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Minnow Bathers’ Homegrown Swim Clothes

Photographer John Francis Peters
July 05, 2011

Women’s swimwear is plagued by excessive whimsy. Suits are often encumbered by pricey ruffles or impractically scant silhouettes. But against that uncomfortable landscape, Toronto roommates Karen Donaldsen and Vanessa Warrack handcraft both one and two-pieces that make uncommonly good sense. “We were just sick of seeing string bikinis everywhere and wanted bathing suits that fit,” says Warrack. “We abandoned the small suit altogether.” For their line Minnow Bathers, they pursued generous plunging Vs, smart bandeaus and sturdy but elegant suspender straps, and then rendered them in grungy vintage prints as well as basic black.

The full-coverage separates are wallpapered with gothic florals, and an easy-action one-piece is stamped with lighthearted weed leaves, each one supporting and flattering all body types without masking or making excuses. “When you were younger, your bathing suit was kind of like your uniform,” says Warrack. “Something really wearable that you could put on in the morning and wear into the night.” Their potent nylons are straight, no flourish, just homegrown design game to match your bare beauty.

(Styling Deidre Dyer, Model Javana Mundy.)

Minnow Bathers’ Homegrown Swim Clothes