You can thank Jude Al-Khalil for solving one of fashion’s most annoying problems: finding swimwear that actually fits. As the founder and CEO of BIKYNI, which launched in May, Jude has invented an online destination that breaks suit-buying down into simple components like adjustability, padding and support and offering quality, minimalist pieces that you can mix and match. Jude says she realized the power of her idea when, on a bachelorette trip, she noticed that she and her friends were sitting around the pool complaining about swimwear. See how this New York girl — who grew up in Jordan and moved to the U.S. to attend Duke — lives the LA life.
What’s your favorite BIKYNI piece?
I really love the halter top, because it’s very flattering. We’ve modernized that silhouette. And you can be active in it, so it’s great if you want to lay out, but it has a little bit more coverage so you can paddleboard or play beach volleyball.
How are you growing your business?
Even though we’ve just been around for a few months, we’ve learned so much about where the opportunity is. We’re continuing to spread the word, and we keep getting asked for larger sizes, so we’re really reaching into that area, to expand the collection with styles and silhouettes for all women.
What’s a typical food day?
I don’t do coffee, but I’ll have some English breakfast tea at home. Generally, I’m picking up breakfast on the go: I usually get a juice from Naturewell in my neighborhood, Silver Lake. Or I might get the sorrel pesto rice bowl from Sqirl. For lunch, I’d say poke from Sweetfin Poke or maybe Larchmont Wine and Cheese for a sandwich. For dinner, I love Italian, so I might get the tortellini from Alimento in Silver Lake.
What's your personal style?
It’s pretty minimal with a lot of black — it’s funny, I always get “You’re so New York,” but I’m maintaining my love for black. Since I’ve moved to LA, it’s transitioned into a lot of long, flowy dresses, because they’re easy and you can wear them year round. I love Nili Lotan and Alexander Wang for basics.
Do you have a favorite city to travel to?
I love New Orleans. They have great restaurants and there’s great energy and history in the city. I love antique shopping, which is great there. I like to eat at Dante’s Kitchen, which is off the beaten path in the Garden District.
Any creative ladies you’d like to shout out?
Yes! My friend Julie Sygiel is the founder of a women’s lingerie brand called Dear Kate that does great performance underwear — I actually worked with her for a little bit, and we launched a yoga pant that you can wear without underwear, which is very cool. They’re driven around this mission of non-traditional models: confident, real women. That’s very admirable.
Favorite food to eat while wearing stretchy pants?
It’s definitely cookies: the white chocolate, apricot and lavender cookie from Short Cake.
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