Growing up in Hawaii, I lived in — and loved — bathing suits.
I had an insane collection of them as a kid, and always dreamed of starting my own swimwear brand one day.
On a 2009 trip to Bali with my then boyfriend-now husband, [pro-surfer] Danny Fuller, he mentioned that his friend’s wife owns a swimwear factory there. And while I wasn’t planning to start a brand at the time, I met with her by chance.
I showed her my sketches, she made a pattern, and [before I knew it], Tori Praver Swimwear was born.
I came back from Indonesia with a bunch of samples of my very first design: a little black bikini with a classic triangle top and a low cut brief.
It was ruched — something unique to my brand — double lined, and seamless, with no hardware.
Something super important to me, as a surfer, is that my suits can stay on in the water, while also being sexy [on the sand].
The brand took off immediately and was picked up by [nearly] every store in New York City. But it wasn’t until Sports Illustrated’s 2009 Swimsuit Issue — a magazine I had modeled for — featured the bikini that I finally felt like I made it.
— as told to The Thick