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Fashion Forward: Lila Nikole

In midst of Miami Swim Week, Boca Magazine decided to catch up with swimsuit designer Lila Nikole Rivera to talk about her new “La Flor” collection that is set to debut on July 19 at 1 Hotel (2341 Collins Ave, Miami Beach).

Boca Mag: Why did you start designing bathing suits?

Lila: I stumbled into being a swimwear designer. I discovered I had a niche and way of manipulating patterns to grace the curves of women and decided to pursue it into a business.

Boca Mag: What was your first collection like?

Lila: Oh man, it was all over the place. I just made pieces. They were not cohesive, just lots of one offs. I think I eve put them in a fashion show with fur shawls…It was bad.

Boca Mag: When did your company, Lila Nikole Collection, really take off?

Lila: 2011 is when I realized I had a great brand, and people started really loving the pieces. We did some major TV programs and were featured in magazines, which helped solidify that I was here to stay!

Boca Mag: How have your designs and your brand changed over time?

Lila: I have been listening to my girls. My customers reach out to me, send images, and share their “wants” or “likes.” I listen, and I do try to add the feedback into the design process. Adding new selections, silhouettes, mix and match options and variety broadens each collection. This collection has more resort wear, and I also added some sporty pieces that can be used at the gym.

Boca Mag: What is unique about the La Flor collection?

Lila: My prints! They are all original. I am a graphic designer, so I used that gift to create some depth, wild movements, interesting placements and patterns that give the illusion of curving the body.

Boca Mag: What is your favorite piece from this new collection? Why?

Lila: My favorite piece is the Rainbow Kaftan. It’s long and glamorous, and the print is very vibrant, fun and drapes gracefully over the body. This is one of the pieces in the line that caters to all women of different sizes, ages, etc.

Boca Mag: What has been your most accomplished moment as a designer?

Lila: I was featured on BET Rip The Runway. There was a moment right before I went on stage where I caught eye contact with my best friend. Her and I talked about building a brand, and I actually made it. I was able to achieve this grand moment right before my fashion show aired to millions of viewers. It was a special moment where we both felt like we had arrived. She was there from the beginning and saw the struggle to get to that point. I have been blessed with some awesome events, but this is something that I cherish.

Boca Mag: What is the future for Lila Nikole Collection?

Lila: Growth! Expansion! I am ready to add a kids line. I am ready to add more resort wear, accessories and our flag ship store.