Austin Designer Feature – Mallory Curlee of CurleeBikini
Mallory Curlee started CurleeBikini in Los Angeles, in 2010, and since the beginning, it has been a completely grassroots endeavor. Mallory designs, patterns, cuts and sews each garment herself, specializing in custom, made-to-order swimwear.
As a self-proclaimed gypsy, Mallory has based CurleeBikini out of a handful of cities and three states over the past four years; recently, however, she decided with her fiancée to return to Texas.
“I grew up on the Gulf Coast, just outside of Galveston,” Mallory said. “In returning to Texas, after about 13 years away, my goal was to delve into the budding fashion industry of Austin head-first, to help implement growth and change, while also expanding my business in a more permanent light – to be Austin-based.”
After being in the ATX fashion scene for only a couple of months, CurleeBikini was recognized as a Fashion Fund winner at Austin Fashion Week, an honor for Mallory, who believes her line brings something unique to the city, with sustainable luxury garments; products range from the classic Brazilian Bikini to Sport Swim to Maternity and High Fashion one-pieces that can be worn from day to night.
Success continued for Mallory, as her great local introduction spurred on her first wholesale accounts, including exclusive, small-batch orders to Austin’s Still&Sea, a London-based ethical retailer, Gather & See, and a soon-to-launch boutique out of New Orleans, Good Cloth LLC.
“Everything has been a lot more than I anticipated it would be – but it’s exciting!” added Mallory. “Austin’s fashion industry is small, especially after coming from LA, but it’s growing; there’s so much heart and initiative, so there’s no option for it but to flourish.”
Inspired by Reformation, nature and evening gowns, Mallory is hoping to take her entire business to the wholesale side, continuing to beautifully dress bikini-clad women. In the meantime, she’s getting ready for her December wedding and enjoying having a backyard big enough for a garden in the city.
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