The unique swimwear line, Nicolita, takes sunbathers on a journey through 1940's Cuba.
Behind the line is Nicole Di Rocco, a California girl with two nostalgic Cuban parents. Her parent's sepiatoned photographs, memories and native language, inspired Di Rocco to start Nicolita, a swimwear line, in 2002, upon graduating from USC. Nicolita has been picking up steam ever since, projecting their memories and Di Rocco's interpretation of them. Now, after having recently launched its latest Spring/Summer catalogue on Cuban soil, the American-made bathing suit line is on top.
The diverse tropical style of Cuba was the inspiration for this recent collection. The vibrant colored buildings in the streets of Habana Vieja, the amazing teal colored ocean off the shores of Cienfuegos, and the rich Cuban history of Trinidad set the stage for these beautiful images. Nicolita's signature Cuban-style bottom and unique styles have set itself apart in the swimwear industry. Designing for Latina curves, Nicolita has reached a multi-cultural consumer who wants flattering styles that are conservative and sexy. The Cuban-Style Bottom has a No-Pinch Fit elastic waist, coverage on the hips, and a heart-shaped backside. Sizes run generous and wider for maximum comfort with the right amount of caliente coverage.
Growing up in Irvine, California, Nicole Di Rocco saw Cuba as a dream. In 2009, President Obama lifted the embargo on travel for Cuban-Americans, and Di Rocco realized that her time had come to travel to the country that served as her muse. “To connect with your roots, you're unlocking things in your future”, she said. NUVO TV, a network with Spanish content in English, documented her story for its Pastport series, PASTPORT: CUBA. The Search for Nicolita followed Di Rocco and her family as she connected her past to her present. Di Rocco served as executive producer on the documentary and it was just recently nominated for an Emmy.
“As I was learning about my culture, it developed my brand because I was trying to understand that culture”, she said. “It was all stories and photos to me. I didn't know if I would ever be able to see this island”. The experience not only brought her family closer — her parents hadn't been back in 49 years — but it also helped her understand what she was trying to say with her fashion.
Growing up a stone's throw from Newport Beach, where she rode her beach cruiser and sun-bathed with friends, Di Rocco never considered that there was more to her love for the sun and sand. “I've always had a connection with the beach; however, I didn't really understand why”, she said. “My mom grew up going to the beach in Cuba. My dad grew up going to the beach as well, so it's in my blood to have that beach lifestyle”.
When she moved to Los Angeles, it did not take long for the coast to lure her. Di Rocco now resides in Malibu, California. The designer spends her days in Nicolita swimsuits and cover-ups, if the weather permits, she said. It's not hard when you live on the beach in Malibu. Her day-to-day life, which includes fishing and boating with her husband Phillip, inspires her to keep her styles sexy and comfortable, she said.
For more information about Nicolita swimwear, visit www.mynicolita.com