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July 31 2014

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From PR To Design, An Industry Insider Crosses The Aisle

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New York-based designer Gabby Sabharwal sings the same tune as most women when it comes to shopping for swimwear: “I find it stressful—the fitting rooms have those weird lights, there’s always those annoying stickers in the suits, and I could never find anything that fit me correctly,” she tells Style.com. “The ones that did fit would be too skimpy. I thought, ‘I can’t be in front of my dad or my boyfriend’s family in this.’ “

Her solution was to found her own collection of printed swimsuit separates, Giejo, to address these concerns. All her tops and bottoms are sold individually, for mix-and-match effect. “Girls today mix high and low, and with my swimwear you can do the same,” the designer says. “The biggest thing is you don’t want to see yourself on the beach and have other girls in the exact same thing—this way that won’t happen.”

Giejo is Sabharwal’s first foray into the world of design, after years of working as a fashion publicist. Despite her lack of formal design training, she found her work experience was on her side. “Working in PR, I was always nervous that I wouldn’t be taken seriously because I didn’t have a full design background, but everyone and all of the designers were so encouraging and wanted to help make it happen,” she says. Tucker’s Gaby Basora was particularly encouraging. So were retailers. The debut Giejo collection hits stores, including New York’s Creatures of Comfort and L.A.’s Madison boutiques, in late February, and an exclusive collection for Barneys New York, made up of Aztec and floral prints, arrives on the retailer’s shelves in late spring—just in time for beach weather.

Photo: Courtesy of Giejo

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