As the proud owner of “over 1,000” bikinis, Audrina Patridge was basically born to be a swimsuit designer. So it was only matter of time before The Hills alum finally shared her bikini IQ with the rest of us. Late last year, she launched her debut line, Prey Swim, and the rest is a SoCal beachside dream.
“Growing up in Southern California, I was always at the beach and doing water activities. As I got older I was wearing so many different swimsuits and I was always thinking of ways to improve them,” Patridge tells PeopleStyle. “I ultimately talked to all my friends and everyone was like, ‘Why don’t you just do your own?’ So I did. I took everybody’s input and swimsuit complaints and I incorporated all that into what we designed.”
The collection is designed to accommodate bust sizes from A to DD and ranges in price from $105 to $275.
Patridge says she’s already looking to grow her business while balancing her life as a new mom. Below, she opens up on her vision for the line, seeking support from pals like Kristin Cavallari and how her style has evolved.
Do you still have swimsuits from your days on The Hills?
Yes, I keep everything. I have over 1,000 swimsuits. And one of the things I wanted to do with my line was focus on the endurance of the fabric. I spent most of the money on the quality and the structure of the suit and not so much on the marketing. I wanted the suits to be worth the price, and I also wanted styles to be reversible so it’s like two for the price of one.
What are your favorite Prey styles?
The Duck Dive bottoms are so different and no one has anything like them. They’re like a butt bra — they lift your cheeks. They’re so cute and so stylish and they literally will stay on if you surf. That’s why we named them “duck dive,” from the surfing term when you duck under wave. They go really cute with the Wonderlust top.
What have you learned from this process that surprised you?
I have learned so much. I have a whole new respect for the swim industry. A swimsuit is not just a little piece of fabric sewn together. There is so much detail and so many things that go into making a swimsuit — it’s mind-blowing. I’ve been hands on every step of the way and it’s just amazing to me what the process. People don’t realize all the hardware, the stitching, the detail that goes into it, the thought process and just the structure behind it, plus all the fittings that are done to make sure that it fits the body and it hugs every curve the right way.
Who do you think is the ultimate Prey girl?
The ultimate Prey girl is free-spirited, travels the world and lives in a swimsuit. She can be at the beach and just throw a skirt on and go to dinner and still look like she’s put together. She definitely has a little bit of edge. She starts her own trends, she doesn’t follow them.
How did the name come about?
My sister and I were sitting down with a list of names and we kept going back to p-r-e-y. It’s so easy. I also wanted to tie in our love for sharks and shark awareness. Nowadays sharks are the prey and people are killing them and afraid of them and we need them for the ocean, for the coral thrive and to keep the ecosystem of the ocean balanced.
Kristin Cavallari just wore Prey Swim on her birthday vacation. Did she give you any feedback?
She looked amazing in them. I sent them to her and she told me, “Audrina I am not just telling you this, I am obsessed. They fit so amazing. I am obsessed.” And that means so much to me because it’s been such hard work and I’ve really put my heart and soul into it. And Kristin doesn’t sugar coat things. She will tell you how it is and that really made my day.
You wore your Prey bikinis while pregnant with your daughter Kirra. Did you find that empowering?
I really did. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you have to get a maternity suit and hide. At that time I had all my Prey suits but we weren’t ready to announce the line yet and I was wearing them but then whenever the paparazzi got us I was like, ‘Oh my god!’ And it was so funny cause I think another brand actually claimed our suit.
Has your daughter inspired you to make children swimsuits ?
Absolutely. I cannot wait. That’s actually something we’re kind of working on right now. She will be our little model for it.
You recently went back to brunette. What inspired the change?
I was just wanting to do something different. I was blonde for way too long. I read all the comments from all my Hills fans and they were like, ‘When are you going dark? You look better dark, go dark!’ And I was like let’s just do it. And when Kirra saw me she kind of just stared at me. She knew it was me but when I was holding her she would pick up my hair with her fingers. Like she had to see it and look at it. I haven’t been dark in so long so I am getting used to it. I feel so pale being dark now.
What was Cory’s reaction?
He has been wanting me to go dark for so long. He likes me better as a brunette. It makes my eyes pop and I love changing my hair. I am a hair addict so I already know what I am doing next. I love to experiment and to do different things.
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