A San Diego Fashionista girl can never have too many friends, shoes, purses and…bikinis?! One California girl’s two-piece passion is turning the local beach boardwalk into a runway, perfectly suited for swimwear that’s vintage-inspired, handmade and still completely affordable.
A studio space in Ocean Beach houses Molly B Bikinis, where Molly Goforth stores her inventory of coveted coastal armor. She calls it “California Couture”, because not only does her brand promote classic, flattering cuts and nostalgic patterns and palettes, but each suit wears quality and attention to detail since entirely made by hand. If you have your eye on a certain vintage print or are having trouble finding the right fit, Goforth is ready to take measurements, string together a few samples and create a customized bikini suitable to your personal taste and body type.
Raised in Orange County, Goforth has always loved the beach and wanted to start her own line of swimwear. Even after attending University of San Diego as an undergraduate, completing graduate school at Pepperdine University and successfully becoming a teacher, her design dream never faded. “I was always taught in school to study things in a straight line and become a lawyer, doctor or a teacher, and only consider these generic careers,” says Goforth of her former goals. “I taught for a year or two, but then I thought, ‘I really want to do it’. I’ve been lucky, but it’s been great so far!”
Though Molly B Bikinis is fresh from its launch this past Memorial Day, this business-minded designer knows that beach season in San Diego continues all year long. Goforth just finished her 2011 collection – and is giving us a sneak preview!
CF: What is it about bikinis that you love so much?
MG: I grew up surfing, and it was part of my everyday wear – growing up, I wore it more often than underwear! I just think they’re really cute, you can do so much with such a little amount of fabric. So I like to vary it, test the limits. For me, it’s more of a lifestyle. And flip flops and jeans are pretty much all I wear, and flowy skirts for the beach.
CF: What is a Molly B Bikini?
MG: My goal is to create a bikini you can wear in the water, one that lasts, no matter what the weather is like…I won’t use trendy fabrics or jewels or any little extra things that you can’t wear season to season, or can’t wear in the water. I keep it classic. For my 2011 line, I was inspired from the throwback days of 1970s California, and also includes some one-pieces!
CF: And who are your Molly B girls?
MG: Some are local in the San Diego area, but others are from Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas. They’re girls that represent what a molly b girl is: someone who loves the ocean no matter where you live – you can live in Colorado and still love the ocean, enjoys nature and organic things, is down to earth, wants to live life to their fullest and wants to have fun as well. Every girl is different, one girl is doing judo but loves surfing, and she wakes up with a smile every day. They are the face of the company; they aren’t models, but they end up being great models for Molly B!
CF: What tips would you give someone who is looking for a swimsuit and doesn’t have the stereotypical “beach body”?
MG: Even if you don’t have the perfect beach body, be confident in who you are. The perfect beach body can be any type, in my eyes; everybody’s body works for the beach! Be proud of who you are when u go shopping, feel good about yourself!
CF: How do you recommend maintaining a beach-inspired style throughout the fall and winter?
MG: You can always wear your bikini under your snow coat! And you can always grab a scent that smells like the beach, like Pure Fiji (http://www.purefiji.com/) smells just like coconut, and it brings you back. Plus, if you’re always thinking about it and keeping it close to you, you will find your own way to wear it in your style.
For a custom consultation or simply to stop by and suit up, Molly B is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Her designs are sold at North Park boutique Hunt and Gather, www.bcatthreads.com, and www.etsy.com. For more of Molly’s upcoming collection, laidback blog posts and the Molly B surfer girls, visit www.mollybbikinis.com.
Photos taken by Jonah Gilmore