Kate Hogan
July 21, 2011 08:30 PM

Alexander Tamargo/Getty

Chrissy Teigen doesn’t even know how to swim, but the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model knows a good bikini when she sees one. So she recently launched a 12-piece capsule collection with diNeila Brazil, showing it this week at Mercedes Benz Fashion Swim in Miami. “I am inspired by my native Thailand and its amazing jungles, beaches and vibrant flowers,” Teigen told PEOPLE at the runway show. “My senses come alive every time I go back. Its exotic beauty was my muse.” In vivid sea blues (just like Kristin Cavallari‘s glass creation), sunset violets, ocean corals and palm-tree greens, the collection was chic, tropical and energetic, running the gamut from sexy triangle bikinis to ruffled bandeaus. “I enjoy being a model but this is a new phase in my life, and it really suits my personality,” Teigen said. Longtime beau John Legend, who joined his girlfriend at the show, said he’s proud of his ladylove’s fashionable eye. “I’m impressed how she selects color for her new swimwear design,” he told PEOPLE. And Teigen added that color is an important part of her approach to swimsuit design. “We are into mix-and-match and wonderful bright colors,” she said, adding that she takes curves into account when creating looks, too. “We want every woman to look amazingly sexy when she goes to the beach. Like the swimsuit was made for her.” Chrissy Teigen for diNeila Brazil retails for $100-$160; find it soon at top specialty boutiques. –Linda Marx

SEE MORE STARS IN SWIM IN ‘BEACH PATROL’

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