Summer is undoubtedly my favorite season. I would be happy to live the rest of my life in a bikini and a flowy coverup.
For this photoshoot, featuring the sizzling Ana Villafañe of On Your Feet! and heartthrob Kyle Brown of Anastasia, I brought together some looks inspired by my favorite beach destinations from across the globe.
Ana is exclusively wearing swimwear by Bondi Born, a line created in Australia inspired by the famous Bondi Beach off the coast of Sydney. High-waisted bikini bottoms keep the look sporty yet chic and relaxed. And listen up, one-piece bathing suits aren’t just for doing laps anymore. Find a style that complements your shape and size.
A swim look isn’t complete without a fabulous, long, patterned coverup to make you feel like a queen. From Tulum to Santorini to Ibiza, I don’t pack for a vacation without a plethora of caftans or coverups to take me from hotel to beach to lunch to sunset. And don’t forget about accessories: Sunglasses always make a statement. For this shoot, we featured Illesteva frames that complement and complete any beach look. I’m also a fan of simple jewelry to luxuriate your swimming ensemble. A delicate gold necklace and a cuff are my personal faves.
And what is a woman in a bikini without her best accessory—a hot man with a 16-pack? Kyle happens to be the perfect male specimen that just about anything looks good on. While it’s wonderful to travel the world, some of my favorite looks are inspired by our very own East-Coast destinations, specifically the coveted Hamptons and ever-so-preppy Nantucket. Looking effortless is key so whether you’re wearing is a patterned or solid-color trunk, it’s always good to have a mesh tank or cardigan, as seen on Kyle, nearby to pop on.
I learned everything I know about styling from my mentor Joe Zee. I was fortunate enough to meet Joe in a dance class 10 years ago and have the opportunity to work alongside him for a full year. During that time, I worked with renowned photographers like Annie Leibovitz, Michael Thompson, and Patrick Demarchelier and with publications like Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue, Details, and House & Garden. I also worked on campaigns for The Gap, Banana Republic, and Zara. For me, styling is so personal and says so much about a person. I’m continuously finding my own style and always encourage people to do the same.
Ana Villafañe’s Summer Tips
This is my second summer in New York City. The drinks get colder (or frozen), the hemlines get shorter, and all I ever want to do is explore. I love finding new spots in Central Park or getting lost wandering around Soho. Considering that I moved here from L.A., the sun fuels me with extra energy. And at night, there’s no better feeling than watching the city come alive from some gorgeous rooftop, while sipping on something bubbly.
Sunscreen: I know it sounds boring, but I am all up on that SPF*. (*I also use this abbreviation for “sweet potato fries,” and the sentence is still 100 percent accurate.)
Frosé: The world needs more frosé, i.e. frozen rosé, which is quite honestly the best of both worlds. I highly encourage frozen drinks because by the time you’re half way done, some of that ice has melted and you’re technically hydrating. So I’ve decided it’s a responsible choice.
Flip-flops: My obsession with Havaianas began when I was in high school. You can find them anywhere and in a zillion colors. Plus there’s a full store conveniently located right on Broadway between 47th and 48th.
Coconut oil: EVERYWHERE! I am obsessed, especially since I wear so much makeup onstage. But it keeps my entire body from getting too dry.
Running by the Hudson: This is my favorite thing to do in the summer. Throughout the year, I can always be found inside a gym, but the heat and humidity outside work wonders for my voice. I end up at Gotham Market for a smoothie or ice cream or glass(es) of wine or a full-out taco.
An open mind: I’m always in work mode. But during the summer, I force myself to be more open to saying “yes” when people invite me out. Barbecues, pool parties, Netflix and guacamole, a food tour of Brooklyn—the sexiest thing about summer is feeling like I can do it all.
Kyle Brown’s Summer Tips
I love summer in New York City. Whether it’s spending a day by the pool at the Dream Downtown or taking in a movie at Bryant Park, you can’t go wrong. I love spending my weeknights at rooftop happy hours and escaping the hustle and bustle on the weekends for a beach trip to Fire Island.
St. Tropez: I’m all about looking sun-kissed for the summer, but nobody wants the big C or to look like a leather bag. Try this easy to use sunless tanner to give yourself that summer glow then load up on the SPF when you’re getting that vitamin D.
Mirrored Sunnies: They are on-trend and double as an emergency fix your hair moment.
Handkerchief: Hankies aren’t just for cruising anymore. Rock it like a Boy Scout or like you’re a cocker spaniel fresh from the groomer. Either way, it’s an accessory must-have for the summer.
White-leather Converse: Dress them up or down, morning or night, these are a summer staple
Underwood Canned Rose: It’s not just an unpopular administration it’s also canned rose! Canned rose! Get into it!
Styled by Ericka Hunter
Shot on location at the Dream Downtown
Swimwear by Bondi Born, Parke & Ronen, Katama
Cover Up by Hemant & Nandita
Jewelry by J. Crew, H&M, Belladaar, Samantha Wills
Shoes by Sophia Webster for J. Crew, Parke & Ronen
Eyewear by Illesteva