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lisa marie fernandez, bikini queen

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My reaction to hearing that a cool stylist has whipped up a little collection is the polar opposite to the eye-rolling exasperation triggered by the latest pop tart doing, say, T-shirts. So I was thrilled this week to run into Lisa Marie Fernandez, who told me she has a new line of swimwear. Unwittingly, Fernandez has been researching a bathing suit collection all her life. She’s studied girls on beaches all over the world—Vietnam, Bali, India, St. Bart’s—and claims to be able to pinpoint nationality by bikini alone. Her own closet hold over 300 bikinis, tankinis, maillots, and what have you, ranging from $25 nothings to $700 somethings that naturally don’t get wet. (This is a girl who has her tailor refit her swimwear!) Her collection, however, called Lisa Marie Fernandez, harkens back to the suits she and her business partner/childhood friend Kristi Zoldi wore as girls in the eighties. Crafted from a luxurious neoprene-like material—that’s never been used for swim before—they’re clean-lined, with some styles color-blocked and zippered like scuba suits. It’s a sexy, strong, athletic look that’s very Ursula Andress-as-Bond girl. The different styles are named after friends who would actually wear them, e.g., the KK scuba suit-like halter bikini for surfing Kelly Klein; the Genevieve with a higher-cut bottom preferred by Genevieve Jones; and the Leigh (above), a zippered black bustier bikini loved by Leigh Lezark. Fernandez has been showing them all week to the likes of Barneys and Kirna Zabête. Best of all, these are made to use. “They look better wet,” says Fernandez.

Photo: Courtesy of Lisa Marie Fernandez

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