Novel Swim: Feel Good In & Out Of The Water

 Laura Rosenbaum is the designer of Novel Swim. Known for her cheeky, feminine illustration style, she spent 10 years consulting and illustrating for brands, retailers, and magazines in the fashion and design world before launching her own line. “The Caribbean is in my blood—literally, my mother was born in the Dominican Republic—so I’ve always had a deep love for the ocean. As a native New Yorker, I’ve been surrounded by great art, fantastic design, and the very best of the fashion world my whole life. I combined these loves when I created Novel.”


1. Where did you grow up and how did you become interested in design?

I grew up in NY. When I was a kid, I used to cut out clips from the New York Times Style section, paste them in my sketchbook, and draw fashion pictionaries. I never left the house without my sketchbook in hand. I'd often visit my grandmother on the upper east side and play dress up in her vintage dresses. She wore leopard from head to toe until the age of 92. If there was ever an unsung contender for "Advanced Style", she was it. She gave me the courage to wear extra bold colors and prints.

2. What's on the horizon for Novel Swim?

We're working on our new collection for Spring/Summer. We gravitate towards fun, fruity prints, and this year's star will be a lovely cherry. We're also introducing two new, super flattering silhouettes, which we're calling the Fembot one piece and the Trifle bikini. Stay tuned!

3. What has been the toughest obstacle you've faced so far in building a brand?

The biggest obstacle has been managing my own expectations. I like to get things done and see results immediately, but businesses don't really work like that—especially when they are young. They run on many moving parts. If there is an issue with my factory, and I have a tight deadline with a vendor, it feels like it's the end of the world. But then, I remind myself that it isn't, it's just clothes, and it's better to relinquish the demands of the control freak within.

4. What advice would you have for other female founders?

Don't be shy about promoting your work and introducing yourself to people to propel your business forward. The people you know and meet will become your marketing and advertising campaign. They will become your customers and your fans. Word of mouth begins with your own mouth. Be kind. Know your worth. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Not everyone will like or even understand what you do, but if you find those that get it and love it, you are on the right path.

5. What does a typical day look like for you?

Email. Running to my factory. Meeting with pattern makers. Drawing up designs for new prints. Trying on samples—if I don't like the way it looks on me, how can I expect other people to like how it looks on them? Posting, browsing, and connecting on Instagram. Making friends try on my swimsuits. More email. Meeting with bloggers. Shipping out bikinis. Planning Bikini Roadshow pop ups around the country.

6. Favorite things to do in NYC?

Eat everything everywhere. I also love driving out to the Rockaways and going to the beach all year round.

7. If you could choose one person to represent your brand who would it be?
Oh that's a tough one! I think I'd pick Zoe Kravitz. She is such a babe and not afraid to speak her mind and ruffle up some feathers. 

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