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Designer Glossier-Monica Wise of L*Space Swim

Saucy Glossie

Designer Glossier-Monica Wise of L*Space Swim

Lindsey Calla


With Miami Swim Fashion Week kicking off this week and summer in high gear, there is no better time to talk swimsuits.  And any girl knows that shopping for a swimsuit is like getting your fat circled during a sorority initiation (yes, that actually happens).  It can be traumatizing, depressing, and all around mean.  Unless of course, you happen to be lucky like I was, to find a suit that fits so well you actually look forward to wearing it.  The minute I stepped into the L*Space D-ring bottom, I knew I had found the one.  Monica Wise, designer of L*Space, knows exactly what it takes to instill that confidence.  

Monica will be presenting her new 2010 line on a huge platform this week.  She has been given the prestigious Mercedes-Benz Presents Designer award which supports designers that use quality materials and innovative designs.  And if that wasn't enough to warrant such an award, L*Space has also teamed up with OmniPeace for a capsule collection in which a percentage of the profits will go towards fighting poverty and promoting human rights in Africa.  
A few days before her runway show at the Raleigh, Monica gives us the gloss on her new line and spills some secrets to looking fierce in a swimsuit.
Who is the L*Space girl?  Do you design for a specific girl in mind?
The L*Space girl is fun, energetic, and sexy at the same time.  A girl that is naturally beautiful inside and out and is confident and doesn't take herself too seriously is the type of girl I design for.

What can we expect to see out of your 2010 collection?  What was the inspiration?
This season I pull from a lot of different inspirations.  Mainly, my inspiration comes from jewelry which is seen in the hardware I use and the suit is built around that.  In my OmniPeace collection, the inspiration stems from the African Shores and desert villages.  Every season I incorporate new suit styles.  We try to do something new every year to keep it interesting.  We included sexy Brazilian fit bottoms this year, and an updated version of our best seller "sexy back" halter.

How did you hook up with OmniPeace?  What was it about the cause that captured your attention?
I was approached by the foundation a while back and I have always admired what the foundation stood for.  I definitely thought it would be something that I would want to be a part of if given the chance.  The fact that they raise so much awareness for those impoverished parts of Africa and the fact that I could help in their efforts was a no-brainer for me in terms of partnering up.

 A suit from her OmniPeace collection
What trends do you think will be next in 2010 for swimsuits?
I think 80's inspired prints are going to be huge and mixing and matching solids
 with prints never goes out of style.
Your suits fit so well!  What do you focus on when it comes to fit for a bathing suit?
I design for a woman with a figure.  I'm conscious about how women feel in a swimsuit and where trouble areas are for us so I try to design my swimwear to fit the curves of a woman.  From contoured hardware, soft fabrics that won't dig, bust enhancing tops, and sexy cuts that enhance a woman's backside, L*Space has something for everyone.

A look from '09- my favorite bottom, the D-Ring

Any tricks/tips to finding a good swimsuit in a dressing room with bad mirrors and bad lighting?
It's soo frustrating trying on swimsuits in a dressing room with a bad mirror and awful lighting.  I would say always try on with a friend who's opinion you trust.  Never go alone.  I would also say if your first inclination is that you like it, you've probably found your perfect swimsuit.  The trick is to feel confident and comfortable no matter what you are wearing.
So is it confidence or maybe a good spray tan as well?
Confidence is key for sure and a GOOD spray tan to jump start your swimsuit hunt is never a bad idea!

Where is your favorite place to stay/eat in Miami?
One of my favorite hangouts in Miami is the SHORE CLUB.  I love that Nobu is located directly inside the hotel, which is another favorite of mine!

Where is your favorite beach in the world?
I haven't been yet, but my next trip is to Rio de Janeiro.  The women are sexy and the way they wear swimsuits is inspiring.

What are your must have beach items this summer?
Sunscreen for sure! I never leave home without it.  My beach necessities also include: a beach tote, L*Space towel, a tunic that I can throw on over my swimsuit to grab lunch or dinner in, gold flip flops, and LOTS of water

Do you see yourself expanding into apparel or accessories?
Definitely.  This year especially I've expanded L*Space's cover up line that actually doubles as sportswear.  I have incorporated dresses, jumpsuits, and tunics that can easily go from the beach or poolside to cocktails with the girls.
You have a great celebrity following.  Which celebrity do you feel embodies your designs the most?
I was ecstatic to see Jessica Alba wearing 3 of our swimsuits when she went on vacation.  To me, she embodies the L*Space line because she's beautiful, active, has curves, and emanates confidence.  I also would love to see Kate Hudson or Gisele Bundchen in my suits.
  Jessica Alba in L*Space 

You have a great balance of incorporating trends in your suits (like fringe for example) without making it look too much for the beach or pool.  How do you find that balance?
When following trends I've learned to keep these looks very simple and clean with use of "Basic" colors (such as black, white, etc).  It always seems to work and gives better balance to styles that are trendier.
How important is it to be this year's Mercedes-Benz Presents Designer?
It's SUCH an honor!   I would definitely say that it's super important for smaller brands like L*Space to be recognized by Mercedes-Benz as Mercedes has the means to catapult a brand to the next level.  For a company like Mercedes to believe in my designs and stand behind them, really shows the world that L*Space is a brand worth paying attention to.

We couldn't agree more, Monica.  For more information on where to purchase one of these fab suits, go to  

To learn more about OmniPeace check out