Ipek Irgit, a designer of the social media generation, is getting into the swim with her colorful crocheted pieces.
“I used to only buy my bikinis in Brazil,” admits Ipek Irgit, the girl behind Kiini Swimwear. “They were the only ones that fit me and I loved the shape and cut. Ultimately, I needed a bikini for myself, so I figured, why not make one?” Encouraged by her friend Serge Becker, the co-owner of Jamaican-joint Miss Lily’s, the Turkish designer launched her first collection—which she describes as “playful, not slutty”—in 2012. “Serge suggested we sell them at the restaurant’s boutique. So a few months later we did a launch party at Miss Lily’s, and I gave a few to Surf Bazaar and the Webster just to see what would happen. One week later the stores called me saying they were completely sold out and asked me to send more,” she says. Fast forward to this past January, when the model/actress Dree Hemingway posted a photo on Instagram wearing one of Irgit’s brightly colored crocheted pieces. “All of a sudden I got non-stop inquiries—I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t even have any inventory!” says Irgit, who now counts Anna Dello Russo, Cara Delevingne, Bar Refaeli, Leandra Medine, and Garance Dore as fans. “Just today I shipped to Belgium, Australia, Singapore—all these countries. I’m like ‘how do you guys even know about me?”