EXCLUSIVE: David Koma Launches Brand Inspired by the Pirelli Calendar and Playboy Magazine

LONDON — There are no choppy waters in David Koma’s business decisions.

The Georgian-born fashion designer has launched a swimwear brand called Let’s Swim, a venture with new partners and one of his childhood friends that’s separate from his successful eponymous label focused on cocktail dresses and gowns.

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While they may be similar in tone, it’s clear that Let’s Swim is sexier, racier and younger.

David Koma: Let's Swim
David Koma: Let’s Swim

The swimwear pieces are cutout and slashed in shades of red, ocean blue, metallics and lemony yellow, while the apparel pieces are ribbed and mesh in black and white.

The campaign images replicate the saucy nature of a Helmut Newton or Lui magazine photo shoot with the models wearing soaking wet T-shirts and dresses while playing in the sun.

“There was a nostalgic feel to it. Growing up I’ve always loved the Pirelli Calendar and the iconic issues of Playboy magazine,” the designer said in an interview.

David Koma: Let's Swim
David Koma: Let’s Swim

The collection is as much a passion project as it is a business one.

“I just wanted to keep it all separate [from David Koma the brand]. I have always been curious about single product concepts and the whole idea of being completely off the classic fashion calendar. It’s a different game plan and I wanted to launch a business with a whole new team just to experience something different,” Koma said.

He confesses he loves vacations and traveling. Aquatic motifs are noticeable in his ready-to-wear collections for David Koma, for example.

David Koma: Let's Swim
David Koma: Let’s Swim

His spring 2023 show was inspired by American marine biologist Sylvia Earle and her documentary “Mission Blue,” featuring shell prints lasered onto little black dresses and starfish embroideries.

“I like the idea of the swimwear being about being free in your own skin. When you’re on the beach, the nudity and self expression becomes a completely different story from streetwear or high fashion,” Koma said.

The brand’s logo is a silhouette of a great white shark — one of the designer’s favorite animals.

David Koma: Let's Swim
David Koma: Let’s Swim

“Sharks are majestic, fearless animals and a lot of people are scared of them. I want to bring attention to this incredibly beautiful animal and just change the perspective by collaborating with different shark conservations. They’re so important to the marine ecosystem,” Koma said.

All the pieces in the collection are made from recycled plastics from the ocean and using 100 percent cotton. The designer calls these sustainable initiatives necessary despite not shouting about them, it’s something that he designs and thinks with.

Let’s Swim will have several drops throughout the year with a menswear drop coming next.

Koma, a hedonist at heart, is planning for the brand to host beach takeovers, opening pop-up stores and organizing major parties in places such as Mykonos, Greece.

Launch Gallery: A First Look at David Koma’s Let’s Swim Brand

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