You don’t need to be a cultural anthropologist to see that the ’80s are coming back in a big way. The couture shows were rife with ’80s references—take your pick from Ronald van der Kemp or Chanel. A Baywatch movie will arrive on the silver screen in 2017. And the go-to swimsuit silhouette for everyone from Kylie Jenner to Beyoncé is a high-cut one-piece. That’s where Solarium comes in. The just-launched swimwear collection specializes in ’80s-inspired suiting, from über-high one-pieces held together at the sides with tiny knots to wraparound bikinis that looked ripped from a 1986 Cindy Crawford editorial in Vogue. Despite being just a few weeks old, the brand already has a cult following on Instagram, where women far and wide are falling for its bright, innovative takes on swimwear.

Solarium wasn’t necessarily meant to be a buzzy swimwear brand. The venture, launched by couple Harry Mason Dent IV and Amelia Lindquist, actually started out as an art project. “Mason was exploring this idea of shooting ’80s-style babes for lighters he was making. I would help him a lot, sourcing vintage swimsuits, and it proved to be a process that was a lot more difficult than we’d expected. One day in January, I just decided to actually make them myself,” says Lindquist, who studied fashion design at Parsons, receiving both a BFA and an MFA from the university. “I thought, ‘I’ll just make a handful for him, so he can explore his process.’ It turned into this obsession. Once I started to get involved, we both realized that we love this idea of re-creating ’80s babe imagery though the swimsuits.”

At first, Lindquist’s self-made suits were produced solely for models to wear in Dent’s photographs. “Basically, I would watch bad ’80s movies, get inspired, and go source fabrics,” she explains, citing ’80s rally cars and the boldness of the era as particular touchstones. After seeing the suits in action, modeled by friends, the pair had a hunch the styles might sell well, so together they launched an Instagram account, @solariumswim, and began posting Dent’s photographs. “The second we started posting, people were asking where to buy the swimsuits, so we decided to launch a website and go for it,” says Lindquist. “I’ve been sewing suits ever since!”

To date, every suit is still hand-made by Lindquist in New York. “The process of creating is huge for me, and as of now, I don’t really want to invest in production, SKUs, stock, all of that. For us right now, it’s still very organic and we’re taking things very slowly. We don’t want to look at investors yet—at least for this season,” she says, noting that the pair want to keep the spirit of their initial art project alive in Solarium. “The one thing I love about the ’80s, which is why I think I’m not so interested in building the typical swimwear brand, is because in the ’80s, every single photo you see of a woman on a beach, they’re just in their swimsuit, barely covered, and that is just so bold. I love that sense of freedom when you put on a swimsuit—especially one that has a real design going into it,” she says. “It’s fun to work and study that within this realm of the swimsuit.” Still, new categories might be on the horizon. “I’m sort of looking into bodysuits for the fall,” she demurs. “But I’m not really interested in creating a typical swimwear brand. For us, it’s more about this visual aesthetic that we’re feeding off of.”Read more at:mermaid formal dresses | one shoulder formal dresses