It wasn’t exactly swimsuit weather when model Amilna Estevao agreed to try on just about every one and two piece under the sun on a particularly chilly day in May, but her energy and exuberant smile made summer feel that much closer.
It comes as no surprise that the 18-year-old Angolan model, who spent much time at the beach growing up, is comfortable in a swimsuit. But she’s also embraced a more tomboyish aesthetic now that she has short hair, and keeps it simple when it comes to summer beauty and style. However, she names the always-confident Naomi Campbell as her ultimate inspiration.
Estevao was first discovered at the age of 14 when she entered the Elite Model Look contest in Luanda, Angola. She ended up winning, and was given a modeling contract on the spot. Today, she’s signed to Elite as well as The Society Management in New York, where she’s based. This season, she walked in major shows in every city, from Maison Margiela to Monse. Here, she talks about summer style, her fashions icons, and more.
Do you go to the beach a lot back home in Angola? Which ones are your favorite?
I do like to go to the beach sometimes, even if just to relax and breathe some fresh, natural air. I love to go to Baia de Luanda or Ilha.
Do you prefer a one-piece bathing suit or a bikini? A hat or sunglasses? Jean shorts or a dress?
I prefer bikinis, sunglasses, and jean shorts.
What’s your favorite bathing suit right now and why?
My favorite bathing suit is one from Hermès that I just got as a gift. I love the color, which is a wonderful black and orange. It goes with my skin tone!
How would you describe your personal style?
I like to be comfortable and cool, and dress a little bit boyish because of my haircut. I usually just throw some jeans on top of some sneakers or boots.
Who are your beauty and style icons?
I really idolize Naomi Campbell. I think she’s an inspiration for a lot of people, and I think she has a strong and amazing personality. I also really love Candice Swanepoel, as well. She’s amazing and has a beautiful and strong face…and I love her figure!
What was your most recent purchase for your summer wardrobe?
I love to carry bags of all different colors. You can wear very simple pieces, but carry a cute bag to give off some chic vibes.
What do you wear for a night out in the summer?
For a night out in the summer, I like to dress more sexy and simple, with some high heels sandals and a mini dress. For me, this look is perfect. I also love to wear sunglasses, even during night time just to give more swag, hah!
What are you currently lusting after?
What beauty products do you use every single day in the summer?
I use this 24-hour rehydrating fill-in care from La Roche-posay. It’s so good for people who have really dry skin. I also use a skin gel from Sephora to give you a perfect skin texture and glow. My favorite mascaras for summer are from YSL or Marc Jacobs—they make my lashes long and beautiful.
Summer exercise regime?
I like to go run sometimes or do ab exercises at home. I prefer to do everything myself, rather than go to the gym.
What is always in your suitcase when you travel?
I need to have a pair of blue or black jeans, heels, and a cute dress just in case.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I like to dance a lot. I would love to teach you guys how to dance “kuduro” from Angola because it’s amazing. But eventually, I would like to learn how to dance to all different types of music, and I think I could maybe act because I’m little bit dramatic sometimes.
If you weren’t modeling, what would you be doing?
If I weren’t a model, I think I would be doing some type of design. I used to think about that before and started practicing, but then I became a model, and now I think I’m in the right place.
What is your dream job?
Summer vacation plans:
I would love to visit Monte Carlo in the South of France. It’s just beautiful, even from afar, and I’ve heard great things about it. I would love to go to the Bahamas as well. I’m an Aquarius, so I love the ocean water and relaxing in it!
Anywhere with beautifully blue ocean water!
The Ultimate Guide to Summer’s Best Swimsuits
Headed to the south of France? Pack this Jacquemus bikini, as seen on the runway at his Summer 2019 show.
Buy now: Jacquemus bikini set, $240, modaoperandi.com.
Whether you’re headed to the tropics or Ibiza, a touch of crochet is always a good idea. This Anjuna bikini is reversible.
Buy now: Anjuna bikimi, $470, netaporter.com.
This Brazilian swimwear brand’s fun palm prints are just what you need for your next island getaway.
Buy now: Bromeliario Swimwear maillot, $99, shop.bromeliario.com
Onia has quickly become one of the most popular swimwear labels (the brand is worn by Jonas Brothers and their significant others, and is a blogger favorite thanks to a successful collaboration with Danielle Bernstein). We love this simple summery sketch on Onia’s classic silhouette one-piece.
Buy now: Onia printed one-piece, $195, onia.com.
No matter what locale you plan to visit this summer, you can’t go wrong with packing this chic Hermès one-shoulder maillot. We love this strategically placed cut-out, too.
Buy now: Hermès one-piece swimsuit, $530, hermes.com.
We love this Cali Dreaming swimsuit’s boyish neckline, and the classic pairing of peachy nude and navy.
Buy now: Cali Dreaming maillot, $245, goop.com.
This minimalist bikini shows just the right amount of skin. Wear in the city with a high-waist pant or on a sandy beach of your choosing.
Buy now: ACK bikini, $170, [farfetch.com](https://www.farfetch.com/shopping/women/ack-filo-bikini-item-13539721.aspx?storeid=9359).
A sunny marigold bathing suit is sure to get you into vacation mode. Packing this double-strap Jade Swim one-piece for your next trip to southern Italy.
Buy now: Jade one-piece swimsuit, $220, jadeswim.com.
Rochelle Sara’s minimalist-meets-sporty cuts are sure to be a winner amongst those who love to hit the waves. We especially love this suit in nude.
Buy now: Rochelle Sara bikini, $330, farfetch.com.
Matteau has become the minimalist fashion lover’s favorite swimwear label. This season our favorite silhouette is a surf-inspired cropped swim top paired with a bikini bottom.
Buy now: Matteau sleeve sun tee and bikini bottom set, $342, farfetch.com.
There is no slowing down the gingham swimwear trend, but we especially love Miu Miu’s extra-sweet take on the look.
Buy now: Miu Miu gingham bikini, $595, farfetch.com.
It feels like this burgeoning label is everywhere you turn, and you’d be right. With a charming new New York City store, LoveShackFancy is for the girl who loves Brock Collection but is a little more bohemian.
Buy now: LoveShackFancy swimsuit, $270, intermixonline.com.
She Made Me is known for their uber-feminine crochet swimwear, but this season, with the addition of floral swim separates, their collection is even more covetable.
Buy now: She Made Me bikini, $280, farfetch.com.
What’s sweeter than a core Marysia swim silhouette done up in gingham, with a pink flower on top? Marysia’s collection is a girly girl’s go-to, never more so than this season.
Buy now: Marysia maillot, $460, netaporter.com.
The beloved contemporary brand launched swimwear this year, complete with a jet-set trip with some of the label’s favorite influencers, like Evangelie Smyrniotaki. Each swim separate is designed to pair easily with ready-to-wear. We love a bikini top that pulls double duty.
Buy now: Self-Portrait bikini top, $235, [self-portrait-studio.com] (https://www.self-portrait-studio.com/swimwear/floral-printed-draped-bikini-top](https://www.self-portrait-studio.com/swimwear/floral-printed-draped-bikini-top) and matching bottom, $79, self-portrait-studio.com.
Fans of Zimmermann’s girly frocks and swimwear need not worry that the brand is abandoning their pretty prints. But we must admit, this solid color minimal one-piece is a welcome addition to the Zimmermann offerings.
Buy now: Zimmermann strapless swimsuit, $331, farfetch.com.
Known for their sleek and clean designs, Haight bathing suits also offer such a flattering fit. Wear this one poolside or swimming in the ocean, or toss a skirt and heels and head out for seaside dinner.
Buy now: Haight one-piece maillot, $212, modaoperandi.com.
For a sporty-sleek take on swimwear, Skin’s deep red one-piece is a must-have.
Buy now: Skin one-piece bathing suit, $265, netaporter.com.
This low-cut v-neck swimsuit from Gucci is perfect for 4th of July weekend. We love the chic oversized tie at the hip.
Buy now: Gucci swimsuit, $790, farfetch.com.
Chic and sustainable, Mara Hoffman’s maillot is a classic. The sweet ties at the shoulders are just the cherry on top.
Buy now: Mara Hoffman one-piece swim, $250, goop.com.
Little hardware details are what makes this summer’s swimsuits feel so special. We especially love Lisa Marie Fernandez’s tortoise shell buttons and belt on this high-waist bikini.
Buy now: Lisa Marie Fernandez bikini, $395, fwrd.com.
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