Growing up in Rio de Janeiro, afternoons on the beach were part of my routine. It was a special place where I became fascinated with the different styles and characters -- a distinct world unto itself. Little did I know that years later, I would be sitting across from the designer whose bikini wear is among the most iconic of the Brazilian beach scene that so dominated my past.
Lenny Niemeyer is one of the first names that I learned when I first became interested in fashion, and she is one of the most cool, down to earth, successful bikini businesswomen of Brazil. She has her own empire of boutiques and a strong following of celebrities drawn to her unique style.
In the late '70s when she started, she says beachwear was still pretty conservative, but she decided to take a different path and buck prevailing trends. She craved a more provocative style. So, she started designing her own collections from her garage, making her first pieces with cow bones and not even really knowing how to sew.
Her creative process is still a very isolated one, but her talent and vision has made her one of the most influential names in swimwear in Brazil. Now the entire world looks to the trends emanating from the beaches that I grew up on.