Dinah Lightsey is the designer of a new swimwear brand coming in 2016 called Nix + Row. She studied fashion at Savannah College of Art and Design. She also got to be in 2015 Charleston Fashion Week. I got the opportunity to interview her through email. I wanted to interview her because of her interesting designs that aren’t on most swimwear, and bright colors. The questions and answers are below also the link to her website.
1. How old were you when you started to want to work with fashion?
“I wanted to study photojournalism growing up, but when I was in my freshman year of college I was in an accident. I broke my knee and had to take a semester off. Since I couldn’t go anywhere my mother brought me my sewing machine and I sewed purses and different things including, my first attempt at a swimsuit, while I recovered. I recognized how much I loved it and decided to pursue a fashion design degree instead.”
2. Who inspires you most?
“Eva Franco. She is a designer I worked for in the Atlanta Apparel Mart. She was just starting out and now she’s selling in stores like Anthropologie. I hope to do the same. Also Tracy Reese because she failed multiple times starting her line, but never gave up and now has a very successful brand.”
3. What made you want to work with swimwear?
“I always found it difficult to find a swimsuit that was both aesthetically pleasing and flattering. In school I seemed to gravitate towards creating swimwear collections, and discovered that working with a limited amount of fabrics and notions was both challenging and exciting.”
4. What exactly is the style like for your line?
“NIX+ROW swimwear is about combining architectural shapes with innovative textures and textiles, while holding hands with swimwear from the past. The NIX+ROW girl is MODERN, EDGY, and isn’t afraid of FASHION. She sees something BEAUTIFUL around every corner and uses fashion as one of her many ART forms. Her clothes are as interesting as she is, which is why she should be as fashionable in the WATER as she is out. We want to provide our woman with a suit that fits her PERSONALITY and AESTHETIC while providing the world a glimpse into who she is and what she’s all about.”
5. If you could change anything about your line what would it be?
“Well right now I am a one-man band, so I do all of the designing, patternmaking, sewing, etc. I made all of the choices in the collection and I am pretty happy with the outcome. I don’t need to dwell on little imperfections, but I do need to figure out how to make the next collection better than the last.”
6. What was your reaction when you got to be in CHFW?
“Excitement! And then shortly after a realization of how much work I was going to embark upon. I have a 3 year old son and the hardest part of all of this is trying to balance building a company and raising him (Rowan) to the very best of my ability.”
7. What do you think the price range will be for your collection? (Like how much will each item be)
“$150-$300 for a bikini or a one piece.”
8. How did you get to where you are today?
“Well I’m still striving to get where I want to be in my career. So far though it has been through hard work, determination, and a mindset to never give up.”
9. What are your future goals for your swimwear?
“I launch in the Spring so I am just very excited to start selling my suits, seeing them in stores, and on the beach!”
10. Do you do custom designs?
“Not at the moment.”
11. Who is your favorite designer?
“Stella McCartney, who I was able to intern for a few years back. I also love Alexander Wang”