Swimwear, The Mind Behind the Design

Rebecca Virtue Designs California-Cool Swim Everyone Can Wear

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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.

Becca designer Rebecca Virtue

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.
A: I’ve been influenced by design my entire life. In fact, I found myself sewing clothes and putting together fashion shows throughout my adolescent years. This unwavering passion propelled me to study design, which gave me the confidence to pursue fashion with an open mind and a fearless spirit. Back then, there wasn’t a “designer” approach to swimwear. My intuition told me that swimwear needed a fresh perspective and that I had the creativity and leadership skills to take the challenge head-on.

Q: How did you get to where you are today?
A: My passion and perseverance in my craft led me to Lunada Bay Corporation, where I remain as the Chief Design Officer and owner to this day. Lunada Bay was once only a licensee company carrying brands like OP, Bebe, Hurley and 90s “it” brand, Mossimo. With my leadership, Lunada Bay evolved into a major player in the swimwear design world with its in-house Becca line and sister brands Becca Etc., Isabella Rose and SOLUNA.

Q: What are you juggling on any given day?
A: It’s my job to make sure everyone is focused and meeting our deadlines. Most of my day is spent in meetings with our design team to discuss prints, colors and silhouettes for our next collections. One of the many things I love about my staff and the way we work is that I can have an idea in the morning and see it come to life by the afternoon. It’s so much fun to watch a design transform from a sketch to the sewing room, and then see it in motion on models. I spend a good two hours a day in the fit room making sure that our swimwear fits a variety of bodies. Most of my design work seems to take place on the weekends; there’s never enough time during the week. It’s a good thing that my work is my hobby and passion!

Q: How would you describe your brands? Who is Becca for?
A: Becca by Rebecca Virtue is a contemporary brand that pays close attention to trends and detail. We always focus on wearable design with a modern, stylish edge. Each collection is based on separates, offering a wide range of options that allows women to create their perfect suit. Combining exclusive fabrics and prints with a flawless fit, Becca offers distinctive silhouettes, signature cover-ups and stylish lightweight tunics, striking a balance between sexy and delicate femininity.

Q: How about Becca Etc.?
A: An extension of Becca, Becca Etc. is a contemporary brand that celebrates the curvy woman in a modern, ultra-chic way. Exquisite fabrications and unique details evoke effortless grace with an unapologetic edge. With sexy silhouettes and flattering fits, the collection brings out the sassy style and inner confidence that I believe is in everybody.

Q: What sets your swimwear apart from all the rest?
A: My collections are designed first and foremost with my customer in mind. Sure, we access trend forecasting recaps from industry experts, but it’s important to look deeper at those trends to narrow down what’s right for my audience. The Becca girl knows who she is. She’s authentic to the core, fashionable and sophisticated. She cares more about wearing what flatters her unique silhouette as opposed to flaunting it all for someone else. The most important question I ask during the design process is, “Will this trend flatter her silhouette and body type?” All in all, I design for a real woman’s body, so I take trends and sculpt them to fit her, rather than fitting her into the trend of the moment.

Q: What are your priorities when designing?
A: So much of who I am as a human being and a designer is built on my instincts. No matter the outcome, I have learned that I must trust my instincts at all times. At the end of the day, you have to do what you think is right for your brand. Never hesitate to speak your mind and follow your gut. Be true to yourself.

“So much of who I am as a human being and a designer is built on my instincts. Never hesitate to speak your mind and follow your gut”

Q: What have you found women want out of their swimwear?
A: My customer never wants to sacrifice the quality of her swimsuit. Women of all ages are attracted to Becca because they can wear it anywhere and feel comfortable. There’s a style to fit any mood, destination or event. More than that, you can be confident that your suit will never wear, tear or fade.

Q: How do you know when you’ve created a great style?
A: When I try a swimsuit on a variety of shapes and sizes and it looks great on everyone…including me!

Q: What advice do you wish you could give women looking for their perfect swim fit?
A: Experiment! Try on different silhouettes to find what’s most flattering on her individual body. Comfort is key; don’t feel forced to follow the trends if they’re cumbersome. Embrace your curves, and remember that soon you will be lounging by the pool or out at the beach or lake having fun and relaxing.

Q: Where do you find inspiration?
A: Walking along the beach or taking off to Catalina Island, I constantly have my eyes open for fresh inspiration. It’s so important to look outside of oneself and to absorb your surroundings. Even the simple act of looking down at your friend’s shoes can inspire the cleverest ideas! From our buyers to my design team, I am surrounded by a highly skilled and extremely inspiring team of creatives. We work together to decipher the hottest trends and silhouettes. Sometimes I even find inspiration from my daughter! Bringing home suits and seeing which ones she covets and which ones she gives away provides me so much joy in addition to key learnings about how my designs are perceived by a younger demographic.

I designed the 2020 collection almost a year ago, when there was more freedom for inspiration. This next season will challenge most designers around the world, so we will all need to dig deep and focus on what she truly needs, without travel for inspiration.

Q: What’s ahead that’s new and exciting?
A: The evolution of Becca has, in many ways, driven the evolution of our company. I want to expand into other product lines in the future.  My dream is to design accessories to dress a woman from head-to-toe for her vacation. I look forward to adding stylish hats, bags, sandals and jewelry to our swim and resort collections to help complete her look.

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Brooke Glassberg
Brooke is the editor of this here blog. In a previous life, she was an editor at Good Housekeeping and O, The Oprah Magazine. Brooke has written for Glamour, Travel+Leisure, New York Magazine and more. She’s into concerts, travel and her exceptionally adorable daughter and husband.
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