Interview with Amahlia Stevens of Vitamin A Swimwear

Sweet Swimwear

Amahlia Stevens of Vitamin A Swimwear

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Amahlia Stevens, founder and designer of Vitamin A Swimwear, has an eye for elegance, beauty and contour. Her swimwear is meticulously etched and created for sheer, figure-flattering perfection. Stevens is an architect who designs a swimsuit with clean lines and precision that is pleasing to the eye and the client. By slipping on one of her designs, you could be an infamous jet setter in Amalfi, Ibiza or St. Tropez strolling with cool nonchalance, flair and confidence.

It’s a sublime mindscape worth traveling because A-Listers adorn themselves with her swimwear. The collection is a mix of natural “Californified” beach beauty, luxury, chic international appeal with an effortless style that will keep it as a coveted item for most sea mavens. This Laguna Beach native and mother of twin girls shared with FINE Magazine how her swimwear is her creative existence.

Where did you come up with the name Vitamin A?
Before I started making bikinis, I had a freelance design consulting firm based in Laguna. I worked for companies big and small, and they all came to me for a revitalization, or a Californiazation... I worked for Levis, Patagonia, Authentic Fitness, and they all had me doing capital brands.

I didn’t have a name for the longest time for my design firm; I just called it AS Designs. I [wanted] something clever. I was reading a milk container one day, and it [said] Vitamin A & D, and I thought there’s gotta be something there! So I decided to leave it Vitamin A and D for designs, and then I kept it at Vitamin A since that was the name of my design firm.

Vitamin A Swimwear

How long has Vitamin A Swim- wear been in business?
Since 2000.

Did you start alone?
Yes, I did. There used to be – it’s no longer here – an old-fashioned custom swimwear store in Laguna Beach. I went in there with my Calvin Klein bathing suit, and I had them chop it up and cut it into what I wanted the shapes to be, and eventually the owner introduced me to somebody that could make patterns – because I didn’t know anything about making patterns... I was always a beach girl, and I always went to the beach when I was in college, so I certainly had personal knowledge, but no technical.

What sets Vitamin A apart?
We’re all about sexy, sun-kissed California beauty. There is an understanding or commitment to a design process, design sensibility and a design aesthetic that really sets Vitamin A apart.

Vitamin A Swimwear

Do you think being from Laguna Beach has broadened your creativity?
Absolutely. I was born and raised here, it’s part of my DNA, and I think that comes through in the designs. My technical background – not being from this industry – also sets Vitamin A apart. I went to school at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and my degree is in Illustration. Anybody [who] knows about that school knows it’s very rigorous, and it’s very much about “form follows function” – really learning the rules before you can break them. Although I never learned the technicalities of fashion in school, I learned the principles of design.