The City Magazine Since 1975

Summer Swim Fashions: Meet the Designers

Morgan Smith, founder

minnow (

Morgan Smith, founder  

Year launched: 2016

Inspiration: “We were on a home exchange for the summer in London—while an English family was living in our home in California, we were enjoying Europe. One weekend, we took a trip to the Amalfi coast, and before we left, I went on a hunt for a swimsuit for my 14-month-old son, Theo. I remember feeling so disappointed in the lack of options out there. I envisioned a simple, clean design with a great fit that hit above the knee. As soon as we got home from our time abroad, I went straight to work and that’s when minnow’s first style, the boardies, was born!”

Swimwear style tip: “Beauty in simplicity.” 

Summer plans: “Headed to the West Coast for a California summer. We’re excited to spend the summer with family, in my hometown Laguna Beach. My son, Theo, is enrolled in the junior lifeguard program, a third-generation tradition. Now living on the East Coast, the summers give us the ability to connect back to our West Coast roots and spend time with family.”

Fave beach: “West Coast: Three Arch Bay in Laguna Beach, California, is the beach I grew up on and will always be a special spot. East Coast: Sullivan’s Island is my family’s favorite when we’re home in Charleston—only a bike ride away.”

Where sold: “This summer, we’re opening our third store in the heart of downtown Charleston. This will be Minnow's flagship—and it’s the perfect location on the corner of King and Queen streets.”


River Collection (

Noelle Marchese, River Collection founder

Noelle Marchese, founder 

Year launched: 2022

Inspiration: “I have been designing for more than 20 years and have created brands sold at Anthropologie, Urban outfitters, Nordstrom, and more than 200 boutiques across the USA. I wanted to make a very feminine but bold mix-and-match collection to turn heads inspired by vintage silhouettes and prints.”

Swimwear style tip: “One-pieces can be styled as bodysuits! Get creative with them and go from beach to chic.”

Summer plans: “My husband surprised me for my 40th birthday this year with a trip to Taormina, Sicily, where White Lotus was filmed. We plan on eating and shopping our way through the most beautiful cities!”

Fave beach: “I love going to Isle of Palms (IOP) because it's an easy walk from parking to the ocean. I have two kids, and they come with a lot of baggage when it’s a beach day. I really need to invest in a wagon! When we leave the kiddos home, I also love IOP because The Windjammer is one of my fave spots to see great music.”

Where sold: and the Showroom in Mount Pleasant



Alia Yahia-Bosworth, cofounder

Alia Yahia-Bosworth, cofounder

Year launched: 2022

Inspiration behind the brand: “Three years ago, Joyann hosted a pool party at her home. We were in the pool, and someone said to Chrissy, ‘Honey, your bra is showing!’ Joyann and I both tuned in immediately to the idea of wearing a bra under swim for lift and support as a genius idea, and Chrissy explained it’s been her go-to trick for years. Joyann, Chrissy, and I set out to create the first-ever swim bra engineered for the water and designed to be worn underneath a swimsuit. We called our debut collection of swim bras Aqualingerie™.

The three of us have more than 50 combined years working in fashion (Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, Saks, and Ralph Lauren are just a few headlines from our joint resumes), so between us we’ve seen everything. We are all fashion lovers and found as our bodies and lifestyles were evolving our wardrobe options weren't keeping up—especially when it came to swimwear. As we were developing the bra, we found an incredible French fabric that has four times more compression than regular swimwear and were inspired to create a full swimwear brand to solve all of our customers’ swim challenges. We ended up launching with a system of bras, chic swimwear with shapewear built-in, and smart cover-ups to complete your look.”

Swimwear style tip: “Many women think of swimwear as just their swimsuit, but the key to feeling poolside confident is a plan, not just pieces. I always advise women to think in swim looks vs. separates, the same way you would shop for all the accessories and undergarments to go with a styled evening or workout look. We built STYLEST as a system of swim solutions that seamlessly style together. Buying a complete look ensures you are set up for success (with no guesswork of what to wear) for everything a day at the pool really means: the snack bar, happy hour, kiddie pool, and more!”

Summer plans: “Lots of magic hour sand castles with my 17-month old, Lillian, on IOP”

Fave beach: “Sullivan’s Island—you’re never far from a delicious post-beach Co-Op Frose!”

Where sold: We do pop-ups in Charleston and Daniel Island throughout the swim season, and we just launched at

Tara Grinna Swimwear (

Tara Grinna, founder

Year launched: 1992. From 1987 to 1992, I designed custom swimwear from my store in Myrtle Beach—la plage.  We stopped making custom swim by the mid to late ’90s.

Inspiration: “When I was creating custom swimwear for clients in the mid 1980s (my first job out of design school was for a small custom swimwear shop in Palm Beach, Florida), I quickly realized a need for luxury swimwear with an American inclusive fit, and the ‘Original Designer Swim Separates’ was born. Our exclusive fabrics came from Italy and compared with top European brands of the time.”

Swimwear style tip: “Don’t assume you need to size up with our brand. Also, prints can be just as slenderizing as solids if you choose the right print… allow our stylists to help!”

Summer plans: “Traveling to Norway, where we are renovating a home.”

Fave beach: “The beach at the Dunes Club in Myrtle Beach”

Where sold: The Shops at Charleston Place