BB: What led you two to launch KORE swim? When did this happen?
In early 2011, we were both living and working in San Francisco and ready for a new adventure. Jessica was designing at a small clothing boutique downtown and Nicole was working at Google in advertising sales. Getting ready for a vacation to Costa Rica, we scoured department stores and online retail sites looking for new suits to bring with us, but couldn’t find what we had in mind. We wanted a swimsuit that we could wear surfing but also look and feel chic in. That’s when a light bulb went off – if we couldn’t find swimwear we wanted to wear, why not design it ourselves? Shortly after, KORE SWIM was born …and now we finally have a closet full of functional but fashionable suits we can be excited about!
As kids, was starting a business together something that you had talked about?
We always knew we would go into business together – it just wasn’t until last year that we knew it would be designing swimwear. As kids, we were serial entrepreneurs – running lemonade stands in the summer, movie theatres in our living room in the winter, and during the big droughts of the 80s we even went door-to-door selling hose water to our neighbors. We were always a great team and so excited that our dream of starting a business together has actually cometrue!
Jessica and Nicole in Southern California as kids
BB: As sisters and business partners, how do you balance the responsibilities? Who does what? What do you each bring to the table?
In the simplest terms, Jessica is the artist and Nicole is the businesswoman. Jessica studied apparel design at Rhode Island School of Design and worked for several high-end fashion linesbefore KORE SWIM. So it makes sense that Jessica manages design, production and the creative direction of the company. Nicole studied at UC Berkeley and iscoming from a background in sales and marketing, which are two areas she manages for KORE SWIM today among many other things (accounting, anyone? J). With that said, we’re both very collaborative and our roles aren’t always so defined – and since it’s just the two of us, we both share a lot of the same responsibilities and pitch in to help each other all of the time.
BB: How has your upbringing, SO-Cal childhood influenced the brand?
As kids we lived at the beach in the summer and were lucky to have amazing swimsuit weather year-round. Thisconstant need for a great suit that you could look good in and be active in at the same time has definitely influenced KORE SWIM. Today, we wouldn’t consider ourselves beach bums (we’re too busy working J) but we love laid-back SoCal culture and relaxing on the beach and watching our little brothers surf.
Our little brother Luke, in Laguna Beach
BB: What separates KORE from the rest? What can we expect from the collection?
The unique blending of fashion and sport in our styles as well as our commitment to supporting American industry – we source and produce everything in Southern California and are proud to say that our suits are 100% made in the USA. With KORE SWIM, you can expect original designs, high quality, amazing fit and styles that will last in your closet for multiple seasons.
BB: What inspired the current collection?
For our first collection, we wanted to mix sporty, surfer chic with a retro pin-up girl look. Inspired by the 1960s poolside vibe and Cindy Crawford circa 1990, we used bold color-blocking, functional but feminine silhouettes and vintage elements like shirring and high waists. The end result is a diverse mix of styles that are both classic and modern.
Sexy, sporty Cindy Crawford
60s poolside glamour
BB: Who is the KORE girl?
The KORE girl is feminine, yet athletic and strong. She loves yoga, surfing, traveling the globe and has apenchant for the nicer things in life. She is classic and ladylike but a modern free-spirit.
BB: Next for KORE?
Watch out for a small capsule RTW collection later this year!
BB: Where can we buy KORE?
Our website (shop.koreswim.com) as well as Shopbop.com + FreePeople.com.
FILL IN THE BLANKS
Won’t leave home without… A big bottle of San Pellegrino & Ainsworths Emergency Spray
Favorite accessory… Amber-colored Persol sunglasses (Nicole) / Gray-colored Persol sunglasses (Jessica)
Jessica in KORE SWIM + her Persols
Nicole in KORE SWIM + her Persols
Beauty must-have… Nars lipstick in Heat Wave (Nicole) / Dior Lip Glow (Jessica)
Beach necessity… The latest issue of Vogue and a Blueberry Coconut Smoothie from Active Culture in Laguna Beach (both)
Signature piece… Black blazer and leggings (Nicole) / Lululemon pants and Nike Free’s (Jessica)
Currently listening to… Lana del Rey, Fleetwood Mac, Rihanna
Currently reading… The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner (Jessica) / Born to Run by Christopher McDougall (Nicole)
Would never miss a… Gwen Stefani concert (Nicole) the latest Prada/Schiaparelli exhibit at the Met NYC (Jessica)
Always inspired by… Strong, successful women (Sheryl Sandberg + Gwyneth Paltrow to name a few) and a killer Bar Method class (both)
Travel hot spot… Costa Rica for the outdoor activities + Greece for the food, wine and lounging (both)
One of our favorite spots: Santorini, Greece
My sister inspires me because… Jessica is independent, unbelievably creative and never afraid of taking risks (Nicole) / Nicole is smart, brutally honest and always can make me laugh (Jessica)
Words to live to by… Just breathe.
Jessica + Nicole in Mexico