Kai Lani Swimwear Designers Explain Why Behinds Look Smaller in Tiny Bikini Bottoms

Annie Vazquez guest blogs on fashion for Cultist. Visit her blog at

The one thing every Miami girl hates hitting the mall for is swimsuit shopping. Ay dios mio, we've been avoiding it ourselves and resorting to slathering on self-tanning cream. But we boogied over to Mermaids boutique in South Miami where we found the answer to our swimsuit prayers: Kai Lani. The line is a cross between The Miracle Bra and Spanx.

The creators of Kai Lani are Coconut Grove residents and sisters Jessica Sierralta and Jordana Schulte. Sierralta is the owner of Mermaids, an 11-year-old resort wear shop which sells brands like Maya, Vix, Beach Bunny, Havaianas, and Letarte. Schulte studied fashion design at the Miami Art Institute of Design. Last year, the duo joined forces to launch their made in Miami label as an answer to curing Miami gals from flat chests, love handles and too much junk in the trunk. In their first month, they sold over 600 bikinis.This July, the sibling team is showcasing their 2012 collection at Miami Swim Week with more styles and cover ups.

New Times: What is the Kai Lani collection composed of?

Sierralta: It's just

bikinis right now in prints and solids, but they are all seamless so

they don't dig into the skin. They are made out of 80 percent nylon, 10

percent spandex and Italian fabric. It took us a year and a half to

perfect the bottom. We have three different style tops which are the

triangle, bandeau, and seam. We have four different style bottoms and

they are the V, cinched, the thick tie and bow bottoms. They come in

Brazilian cut and moderate cut. Next season's suits will have a fuller


Why the name Kai Lani?  

Jessica Sierralta: My son's

name is Kai and I love Hawaiian names. Lani means heavenly. Together,

both mean "heavenly sea" and we just love the name.

What is the price range?

Sierralta:They are all $161 dollars now.

But, next season they're going to vary a bit because we have a little

bit more detail and we've also added a couple of different styles like a

one-piece, a halter, tie-sides, a fuller bottom, and some cover-ups.

How did you get the idea to launch Kai Lani?


After knowing swimwear for so long and seeing what customers wanted and

wanting something different than the product I could find, we decided

to combine our talents and start our own line.

What are your best sellers?

Schulte: The Cobra, Splash, Zeppelin, Disco, and Hippie.

Who are the suits popular with?

Schulte: I'd say from 16-years-old up to 45-years-old. Miami girls like sexy suits with small bottoms like the Brazilian cuts.

So what are some tricks to looking good in a swimsuit?

Schulte: If you have a big bottom, wearing smaller bottoms makes it look better and reduces its size.

What about if you're chunky? What suit would you suggest?

Sierralta: The V bikini makes everyone look thinner.

How can flat-chested gals get some cleavage with your suits?

Sierralta: All of our tops come with removal padding.


is Kai Lani sold? 

At our store and online at  It's

also sold at
Sebastian James in Aventura; ISA Boutique in Midtown'

Azalea's in New York, Love Shack in Delray, Beachside in Tallahassee and

Nic del Mar in Coral Gables.

Check out Mermaids at 7328 Red Road, South Miami; (305) 662-8621

--Annie Vazquez

Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.