Not so long ago, a group of friends gathered for a weeklong birthday celebration in the U.S. Virgin Island of St. John. Under normal circumstances, this would be a pretty fun time. After all, St. John, with its sparkling turquoise waters, lush tropical forests, and undeveloped coasts, is a pretty fun place. But when the birthday girl in question also happens to be the designer behind NYC-based swimwear line Giejo, you can guess it was an exceptionally stripe-tastic time, too.
Gabby Sabharwal and I have been friends for years. We met through work — she a fashion publicist, me an editor — and became instant friends. In fact, it was during one of our first dates, over too many margaritas and too-funny gossip in a scrappy back garden in Soho, where Gabby told me of her plans to launch a swimwear line and call it Giejo. The idea, she said, was to create a full-on sustainably-made swim wardrobe of flattering tops and bottoms that could be mixed and matched in whatever combination the wearer preferred. Stripes, prints, solids, high-waists, string tie, boy shorts, bandeaus — a total riot of color and silhouette that would make for the ultimate personalized swimwear rotation. When she showed me one of the first samples, a floral print boy short with a diagonal inset of stripes across the front and a floral print butterfly bandeau top, I wanted it immediately. It's worth mentioning that, in addition to being an excellent margarita-drinking buddy and workout co-hort, Gabby is also one of the most innately stylish ladies I know. So, it wasn't hard to imagine that her line of swimwear would be a hit.
Fast forward many years later and it's true. Giejo is sold everywhere from Madewell to Shopbop and has been written about everywhere from WWD to Vogue. Somewhat weirdly though, I'd never had a chance to wear any of her amazing suits myself. Until St. John that is, where, true to her generous nature, Gabby had a whole stack of Giejo waiting for all of us girls to wear. If you think you can't wear a high-waisted bikini, try one from Giejo. I like them because they cover exactly what you want to keep covered while lounging around on a boat eating chips and drinking beers, which is pretty much my favorite thing ever to do. Even Thomas agrees that, with their vaguely retro vibe, those high-waisted cuts are surprisingly sexy. Now, I'm extra hooked for real.