by Brooke Bobb– Vogue
When Lauren Arapage and Joshua Shaub started brainstorming their new swimwear label Anemone, they both landed on the exact same image. Comparing their individual mood boards, they discovered that they’d both pinned a photo of Kate Moss circa 1995 wearing a minimal, pastel yellow gown from Calvin Klein. “From there we started looking at more images of Kate Moss from the ’90s,” Shaub says. “The simplistic dressing at that time really seemed to mirror what we wanted to do with our swim—clean lines and nearly seamless style.” And so, just last week, their collection of sleek, hand-embroidered bikinis and one-piece suits launched exclusively on Moda Operandi, where Shaub once worked as a buyer (Arapage formerly worked in the press office at Stella McCartney). Just in time for a holiday vacation somewhere warm, the swimwear is priced between $200 and $300 and will also be available on the Anemone website, which is set to launch next month.
“From the earliest brainstorm, we knew we wanted something that would feel timeless, but also modern,” Shaub explains. “We wanted something that offered cuts that showed more skin but in a tasteful way that really highlights the body.” He adds, “We looked at Brazilian and Italian swim bodies and how much they differed from the U.S.-favored silhouettes. Ultimately, this led to our cheekier bottom and the smaller cups of our balconette top.” The entire collection is meant to be mixed and matched and also worn with a pair of jeans or shorts. The pieces are all made in Los Angeles, where Shaub and Arapage are now based full-time, though the fabric comes from Italy. “The materials are all eco-friendly and offer UV 50+ protection,” Shaub points out.
At heart, Anemone is a Southern California brand that pays homage to the surf and sand where both of the designers grew up. Though Kate Moss at the height of her waif-iness serves as the main source of inspiration to Shaub and Arapage, the pair also looked to the vibrant color palette of the Ellsworth Kelly painting Méditerranée. The name Anemone was born out of their favorite flower, likenesses of which are featured in their embroideries, along with poppies, ranunculus, and narcissi. “We realized that for our generation, there wasn’t anything like our mothers had with Eres,” Shaub says of the hole they hope to fill in the vast swim market. “We wanted to create a swimwear line that is both classic and cool.”