Why Colombian Designer Pauleth Rincon is About to Take Over the Swimwear World

Latina spent the last few days on the beautiful island of Curacao, soaking up the sun and taking in 9 incredible swimwear shows. Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort hosted its first-ever International Swim Fashion Week and the impressive roster of models, designers, influencers and local celebs made this one VIP Fashion Show. Think of this as the next big Miami Swim Week — in the Caribbean. 

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We caught up with Colombian designer Pauleth Rincon, before she presented her Pauleth collection to talk swim trends, her favorite Colombiana celebs (Shakira, Shakira!), and how art has influenced her designs. Keep reading for the highlights!

How did you get your start in this industry?

I’m from Colombia, but I live in Miami and I've been designing since 2008. This year, I was invited to come to Santa Barbara so I brought 79 designs. Each one is one-of-a-kind because I started painting and sewing when I was 13-years-old. 

So, each bikini is actually hand painted? 

I love paint, and I love passion. So, one day I said why can’t I mix those two together and make on a bikini like a piece of art. 

(Venezuelan model Sharon Fonseca was one of the sweetest we met at the shows! Check her out on Instagram.)

Keep reading on page 2 to see who Pauleth would love to design bikinis for >>

Who’s your favorite Colombian celebrity?

Shakira! I love her heart – very generous, wonderful, and intelligent. I feel very proud that we’re from the same region. And Sofia Vergara – when I was a child, I was her #1 fan and now that she’s in Hollywood, I’m really happy. She deserves it.

If you could design a bikini for Shakira, what would it look like?

I know her hairstyle is a little rock, so I would design a bathing suit with a little leather and polyester and mix with a little paint – turquoise – and a little more leather with fringe. 

What about for Sofia Vergara?

Sofia is a little more elegant, and she’s more sexy. She’ll show more. I would make like a red bikini with gold, with a little turquoise. 

Fringe has been a HUGE trend in swimwear for a while now — is it here to stay?

I started designing fringe before it came out. I started designing it in 2011 and I sold out all the bikinis that I made and I always said to my customers "This is going to be the BOMB in two years" and they didn’t believe it. I always will like to design things that are not in the market. As a designer, I want to always be innovative — to make things different, to get a little bit out of the routine. I think the fringe, though, after another year there will have to be another style.

Who is your favorite artist?

I love Picasso; he’s one of my favorites. Me, Paulette! I love abstract and I love more modern, colorful paintings. They give me more energy and motivation to design.

Tell me about your early work in the design industry:

I came first to the U.S. alone when I was 19 years old and I started working making curtains for theaters and restaurants. I also did interior décor for restaurants and some clubs, and I did decorations for baby’s rooms, too.

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And how would you say being from Colombia inspires your work every day?

Being from Colombia, I am inspired a lot. The women – the Latinas – their bodies, their curves. 

Would you ever use curvy models for a show such as this?

For this show, I will always prefer skinny, and classic. My design is more for the athletic woman — they love to take care of themselves, eat healthy, etc.

For information on the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, visit