Lifestyle plus size swimwear

Always for Me Interview with Stephanie Cohen – Head Designer at Anne Cole Swimwear

February 28, 2018

Anne Cole

Always for Me recently sat down with Stephanie Cohen, the Head Designer at Anne Cole Swimwear, to learn more about her experience in the design world, how she stays inspired, and the Anne Cole plus size swimwear collection.

Stephanie Cohen

Stephanie Cohen – Head Designer at Anne Cole.

Always for Me:
How did you get started in the fashion industry?

Stephanie:
I went to Parsons School of Design and majored in fashion design. My first internship was with Stephen Burrows, an amazing designer from the 60s-70s Halston era. I was fortunate to experience a lot of the ins and outs of the industry working with his team because it was small (only 3 people including him).

I had a couple other internships during school and my internship at Ann Taylor loft made me focus my career towards more corporate design jobs out of school. My first job was at Free People as a Design Assistant for their intimate’s team.

When I moved to Aerie, that was where I discovered my love for designing swimwear. And the rest is history!

Anne Cole Black Mesh & Floral Plus Size Swimsuit

Anne Cole Black Mesh & Floral Plus Size Swimsuit
(Click the link above to learn more)
Style# 61050

Always for Me:
How would you describe your creative process?

Stephanie:
I start by establishing our seasonal brand concept/concepts. This is very much something that happens organically.

I don’t like to force anything and will often be exploring color/prints/design elements with my team while establishing big ideas for the season as they tend to go hand in hand.

My associate designer Rachel and I built an incredible color library when we first joined the company and we re-fresh it every season based on the seasonal POV.

Once I’ve established our brand concept we move into creating our color and print distortion, which probably takes the most time.

We do not have a print/cad artist in house so Rachel, Kelly, and I often spend hours tweaking artwork and color positions- moving the pieces around until we establish our strongest story.

Stephanie Cohen and team developing the color story for the new season.

Stephanie Cohen and team developing the color story for the new season.

Always for Me:
Where do you typically look to find inspiration online and in real life?

Stephanie:
I am most inspired by vintage clothing, accessories, and textiles. I have a few go-to vendors who travel around the world curating amazing vintage collections, but I also love going to local vintage shops, and I’ve discovered some great finds on Etsy as well.

Outside of my vintage obsession, I love for my team to keep current with what’s happening on the runway each season.

Looking at ready to wear is a great way to get inspired by trends happening outside of the world of swim but also a good way to establish seasonal color and it pushes us to think outside of the box regarding design details.

Always for Me:
What do you do if you find yourself creatively stuck?

Stephanie:
It’s important to know when to step away from something and give your mind the space it needs to reset.

My team works on a lot of different brands, so when we are in the office, we are going a mile a minute and we definitely get stuck from time to time.

I try to make sure we get out when we can to get inspired by everything amazing that is around us in New York City.

Maintaining a balance between work and life is also important to preserve creativity and is something I am trying to get better at.

Always for Me:
Tell us about the current plus size swimwear collection.

Stephanie:
Our 2019 collection was inspired by the “It Girls” of the 60s-70s. Our Anne Cole muses were Audrey Hepburn and Patti Boyd.

We wanted to capture the spirit of their iconic style and pay homage to that transformative time in fashion.

We have some really stunning prints, fun fashion colors, and unexpected details I think our Anne Cole lady will really love!

Color story and initial design concepts.

Color story and initial design concepts.

Always for Me:
What is your favorite part about your job?

Stephanie:
I have an amazing team and we have a lot of fun in the studio.

The most exciting time is when we get to see things come to life.

We put a lot of work into fitting and developing each individual style in house, so it’s really exciting when it all comes together as a line and we get to share it with everyone.

Stephanie and her team

Always for Me:
Who has inspired you most throughout your career as a designer?

Stephanie:
My dad is my biggest inspiration even though his career is so different from mine.

He started as an engineer and worked his way up to the executive level. He worked and traveled a lot when I was growing up, but that gave me the drive to follow my passion and work as hard he did.

Always for Me:
What is your favorite beach town?

Stephanie:
There is a little town in Maui called Paia that I love. They have a bunch of really cute shops and an amazing restaurant called Mamas fish house. When I was there last It was pouring rain, but we still had so much fun.

Always for Me:
Where is the next place you would like to travel and why?

Stephanie:
I would love to go to Australia. I’ve never been, but it looks stunning, and it’s a perfect destination for anyone who loves swimwear and the beach 🙂

Always for Me:
What is your favorite beach must-have?

Stephanie:
An Anne Cole plus size bikini of course!

Shop the entire Anne Cole Plus Size Swimwear collection at Always for Me including Plus Size Bikinis, Plus Size Cover Ups and more. Click here.

 

Navy & White Paisley Plus Size Twist Front Bikini Top

Navy & White Paisley Plus Size Twist Front Bikini Top
(Click the link above to learn more)
Style# 10558
PAIRED WITH
Anne Cole Navy & White Paisley Plus Size Convertible Swim Brief
(Click the link above to learn more)
Style# 36058

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