How Devon Windsor Built an Incredibly Chic Swimwear Empire

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Photo credit: Courtesy of Devon WindsorDevon Windsor is the ultimate multi-hyphen; she is a model, entrepreneur, founder and creator of the eponymous swimwear brand — Devon Windsor — and recently added a new title to her impressive list of accolades: mother. Throughout her highly 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 spoke with Windsor to find out how she navigates her first Miami Swim Week Cabana experience, her design processes and inspiration, and her future plans for the brand.

HIGH LIFE: Can you tell us how you decided to create a swimwear brand? Swimwear has always been a passion for you?
DEVON WINDSOR: Throughout my modeling career, my goal has always been to be able to grow my brand in as many directions as possible. I never saw modeling as an end goal. Launching 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 high end, chic, good quality swimwear that didn’t break the bank. Since my husband [Jonathan Barbara] owner of Alexis, a women’s ready-to-wear line, he was able to partner with me and guide me in the launch of Devon Windsor.

HL: What is your design process for each collection? How to stay inspired?
DW: The design process is so much fun because I can take what I personally want in a look and create it! For each collection, I try to create a style for each type of woman. A few styles for our younger, sexier audience, a few styles my mom can wear, etc. I find inspiration through my friends, fans and followers, as well as through travel and fashion.

Behind the Scenes: How Devon Windsor Built an Incredibly Chic Swimwear EmpirePhoto credit: Courtesy of Devon Windsor

HL: It’s also your first Miami Swim Week to do Cabana. How was this process and what are you most looking forward to?
DW: Yes, it is very exciting! We actually showed our first season in a private showroom in July 2019 for some of our top wholesalers, but this will be our first time in the Cabana whirlwind. I look forward to the experience and exposure of new retail and wholesale stores 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 still looking forward to what’s next and how we can grow. We have a few fun things in store for our customers, and a new category is coming soon. Stay tuned!

Photo credit: Courtesy of Devon WindsorHL: WhIs that your favorite style of DW right now?
DW: I honestly live in our gym clothes – I wear them every day. It’s elevated enough to carry from the gym, straight to my desk, or for running errands. On the swimsuit side, I love the Bohemian Wave print which has just been launched in our High Summer 2022 collection associated with our Sage knits.

HL: What’s it like to run a business on top of being a new mom?
DW: I have to say it was hard! It’s a blessing and a curse to own your own small business. A blessing because I can create my own schedule, but on the other hand, it has been difficult to take maternity leave because there are things I have to do, even though I have 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’ll ever feel fully satisfied in the sense that when I’m working I feel sad for not being with her, and when I’m with her I feel guilty for not working. I’m sure many moms can attest to that!

Behind the Scenes: How Devon Windsor Built an Incredibly Chic Swimwear EmpirePhoto credit: Courtesy of Devon Windsor

HL: Are there any important lessons you learned while building DW? What do you wish you could say to your younger self?
DW: Luckily for me, my partner is my husband, who has over 10 years of retail experience. He was amazing in guiding me and helping me not to make certain mistakes. Of course, we always have room to grow; mistakes can happen too, but it’s been so nice to have him as a leader and teacher in the space. One of my lifelong goals is not to stress about things that are out of my control, which is easier said than done in the fashion world!

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