When I needed a swimsuit for my recent trip to Indonesia, I took myself over to Everything But Water in White Plains’ The Westchester, and almost immediately fell in love with a ruched cobalt blue maillot, along with a matching crocheted cover-up and one of crocheted turquoise flowers that I paired with a black maillot with a meshed sweetheart neckline. I learned then and there that you don’t have to be Esther Williams – I’m dating myself but what the heck – or look like Esther Williams to feel like a Diana Nyad.
That’s what Everything But Water can do for you. The company has all the top designers and some you’ve never heard of. But the proof is in the striking selection – serene blue, crochet, strapless bandeaus; jewel-colored maillots with angular designs; bikinis in Pop Art color blocks’ sleek black halters. All remind women that they can be sexy and sophisticated. No wonder the Orlando, Fla.-based company has stores all over the country, including a new one in Greenwich.
Still, shopping for that new swimsuit can be something of a trial. We asked Sabra Krock, who owns the company with husband Randall Blumenthal, to hold our hand:
Sabra, WAG’s May issue is all about Heating Up and women are sure to be doing just that in your company’s swimwear. Which bathing suits would you advise for the woman who wants to look hot and for the one who wants to be cool and sophisticated under the sun?
“The best suit is the one that makes you feel beautiful and confident. It’s fun and exciting to follow the latest trends in silhouettes and styles, but truly you’ll look and feel your best in a great-fitting suit that flatters your best features. Also, wardrobing your resort look works wonders. You’ll look chic and sophisticated in a cover-up, hat and accessories.”
You have stores all over the United States, including one at The Westchester in White Plains and a new one in Greenwich. Do you attribute Everything But Water’s popularity to working with top designers like Michael Kors and Robin Piccone?
“We attribute our success to our fit and style expertise, our commitment to customer service and the breadth and depth of our year-round selection. We offer head-to-toe resort fashion in a relaxed, luxurious shopping environment with a carefully curated mix of each season’s best looks.”
What are some of the trends you’re seeing in swimwear this season? I myself think Piccone’s crochet bandeau is divine.
“I love that suit, too. It’s feminine and sleek at the same time. The summer trends we are most excited about include crochet, pastels and green (due to emerald being Pantone color of the year).”
What’s the one mistake women make when purchasing a swimsuit?
“Not getting the right fit. Finding the right fit requires a great salesperson and some patience to try on a number of styles and brands to find what works best for you.”
As you’ve suggested, accessories have become very important in swimwear. Should the cover-up, sandals, hat etc. be matchy, matchy or should they be about mix and match?
“Style is very personal and there is no right or wrong. Some women love a coordinated look and others like to play with different trends and styles.”
Your website features links to your artistic and charitable programs. Tell me about these.
“As a company, we are passionate about supporting charitable causes, especially female-related causes, given that we are primarily a company of women for women. In particular, we put a lot of time and effort behind breast cancer support and awareness, supporting Living Beyond Breast Cancer with sales of a dedicated product every October. In November, we also support lung-cancer prevention and treatment with a shopping event that supports LUNGevity. Lung cancer kills more women every year than breast cancer.
“We also love to feature artists that share a similar passion and sensibility to our brand.”
How did you meet fine art photographer Karine Laval, whose haunting pool images grace your site? (See related story.)
“We have a program called Art in Store, in which we feature on a rotating basis artists whose work is water-themed. We are lovers of art and it’s our privilege and pleasure to give special artists we find exposure in our store and bring beautiful art to our customers. Before Karine, we featured Christian Chaize and next we will show the work of Kerry Mansfield.”
Same fantasy question I asked Karine: You’re by the pool, a day off. What are you reading? What are you sipping? What are you wearing? And who are you with?
“Reading a fashion magazine – in particular I adore The New York Times’ T magazine – sipping a fruity cocktail like the ones we provide… and splashing around with my husband and our 4-year-old son.”