when you don't have the time. I also take it to the grocery store; it has a basket but can only fit one bag of groceries, so that way I don't over buy!