SUMMER ISSUE: Beach Bunny Founder Angela Chittenden on Babes, Bikinis & Inspirations.
Beach Bunny founder & creator Angela Chittenden features in our Bombshells of Summer issue. She’s been getting women beach ready for years and in the finest bikinis. Check out her interview below!
Interview by Rosie Goldberg
How did the name Beach Bunny come about?
It was funny, I actually do a lot of brainstorming during massages! I was lying on the table and had the epiphany that this name relates back to every woman’s inner “bombshell” and at the same time light hearted and fun! Perfect combination for a sexy swimwear brand!
What made you want to get into swimwear versus doing a ready to wear womens line?
I have always had a close relationship with bikinis because I have always loved being in one. Living in California, it’s part of our lifestyle!
Beach Bunny is the first swimwear line to merge swimsuits and lingerie. How did you come up with that concept?
I always have felt that a girl often feels her sexiest while wearing her lingerie but yet in the swimwear industry, there was nothing available that gave us the same feeling. A lot of us women work so hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle while balancing work and family. Why not celebrate that beautiful body while at the beach as well?
Who is the Beach Bunny girl?
The Beach Bunny girl can be any age, but we all have a few things in common:
1.) Type “A” personality – strong leader…..
2.) Not afraid to take chances
3.) Has a super “fun” side to herself! (AKA: knows how to have a good time and make others laugh!)
5.) Loves fashion and making a statement……..
Top 5 inspirations
1.) My husband and daughters. He is my rock and such an amazing entrepreneur. My daughters make me the happiest girl on earth.
2.) My dear friend Yu Tsai. He is such an inspiration in every way. A great human being and such an incredibly talented person.
3.) My entire team at Beach Bunny. I have seen so many of the girls get married and have children of their own and become these amazing working mommies and I am SO proud of them! My company feels like my family to me!
4.) Travel – I do not like to sit in one place too long and always feel the need to see the world and different cultures. I love learning about people in general and how life is lived in so many different ways. I believe that seeing the world and it’s people makes you grow as a person.
5.) People who do what they love for a living and follow their dreams even though it may not lead to the biggest paycheck. I have the upmost respect for the performing arts and watching these amazing people do what they love and create such passion inspires me beyond belief.
Who is your ultimate muse?
Beach Bunny is synonymous with bombshell with the likes of Kate Upton, Chrissy Teigen , and Irina Shayk, Candace Swanepoel, Rosie Huntington and more. All not only modeling the bikinis, but also designing capsule collections for the line as well.
Yes. I feel so grateful to have such a beautiful yet powerful team of supermodels behind the brand. These women know fashion, they live it every day. Who not better to collaborate with?! Beach Bunny believes in supporting our models in everything they pursue. The design relationship always just seems to mesh perfectly with our models because we trust their design knowledge and they trust us as well. Not to mention how much fun we have during the process and then shooting the capsule collections with Yu Tsai. It always just turns into one big family at the end of the season!
You have in some right discovered some of todays biggest bombshells before they become big name supermodels, what is your casting process? Who do you think is the next big Bombshell?
Thank you for that compliment! I really just follow my gut instinct. I don’t let small imperfections hold me back from who I like. I also believe in supporting different body shapes because every woman is different. For instance, in our runway shows we often have complete bombshells audition that may not be the typical 5’10 height for runway. But we fall in love with them and believe that they are perfect for our brand. Who can say that’s wrong for a show? They ARE perfect for Beach Bunny and we support them. As for the next big bombshell, I have a feeling that it may be this beautiful California blond that the world is gonna fall in love with……..!
You have had multiple suits featured in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition over the years and this year Kate Upton is wearing your swimsuit on the cover. How has SI Swim inspired you and also helped your brand grow?
SI was the FIRST publication to believe in the vision of the Beach Bunny brand and I will forever be grateful to them for supporting us when we were brand new “nobodies” in the industry. I can still remember my very first time setting up our trade show booth in Miami with my mom and sister. We had a really bad location on the very back corner of the convention center but we were still so excited to be there and show the first BB collection. By day 3, we hadn’t written even ONE order! Buyers were a little scared of the lingerie inspired concept and thought the suits looked too much like underwear. On the afternoon of day 3, Diane Smith and MJ Day came by the booth and I was in shock! They loved the collection and wanted a sample of the entire line! That very year, SI featured those suits in 3 double page spreads on Heidi Klum, Petra Nemcova. Even though we walked away from Miami with no store orders, launching the collection in SI Swimsuit was a dream come true for me. Thanks SI!
Every July in Miami hundreds line up to see the Beach Bunny Show what is it like prepping for that show and what is your inspiration for this years collection?
The runway shows are always so much fun for our team and we love to make them as entertaining as possible for the audience attending as well! We try not to take ourselves too seriously and make the show over the top glamorous and sexy while blasting some great throwback tunes at the same time. This year, our theme is the Cyber trend and we have some great collaborations that we will be introducing as well! Hopefully everyone has a great time!
You have 3 successful lines (Beach Bunny, Lovehaus, California Kisses) and 5 Flagship stores across the USA. What is next for the Beach Bunny empire?
Haha! Hopefully I do not pursue any more “hobbies” within the next year as my schedule is getting CRAZY with the 3 brands! They are all so much fun and each one of them is so different. In the near future, I would like to focus on some more amazing collaborations with great partners. I truly enjoy the creative projects and they don’t ever feel like “work” to me! Stay tuned.
You’re like superwoman juggling being a mom, wife, and successful businesswoman. What would the Angela today say to her past self ?
I would tell myself that life goes by extremely fast in your mid thirties but yet it’s such an important time in a woman’s life. Don’t miss the little moments with your loved ones, children, business, work friends, etc. Women are pulled in so many directions with careers, relationships and raising children and in their thirties, they are usually at the peak of all categories and sometimes with young children as well! I would remind myself to DO IT ALL and ENJOY it while I have all of these great blessings and people in my life!
6 tips to young girls out there who want to become a designer?
1.) Believe in yourself and your vision. Don’t let opinions get you down. Try to get opinions from your target market direct.
2.) Take constructive criticism well and use it as an opportunity to learn from.
3.) When you meet people that have worked in fashion industry for some time, listen to them and learn from them. Pick their brain every chance you get. This is an industry that never sleeps and the seasoned vets give AMAZING insight and advice.
4.) Always treat your models and crew with the upmost respect as they are part of your team and your brand.
5.) Learn the business side of the industry. In the end, it’s what matters.
6.) If you ever decide to open your own business, surround yourself with people that you love and take care of them. Sometimes this alone becomes more important than the designs!