California bred designer Rod Beattie visited Belk, SouthPark Saturday for a meet and greet with shoppers to help them find the best swimsuit for their fun in the sun this summer.
Over twenty years in swimwear design, and a record number of retail best-sellers, Beattie is now known as “America’s #1 swimwear designer.
The new label, Bleu / Rod Beattie, consists of his signature swimwear look – clean contemporary lines, brilliant saturated color and a bold graphic approach.
STYLE met with Beattie to discuss his career, the new line and discover the secret of designing and finding that perfect swimsuit.
Carolina STYLE Magazine: Tell me about your new line of swimwear – Bleu
We always try to offer modern and contemporary styling so that swimsuits won’t look dated while also addressing figure issues. Bleu keeps in line with this while keeping up with current fashion trends. This year a lot of the Bleu line features gold accents and nautical inspired pieces with a color palette featuring lots of red, a range of blue (inspired by water of course) and the always classic black.
How large is your collection?
It’s pretty large since so many swimsuits are sold as separates now. We currently have about 70 pieces within the collection.
If you could design a swimsuit for any celebrity who would it be? And what would it look like?
Charlize Theron – something very sleek looking and sophisticated.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Inspiration can come from everywhere- I live in Southern California so I of course draw inspiration from there with all the beaches. More recently I have been traveling to Rio, Brazil and have pulled some ideas for colors and prints from their swimwear trends. Of course I travel to Paris every spring so I also draw inspiration from there- even looking at sportswear and active wear for inspiration.
You’re considered the #1 swimwear designer in the country. What makes your designs stand out ?
Fit has always been something that I’ve been known for. The swimsuits fit and flatter the women while making her feel confident, sexy and fashionable. People feel comfortable in the swimwear.
Why do you believe women feel so comfortable in the pieces?
All women are different and have different bodies. When designing we try to look at the body issues that women have with most swimsuits and work to camouflage them with the fabric, cut, and overall design and fit of our collection.
What’s your personal favorite swimwear silhouette?
Of course I enjoy working on all of them but my favorite is the one piece. It gives me the most fabric to work with.
What upcoming plans do you have for this line?
Expanding the line to offer even more choices to the customers. The color palette will get brighter as well in the upcoming cruise collection. We want to offer something for everybody going from glamor to sporty to sexy.
You can find the Bleu /Rod Beattie swimwear collection at Belk and Belk.com
Photography courtesy of Lem Lynch Photography