As the go-to girl for swimsuit editorials and laid-back beach fun, Tori Praever knows a thing or two about swimsuits. After years of modeling for magazinesÂ like Sports Illustrated and labels like Guess, the Hawaiian beauty is taking things to the next level with her namesake line of swimwear. MDC talks to the budding designer about growing up in Maui, what makes her bikinis special and the transition from model to mogul.
MDC: What made you want to get into designing swimwear? Have you ever designed clothing before?
TORI: I love clothes and have always had a passion for swimwear – I practically grew up on the beach. This is the first time I’ve designed, but creating my own swimwear line has always been a goal.
MDC: What makes your line of bikinis special?
TORI: All of my suits are made seamless. This is why they fit so well, and on all body types.
MDC: What do you feel are the standouts of your first collection?
TORI: Ruching is my signature – I think the standouts would be the pieces that have the most ruching detail – the Kalani and Imani styles.
MDC: How do you think being from Hawaii influenced you as a designer of swimwear? How do you think being a model influenced you?
TORI: Growing up in Hawaii, I was always at the beach. I had drawers full of bikinis and knew that I wanted to make my own eventually. Throughout my modeling career, I have met so many unbelievable people, from editors to photographers, that have encouraged and inspired me to start my own line.
Tori in her suits, photos by David Mushegain. Courtesy of Tori Praever.
MDC: You’ve been able to balance commercial work with edgier turns in magazines like V and Pop – how do you manage working both sides of the modeling world?
TORI: I really enjoy both sides of the business. It’s nice to change it up and do editorial after shooting a lot of commercial work. I really enjoy the editorial process – it allows you to be creative and artistic.
MDC: What have been some really memorable moments for you thus far as a model?
TORI: Working with photographers like Patrick Demarchelier and Ellen von Unwerth. Traveling around the world and moving to the big city! I was just a little island girl from Hawaii who had no idea what was out there until I moved to NYC by myself when I was 18.
MDC: What would you say is the most rewarding part of your job?
TORI: Getting the opportunity to travel the world and experience so many different and amazing cultures.