When Kelly Carrington returns to her old South Florida stomping grounds to show her designs at the 2012 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, she'll boast a far more, uh, diverse background than most of the other fashion designers.
Carrington, who was Playboy's October 2008 Playmate of the Month, is today the founder and creative director of the swimwear line Éclairée. Hailing from Stuart, Florida, the blonde beauty modeled lingerie and bikini wear, eventually landing a feature in Hugh Hefner's iconic girlie mag.
It's not the most traditional career path for a fashion designer. But Carrington's background enables her to boast a holistic knowledge in style and glamor, she says.
"When I am creating designs, I think about a woman's body- I think about curves, comfort, being beautiful and what I would personally love to wear," said the 26-year old Carrington. "I make my clothes for women who are confident, well-traveled, active and appreciate art in fashion."
Éclairée is a luxury swimwear line, and looks it. "Éclairée" is the feminine past tense for the French word éclairer, which means to light up, or to brighten. The bold colors and full-body designs are not the typical styles you see speckling the Miami beaches, but they do, naturally, scream runway.
Although she reached impressive success as a model, Carrington waves off her former career as just a past hobby, and now declares designing as her truest passion. "I love and adore each style -- everything in my line is a reflection of my personal taste," said the ex-model. "I also name each piece and consider each like a child of mine."
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Fashion Week will act as a homecoming for Carrington, who, although she says she adores Florida, resides in New York to stay in the bustle and hustle of fashion's best. She sees New York as part of Éclairée's identity, as much as she does Florida and her modeling background.