It's officially the season of swimwear, sunglasses, rosé, and rays. Yes, we're knee-deep in summer, which means long, languid days at the beach. While you'll undoubtedly want to kick back and relax, a seaside trip is as much about the show as it is to play for the more fashion-forward among us. So whether you're dressing to bask in the sunlight or to enjoy a campfire on the sandy shores, we've rounded up the chicest beach-ready pieces that will have you looking effortlessly fashionable.
When it comes to summer days by the sea, few things beat the excitement of picking out a brand new swimsuit. Whether you're a two-piece devotee or a full-coverage fan, this season calls for uber-feminine silhouettes in show-stopping colors. Embrace the retro-inspired shapes, unique digital prints, and vivid tones of Nigerian-Canadian designer Andrea Iyamah's expressive range–a collection that's nothing if not bold. With their high-waisted fits reminiscent of 50s style swimwear and contemporary touches, including cheeky cut-outs and unusual fabrics, Iyamah's offering is distinctly modern while retaining a statement-making retro quality. From the ruffled Salama bikini to the Eucalyptus Leaf Print Tiaca swimsuit, these pieces are all you need to make a sartorial splash. A chic alternative to the bikini, Taibo Bacar's Maio Swimsuit is just the thing if you err on the side of modesty. Made from sky blue stretch fabric embellished with a floral motif and featuring a classic scoop neckline, the style is a timeless addition to any summer wardrobe.
Representing the ultimate in versatility and wearability, what other shoe can make the seamless transition from a lazy day by the water to an elegant dinner date than the summer sandal? Consider Nigerian brand Pepper Row's exuberant take - a far cry from your standard rubber flip-flops or pool slides. Sporty, playful, and crafted by local artisans from upcycled leather, their strappy sandals are for the fearless dresser; their daring color-block style finished with Raffia fringe detailing for an eye-catching, multi-textured effect. But if you're partial to the classic summer slip-on, look no further than the pared-back silhouette and simplicity of Maliko's Aloi and Bee sandals. Made from sustainably sourced leather in the label's Lagos workshop, their neutral shades of chocolate brown and sleek wooden soles will serve you, from the sand to the sidewalk.
Towel? Check. Sunscreen? Check. Summer beach read? Check. Now for the perfect bag in which to hold it all. Bang on-trend and a classic summer staple, Cairo-based Reform Studio's roomy, two-tone Rebel Mini Tote merges traditional handloom weaving with a crucial environmental mission, while its bold color-block stripes lend it a fun, contemporary edge. Produced from a sustainable material made of upcycled plastic bags called Plastex, all of Reform Studio's creations mirror their unwavering commitment to sustainable luxury. Conventional basket bags more your speed? Jiamini's Malindi Weekender is a warm-weather, beach-ready winner. Drawing inspiration from hand-woven sisal baskets traditionally made by the Kamba people in eastern Kenya, the cotton-lined creation is a practical and eye-catching seaside companion.
Protecting your skin from harsh UV rays is a must when unwinding outdoors, but UV radiation can also negatively impact your eyes in several ways—so consider adding a layer of style to the endeavor with one of Bôhten's stylish sunnies. Boasting an aesthetic inspired by Kwahu, Ghana's rich, earthy color palette, Bôhten's exuberant collections redefine classic eyewear, their luxurious and sustainable nature offering a rustic twist on elegance. Featuring both traditional styles and more unconventional designs that utilize various materials, their collections exude a spirit that's at once modern and retro. Their contemporary spin on the classic aviator silhouette is a rose-tinted dynamic design that'll work with almost any beachside ensemble, while the nineties-inspired Ebony Rose Legend sunglasses will prove a favorite for years to come.
Perhaps you're looking to add an element of modesty or a hint of dramatic flair—whatever your motive, a thoughtfully styled swimsuit cover-up helps to bring the entire look together and makes for an easy transition from the water to the lunch table or beach bar. Andrea Iyamah leads the pack with her floor-grazing robes and kaleidoscopically patterned cover-ups, offering the same dose of feminine exuberance as her swimwear. With its bold marigold shade, seamless cut, and billowing sleeves, Iyamah's Sade Cover-Up Dress is precisely the piece you break out when going unnoticed isn't part of the plan, while the loose, extra-long silhouette and kimono-inspired sleeves of her Gamba robe will add a touch of opulent glamor to an afternoon in the sun.
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