Swimwear The Mind Behind the Design

Rebecca Virtue Designs California-Cool Swim Everyone Can Wear

We always love getting to know the person behind her namesake label. That includes Rebecca Virtue, the creative director of two of our very favorite swim brands, Becca and Becca Etc.

Born and raised in California with an interior designer for a mother, Rebecca grew up surrounded by the beach lifestyle and great design, both of which she channels into her work every day. She was good enough to let Bare Necessities take a look inside her head to find out what makes these labels so fun, fashionable and flattering.

Pop Culture The Mind Behind the Design

Spring Refresh with Elomi

Liesl Goodman, head of design, is the creative mastermind behind lingerie and swimwear brand Elomi, which launched in 2008 to serve women with curves. Elomi really led the charge in offering gorgeous lingerie with excellent fit, support and design for full figures—hugely underserved back then and marginally improved since.

Right now, Elomi is all about cultivating an intimates wardrobe so fabulous, it effortlessly inspires its devotees to stay in style every day (motivation we could especially use lately).

In Bare Necessities’ exclusive interview with Liesl, find out what’s new and exciting for you this very moment.

The Mind Behind the Design

Michael Thomson of Pour Moi is the Man who Creates Swim Women Love

Michael Thomson is the mind behind Pour Moi, the genius fashion-forward bra-sized swimwear label.

Trained as an accountant, Michael started his career at Marks & Spencer, the leading U.K.-department store, as a merchandiser in the lingerie department. When he noticed a serious lack of well-priced, pretty lingerie and swimwear, Michael launched Pour Moi in 2005.

The brand has been called “the best kept secret” in the business, and Michael is big part of the reason why. “Because I don’t wear bras myself, I’ve always been able to think more clearly about what women want,” he says. “It’s helped me challenge preconceptions.”

Like, say, how to make swimwear that’s as flattering as it is functional without costing an arm and a limb. Style signatures like bold colors and strong prints, in 30D to 42I, always acknowledge the season’s trends without being bound by them. Michael sees Pour Moi’s mandate as to come up with new ideas without looking at what other brands are doing. “Does it look fabulous? Does it fit? Is it something you would love to own?” These are the questions he and his team pose of every piece.

“You should feel fabulous in it as soon as you put it on; if you don’t, we’re not doing our job,” he says of suits designed with hidden underwires, supportive straps and as much convertibility as possible. “Age is not a category,” Michael says. “Pour Moi is all-encompassing—it’s for me, for you, for everyone.”

The Mind Behind the Design

Tina McMillen Built PJ Harlow Around Sexy Comfort

Though we carry the biggest sleepwear brands on the market, it’s the small L.A.-based PJ Harlow that’s become the most popular of them all here at Bare Necessities.

What is it about this satin-centric, mix-and-match collection that resonates so intensely with women of all ages? That’s an easy one: It looks as amazing as it feels.

We chatted with creator Tina McMillen about her design philosophy, her business sense and how Oprah changed everything. 

The Mind Behind the Design

What Dita Von Teese Wants to Wear This Season

There are lingerie lovers, and then there is Dita Von Teese.

The inimitable burlesque star and intimates designer makes a habit of surrounding herself with glamour; its transformative power can’t be overstated. For Dita, a lifelong connoisseur of vintage underpinnings, it all starts with conjuring up the lingerie she most wants to wear, and it ends with inspiring untold fans to do the same.

Bare Necessities got an exclusive chance to ask the lovely Dita what she’s up to for spring and beyond, the inspiration behind her newest designs and what she’s personally most excited about putting on which, coming from her, is really saying something.

The Mind Behind the Design

Celebrating Elomi’s 10th Anniversary with Designer Liesl Goodman

Since its start a decade ago, Elomi has firmly established itself as the go-to full-figure brand, first for lingerie and later for swimwear up to a K-cup.

“A great fit has always been a given and now more than ever, there is fashion like you wouldn’t believe,” says Bare Necessities buyer Heather Viskovic, who cited Elomi as her fastest-growing brand.

For Elomi’s tenth anniversary, we got to talk with Liesl Goodman, head designer, about why the label is on the up and up, year after year, and what it does for the women who wear it.

The Mind Behind the Design

Sunsets is This Season’s Swim Brand to Know

Though Sunsets has been in swimwear since 1984, the brand’s star is still on the rise.

Sunsets started in the land of swim style, otherwise known as Southern California, back​ when everyone was still buying bikinis in sets; ​shopping for tops and bottoms in two different sizes was literally ​impossible​. Their point of difference: selling swim separates, an unheard-of innovation in the industry at the time. These days, Sunsets is known as a sophisticated lifestyle brand, beloved for both its bra-sized separates and figure-flattering designs. It’s a family business, too: Founder Janette Van Doren brought on her son-in-law Greg Stager, who took on ownership after a couple of years. Now 35 years later, Sunsets still charts the industry’s course to strategic style.

This season, Bare Necessities has also partnered with Sunsets to create exclusive prints and silhouettes that can only be found at

“Our customer always wants more tankinis, and Sunsets has been one of our go-to brands for years, so it was only natural that we work with them to put together the best tankinis in their best prints, in addition to us creating a few of our own!” says swimwear buyer Megan Puma. The London Calling, Black Dot, Imperial Dot and Moroccan Dreams collections are standouts from Sunsets you’ll find only at Bare Necessities.

We interviewed Greg as well as designer Julie Franco to find out what makes Sunsets so singular.

Personal Style Power Figures The Mind Behind the Design

Dora Lau, Founder of Curvy Couture, on What Women Really Want

Sometimes, fate meanders, bringing us baby step by baby step to places in life we never could’ve predicted.

Sometimes, it’s a straight shot.

Looking at Dora Lau’s success, you can almost see it preordained, each dot connecting sequentially and building on the last lesson at the optimal moment. Dora evolved from a curvy teenager searching for the right clothes she could never seem to find to a fashion stylist to a lingerie trailblazer, founding Dora L International, Inc. in 1991 and racking up the accolades. In 2012, she laddered up another level when she launched Curvy Couture, her self-funded label for women much like herself, with elevated expectations and a taste level to match.

Bare Necessities interviewed Dora about that process of finding your calling and achieving your dream—not just down the road, but every day.

Personal Style Pop Culture Power Figures The Mind Behind the Design

Dita Von Teese on Redefining Glamour

Among lingerie devotees specifically and appreciators of beauty and style in general, Dita Von Teese needs no introduction. She is an iconoclast and an icon, a modern muse and of another era entirely, a larger-than-life dynamo in a soft-spoken, petite package.

Born Heather Sweet, the self-described “mediocre-looking blonde girl from a farming town in Michigan” fell under the spell of Hollywood’s Golden Age of Cinema and, at a time when the rest of America’s youth was grunging out in flannel and combat boots, set out to remake herself in its raven-haired, red-lipped image. When she discovered that many of the glamorous screen sirens she admired were also dancers, she adopted her stage name and learned the art of the striptease. Since 1992, Dita has been synonymous with burlesque and can be single-handedly credited with its revival. Everything she touches, from her Swarovski crystal-bedecked sets and couture costumes to her lingerie collection and new hosiery line—reflects her impeccable eye for detail.

This past month, hours before the final sold-out New York performance of her latest show, “The Art of the Teese,” Dita visited Bare Necessities to tell us firsthand about her collection—both iconic styles (like Madame X) and new additions (like her Instagram fan-selected shade of emerald green)—and how she turned herself into a Power Figure. Read on for our exclusive interview.

Inner Beauty Power Figures The Mind Behind the Design

Sophia Berman and Laura West, Founders of TRUSST Lingerie, are Reinventing the Bra

Truss (noun): structural frames based on the geometric rigidity of the triangle
Trussed (verb): tied, bound or fastened
Trust (noun): confidence; a thing on which one relies

Bras are impressive feats of architecture in their own right, but they haven’t changed all that much in the last, oh, century. That is, until Trusst Lingerie came along.

The renegade bra company was co-founded a little over two years ago by Sophia Berman, CEO, and Laura West, chief product officer. This month’s Power Figures studied industrial design at Carnegie Mellon University, met later in life at a design firm and—both crafty and interested in textiles—soon found themselves wondering if bras couldn’t stand to be improved. Reinvented, even.

“We were talking about how much bras suck, how the underwires stab you, straps dig, and we said, ‘There’s got to be a different way to do this,’” said Laura. “The underwire isn’t a totally flawed system, but we knew there was room for improvement—for all women.” The general public seemed to agree: Their 2015 Kickstarter campaign raised $80,000, flying past the $25,000 goal they set.