JADE Swim was founded by former fashion editor and stylist, Brittany Kozerski. The brand prides itself on its minimalist designs and neutral color palette that are inspired by New York City. The swimwear brand is based in Los Angeles and what we love most about it – the designs are meant to take you from day to night, from the beach to the cafe to your evening out. We are loving this minimalist brand and spoke with Britt to get all of the details.
MalenDyer: You had a professional career before starting your business. Share with us about making the transition from working for someone to having your own business.
Brittany Kozerski: Honestly, I always wanted to be a fashion designer and have a line. I originally wanted to go to fashion school for that, but while interning at a fashion magazine during college, I fell in love with the magazine industry. I wanted to pursue that career first and explore that world. When I really got serious about the line, I decided it to do it January 2016, and I launched at Miami Swim Week in July 2016. I was connected to an amazing swim factory in Los Angeles, and we hit it off. They were able to execute all of my designs to complete the collection for Miami Swim Week 2016.
“Honestly, I always wanted to be a fashion designer and have a line.”
MD: How has your time working as a stylist prepared you for becoming a swimwear designer?
BK: Working as a stylist was a huge preparation for the line, but even more so working as a stylist assistant to some of the biggest stylists in the industry. From interning at Vogue and having the opportunity to work on shoots with legends like Grace Coddington and Tonne Goodman to a whole array of other stylists throughout my career, they were always searching for the perfect minimal, chic one-piece or bikini for every kind of shoot – regardless if it was swim-related or not, even just to layer under a couture skirt or runway look. I found it so interesting there weren’t many options in the market. Of course when I started to style, I ran into the same issue and finally decided it was time to solve this problem.
MD: In addition to finding inspiration for the line in your professional life, did you also find inspiration in your personal life?
BK: I also personally couldn’t find swim options I related to and loved. I have a very New York City, minimal style and that’s hard to find in the swimwear market. Many options are feminine, embellished, brightly-colored, etc.. I wanted options that I knew I and my friends would love – swimwear that did the talking for itself but also could be layered with jeans or skirts or as a bodysuit and was also swimwear that didn’t clash with beachwear accessories or cover-ups.
MD: You leverage “high tech” fabrics. Share with us the challenges and/or successes you had when sourcing these fabrics.
BK: I love our fabric because it has so many qualities, and I’m so lucky I was introduced to the company that makes it in Italy. The fabric is sustainable (made from recycled materials), has shape retention (which I love because the silhouette won’t stretch out) and has UV protection (so important). It’s nice to see the customers are caring about the sustainability factor and the UV protection qualities.
MD: What are your non-negotiable(s) when it comes to your designs?
BK: Color is an absolute non-negotiable for me. Some feedback has been to add brights or neons, but that’s not the vision I have for the line. I created this line to live in the world of muted neutrals, black and white – especially for the customers I am targeting and also so the pieces can easily transition as non-swim bodysuits, undergarments or layering pieces. Maybe one day, I’ll venture into the brights, but right now, customers are loving having a swimwear option that specializes in tonal, muted neutrals.
“I created this line to live in the world of muted neutrals, black and white.”
MD: What has been the most valuable lesson you have learned since launching your own business?
BK: To stand my ground and be confident in my decision. Everyone you meet starting a line or running a line will have opinions on what you should and shouldn’t do. The biggest thing is to trust your intuition and believe in your choices. That has been the biggest key to success for me and the line.
MD: Describe your relationship with social media.
BK: Press has been so unbelievably supportive. What I’m proud of is the support has come from editors I know, but also from a lot of editors I had never met or worked with that genuinely love the line and understand what hole in the market I was trying to fill by launching it.
BK: I love using Instagram because it creates a visual storyboard where people can see your vision for the line. I think it’s honestly the only place you can communicate that so openly.
MD: Although founded just last year, is there a certain piece you would consider core to your brand?
BK: Definitely the Muse Scoop Top. It has been one of our bestsellers. The inspiration was an Elle McPherson picture from the 90s and customers are loving it. Many wear it as swimwear and love the support in the front but also the minimal back band. A lot of customers also wear it under crop tops or sheer tops, for example, to give their look another layer – it has enough support to be an undergarment in that capacity. I don’t see this style getting retired anytime soon.
MD: You were inspired by NYC, but JADE is made in LA. What is your favorite downtime activity when you are in either city?
BK: While in NYC, I love the pop-up markets in the summertime, everything from amazing vintage clothing to fruit and flower markets. It’s exciting because you never know what you’re going to find.
BK: In LA, I always love to do outdoor activities. I love to get a good outdoor workout or hike in or grab a bite to eat at a restaurant in Malibu.
MD: Lastly, what is your favorite way to accessorize JADE?
BK: I love our one-pieces worn with cut off jean shorts. This look takes you from the beach to the city, from day to night, from chill to party.