We've been crushing hard on BEACH RIOT for quite some time now. This Southern California based brand embodies a modern day image of a sophisticated beach babe. While in Miami, we were able to get a look at the new 2016 collections. We caught up with designer and owner Nicole Hanriot who gave us some insight into what inspires her, how her brand has evolved, and even told us what she has in her beach bag.

First things first: We. Love. Swimwear. As a designer, what is it that you love most about swim and why did you choose to make it your focus?
Growing up at the beach was a major factor for my love for beach wear. I knew I wanted to be a designer and my last semester at FIDM I was assigned a project, everyone got to choose a category on what they would design a collection around. I had to choose last and I ended up with swimwear. It ended up being a blessing in disguise because I was a bit overwhelmed at first with the category thinking how could I design an entire collection around swim. Once I started I couldn't stop, I loved researching blogs and couture designs from the 80s/90s and taking the inspo and turing it into a swimsuit. After that project I knew I wanted to pursue a career in beachwear and swimwear.

When you first created Beach Riot, did you have a certain type of girl in mind for your line? Who is she and what is she all about?
When BEACH RIOT was born the girl I designed for was a bit like myself. She isn't afraid of color or standing out in a crowd and she likes to mix old and new. We took creative inspiration from 80s/90s and vintage streetwear and it became a unique mix of contemporary chic and surfer girl. Our girl is a beach girl at heart and lives in her bikini but she likes to take beach style with her wherever she goes. All of our pieces are wearable from the "Beach to the Street" which coincides with our brand motto "Riot on the Beach, Party in the Street”.

You launched Beach Riot back in 2012, how has Beach Riot evolved over the years? What has changed and what has stayed the same?
As the brand continues to grow we have learned a lot about both ourselves and the BEACH RIOT girl. What’s awesome about the brand is that the foundation of the brand's style has remained the same. We are constantly updating our silhouettes and reinventing our styles season after season. We use a lot of fun and unique patterns and trims and are always trying to outdo ourselves. I will always have my own unique twist on the line but as I grow I can see that our line grows, too!

 We just got back from Miami Swim Week— what trends are you most excited about for 2016?

Miami was so fun and successful but it’s hard sending emails today that aren't from the Beach! In 2016 you can expect to see a lot of custom hardware from Beach Riot. We’ve got an amazing collaboration coming out with Luv AJ where we designed a full collection of our top silhouettes mixed with her top jewelry pieces. We’re also expanding upon textured fabrics and prints and adding in some embellishments and macrame details in the line.

Tell us about Beach Riot’s Resort’15 and Spring ’16 collection? What inspired the collections?

For our Resort 2015 collection I am really excited about the custom prints we developed. We have a beautiful marble print with custom gold hardware which really pops when you wear it. We also made a fun animal print in easy-to-wear bodies that we know our girl will love! Spring has some great western-inspired pieces as well as some detailed beading and macrame; we definitely outdid ourselves with the breadth of the collection! We shot our look book for Resort and Spring in Sedona, AZ which was a really beautiful contrast to see our designs up against the red rocks.



What pieces from your new collection do you absolutely love? Any standouts you can’t wait to wear yourself?
Well I did sneak a few pieces out to the beach this past week in Miami but I am most excited about the Copper Canyon collection, its beautiful with hand beading and tassels on it! Its great to wear out as a top with a pair of high waisted shorts too!


You’ve been collaborating with Stone Cold Fox since you launched. How did that amazing collaboration come to be and how does it differ from the Beach Riot collection?

Dallas and Cydney are amazing designers and I have been a customer and friend since they first launched. Our offices were next door to each other in Costa Mesa and since I have a shopping addiction I would find myself over at their office space more than necessary. We had always talked about doing a collection of swimwear together and when we launched Beach Riot in 2012 it felt organic to collaborate with them. We’re now in our 4th year of the collaboration and this one is our best yet! 

 Do you have any new collaborations in the works? If so, what are they and what inspired them?

In 2016 we have the Stone Cold Fox collection launching in Feb and also our Collection with Luv AJ launching in March. And as if that wasn’t enough we also created an eyewear collection with D’blanc which features 3 awesome styles which will launch in Feb!



What are your personal must-haves for a day on the beach?

My must haves for the beach are: Panama Hat, Dior Sunnies, Australian Vogue, the latest copy of US Weekly and a Mexican blanket!