How Devon Windsor Has Built An Incredibly Chic Swimwear Empire
Devon Windsor is the ultimate multi-hyphenate; she is a supermodel, entrepreneur, founder, and designer behind the namesake swimwear brand — Devon Windsor — and recently, she added a new title to her impressive list of accolades: mother. Throughout her wildly successful modeling career, Windsor launched Devon Windsor to fill a void in the market by designing sophisticated swimwear silhouettes to elevate style both on the beach and beyond. Haute Living sat down with Windsor to get an inside look at how she is navigating her first Miami Swim Week Cabana experience, her design processes and inspiration, and her future plans for the brand.
HAUTE LIVING: Can you walk us through how you decided to start a swim brand? Was swimwear always a passion of yours?
DEVON WINDSOR: It has always been my goal throughout my modeling career to be able to build my brand in as many directions as I can. I never saw modeling as the end goal. Starting my own line was always a dream, and swimwear was something I was always passionate about. I felt like there was a gap in the market for elevated, chic, good-quality swimwear that didn’t break the bank. Since my husband [Jonathan Barbara] owns Alexis, a women’s ready-to-wear line, he has been able to partner with me and guide me through launching Devon Windsor.
HL: What is your design process like for each collection? How do you stay inspired?
DW: The design process is so much fun because I can take what I am personally searching for in a look and create it! For every collection, I try to create a style for every kind of woman. A few styles for our younger, sexier crowd, a few styles that my mom can wear, and so on. I find inspiration through my friends, fans, and followers, as well as through travel and fashion.
HL: This is also your first Miami Swim Week doing Cabana. How has that process been, and what are you looking forward to most?
DW: Yes — it is very exciting! We actually showed our first season in a private showroom in July of 2019 for some of our top wholesalers, but this will be our first time in the whirlwind of Cabana. I’m looking forward to the experience and exposure of new retail stores and wholesalers and bringing new eyes and ears to the brand.
HL: What’s next for the brand? What are you currently working on?
DW: Devon Windsor is always looking forward to what’s next and how we can expand. We have a few fun things in store for our customers, and a new category is coming soon. Stay tuned!
HL: What’s your favorite style from DW right now?
DW: I honestly live in our activewear — I wear it every day. It is elevated enough to wear from the gym, straight to my office, or to run errands. In terms of swim, I love the Bohemian Wave print that just launched in our High Summer 2022 Collection paired back with our Sage knits.
HL: What has it been like running a business alongside being a new mom?
DW: I have to say, it has been tough! It is a blessing and a curse to own your own small business. A blessing because I can create my own schedule, then on the flip side, it’s been difficult to take any maternity leave because there are things I need to get done, regardless of having a baby! Now that my daughter is ten months old, I have found a much better work-life balance. Although, I don’t think I will ever feel fully satisfied in the sense that when I am working, I am sad that I am not with her, and when I am with her, I feel guilty that I am not working. I’m sure many moms out there can attest to this!
HL: Are there any major lessons you have learned while building DW? What is something you wish you could tell your younger self?
DW: Luckily for me, my partner is my husband, who has 10+ years of experience in the retail world. He has been amazing in guiding me and helping me not to make certain mistakes. Of course, we always have room to grow; mistakes can happen as well, but it has been so nice having him as a leader and teacher in the space. An ongoing goal of mine is to not stress about things that are out of my control, which is easier said than done in the world of fashion!
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Source: Haute Living