Rebecca Taylor is jumping into swimwear.
The women’s lifestyle and ready-to-wear apparel brand — which is owned by parent company Vince Holding Corp. — is launching a limited-edition swimwear collaboration with St. Barths-inspired swimwear brand Fisch Swim.
“We’re kind of dipping our toes in swim,” Steven Cateron, creative director at Rebecca Taylor told, WWD in an exclusive interview. “We were designing the collection last year while still in lockdown and we were looking at a lot of beautiful images of a lot of fabulous people traveling around in places like St. Barths and the South of France, of people escaping. And most of us were thinking, when we can, where do we want to run to?
“We wanted to see the sun and be by water and thought it would be fun to have swim as part of the [next] collection,” he continued. “It was really this ’50s idea. So we worked with Agnes’ team and my team on prints that really evoked that feeling. But we don’t do swim ourselves.”
To be clear, Rebecca Taylor has had some exposure in the swimwear market. There are hand-crocheted bras and matching bottoms. But Cateron calls it “poolside swim.”
“It’s not traditional swimwear,” Cateron explained. “You’re not actively swimming at the pool [in Rebecca Taylor swimwear.] It’s more like styling; like accessories, like under an oversized shirt, or more of an open dress kind of concept.”
Luckily, members of Cateron’s design team were fans of Fisch Swim and its retro glam look. So Caterton reached out to Fisch founder and designer Agnes Fischer on Instagram to see if she was interested in working together.
“That’s how it started,” he said. “We wanted to see how the Rebecca client would react to swim. When I joined, I wanted to build a bit more of a collection sensibility than the brand has had in the past. So over the last two years there’s been a lot more outerwear and more of a lifestyle component — like beautiful sweaters, knitwear, furs, leathers, all kinds of things that just make it feel like one larger romantic story — rather than a brand that you think of it for, like, a dress or a top. It’s rounding out more of a lifestyle opportunity for the brand. The swim felt like a natural layer onto that.
“And swim makes sense [right now], because everything has been paused and on lockdown,” he continued. “Now people want to get out again; they want to have fun and live. Our Rebecca Taylor collection supports that lifestyle with the summer collection. And when I was looking at Fisch and their collection, I was thinking that there’s such a synergy with what they do.”
Fischer, who divides her time between New York and St. Barths, was intrigued by the idea of a collaboration — a first for the Fisch brand.
“I was so nervous about it,” admitted the designer. “But what really impacted my decision [to work with Rebecca Taylor was], I went to the store and bought a few pieces for myself for the summer. And I was thinking, ‘If I like these pieces a lot, I’ll do it.’ And I loved the products. I was wearing them a lot that summer.
“And I feel like Rebecca Taylor is very much a New York brand. But most people associate Fisch with St. Barths. Because it is a St. Barths brand,” added Fischer, referring to the brand she launched in 2017.
The 15-piece limited-edition Rebecca Taylor x Fisch Swim collection, which launches today at rebeccataylor.com, includes string bikinis, one-piece suits and cover-ups, a mix of solid colors and hand-painted designs, such as sky blue seashells, florals and plaids in canary yellow. In addition, the Rebecca Taylor brand made a few accessories, such as bucket hats and oversized totes, that complement the brand.
The collection will be available for purchase at all 10 Rebecca Taylor stores, the e-commerce shop and a pop-up at the Tipping Rose House, a hotel in Bridgehampton, from July 1 through 3. Prices range from $115 for a top to $250 for a one-piece and come in sizes XS to XL.
Fischer’s team used their expertise to create the silhouettes, while Cateron and the team at Rebecca Taylor designed the images on each piece.
“What I loved about this collection was that they did prints that I haven’t done before,” Fischer said.
Cateron added: “The prints are really beautiful; there’s a real sophistication to them. Most swim brands tend to feel quite digital looking. This [collaboration] has a real romantic sensibility. And the Fisch team leads with sustainability. All of the materials they use are regenerated materials, down to the tags and labels. It’s made me think a lot more about sustainability, so that we can think more about that at Rebecca Taylor.”
The two brands will celebrate the launch with an intimate dinner at the Tipping Rose House on June 30, which will include a mix of influencers, stylists, friends of the brand and Vince chief executive officer Jack Schwefel, along with Cateron and Fischer.
“I’m sure our customer is going to want more [swimwear],” Cateron said. “That’s usually the case. We’re kind of walking before we run at the moment. It was just a little test for me to see the reaction and pending that, maybe build out more next summer.”