From fashion school to a powerhouse design team, Lee and Lani Swimwear is quickly becoming an Instagram sensation. I ran across this amazing swimwear line while perusing through social media many months ago, and knew they were ones to watch. Lee “Lisa-Marie Pascuccio” and Lani “Alana Ault” met while attending fashion school, a few years ago. While they both found inspiration in one anothers’ style, it also became apparent they both shared a passion for creativity and art. Each girls’ unique sense of style has lead to an insanely amazing collections that speak to every gal.
CM: Who are Lee + Lani?
Lee: The fashion industry has always been so fascinating to me. From a very young age I knew I was meant to be a part of it. I went to school for Merchandise Marketing but I’ve had my hand in every possible job in the industry. I’ve modeled, been a buyer, styled, PR Sales and assistant designed. I wanted to create a sexy and fashion forward swim brand with silhouettes that can be worn in and out of the water. I love clean lines that are daring! Edgy would be the term to describe my design style.
Lani: I come from a very design and styling rich background. I feel like I’m someone who enjoys finding ways to push the envelope and make people wonder what’s going on in my head of untamed messy hair. I’m always trying to come up with different constructions or applications to change up the swimwear game. Lisa is my muse, I drape many things directly on her body to ensure it fits esthetic and design line placement. Designing our suits can be really tricky, especially when a small cloud or sun is the only thing keeping them from being x rated. Together we have formed a brand that turns heads and stops traffic. We are the brand people come to for the latest in swimwear fashion. We take pride in blurring the lines between social norms and acceptance.
CM: What made you start Lee + Lani Swim?
Lee: I started modeling and traveling at a very young age so I got to experience different cultures and what the world has to offer. After a modeling contract in Asia where I was surrounded by Brazilian girls with beautiful swimwear, it just clicked, American brands were lacking that sexy and daring swimwear brand. I came back to the states, met with Alana, told her I wanted to start a swim line and the rest is history!
Lani: I just came back to LA after getting married and having a baby. I wanted to start my own brand and having a background in design, it just made sense.
CM: Who is the Lee + Lani Swim girl? What does she stand for?
LLS: The Lee + Lani swim girl is the most complete woman on the beach. She is the perfect combination of attitude, charisma and sex.
CM: Your textiles and designs are very unique, how do you set yourself apart from other swimwear lines?
LLS: When we first started our company six years ago, we were told “we were too sexy”, “America wasn’t ready for us”, that “we pushed limits too far” and “It’s swimwear, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel”. We took these comments very seriously and continued to push the limits and I think we did re-invent the wheel and we created amazing one-of-a-kind pieces because of it. We focus the majority of our energy on original concepts. We also never reference other swim brands during the creation process, which has really been instrumental in helping our brand separate from the pack.
CM: You have some of the hottest swim campaigns, where does the creative direction and inspiration come from?
LLS: Inspiration comes from any and everything. We are both very hands on during the entire creative direction process. We lay out inspiration from location, lighting, hair, makeup, styling and we hand select our models. We do everything ourselves. At this point, we then bring it to Karla Ticas, who shoots all of our campaigns and creates all of our branding. She is instrumental in bringing our vision to life and creating that seamless cohesiveness that makes a Lee and Lani campaign look like a Lee and Lani campaign.
CM: What is your future plans for Lee + Lani, and where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?
LLS: Lisa and I plan to build Lee and Lani into a full lifestyle brand and go to an e-commerce site. We plan too expand our retail, and wholesale capacity, while influencing swimwear trends globally, and creating a cult following.
CM: Where can we find Lee + Lani swim?
We’ve been blessed to have such amazing outlets for our brand. We can be found on our site leeandlani.com of course, as well as Nasty gal, Revolve, Swell, Static, Shop Nylon, Asos, Diane’s beachwear, and Dailylook just to name a few.
CM: What are some new projects you have coming up for Lee + Lani?
LLS: We really want to break into active wear and ready to wear. Our main focus has been swim but we’re super excited to start branching out. We also have two HUGE collaborations for SS16, but we can’t spill the beans yet! All we have to say is stay tuned!