Actress, model, and designer Emily Ratajkowski dishes on the inspiration behind her new line of swimwear collection Inamorata, how to manages to take so many perfect Instagram photos, and what she thinks of all the men accused of sexual harassment.
What appealed to you about doing a swimwear line? EMILY RATAJKOWSKI: I grew up in Encinitas, a beach town in San Diego. In the summers my routine was to wake up, throw on a bikini, drive to get a burrito, and spend the day at the beach. Everyone lived in their swimsuits—spent sunrise to sundown in them. I loved bikinis and collected, so it was always something I was interested in doing. I also went to UCLA for fine art, and having a career as a model in fashion made designing feel like a natural step for me.
What inspires your collection? I did spot a nod to Christie Brinkley, who wore a one-piece leopard print bathing suit similar to yours, on Inamorata's Instagram. ER: I was super inspired by 1980s suits, I looked at pics from old Sports Illustrated's, but also Helmut Newton images and old tears from editorials circa the 1990s. I want to make suits that are flattering and hold you in where you feel they need you to, but are still cool and have a fashion edge.
I imagine your 16 million+ following on Instagram has translated into a booming business, no? What's the reaction been like from your fans? ER: It's been insane! This project was completely self conceived and self funded—I drew the sketches, developed the prints and colors, I run the @Inamorata Instagram and produced our campaign with Olivia Malone. I even did my own hair and makeup for the shoot, ha! I think my fans really responded to the fact it was such a personal project.
How do you manage to take so many stunning Instagram photos? Is there a right way to take a picture? I've not quite mastered this art form yet... ER: I've always loved photography and have been a visual person, so Instagram is the perfect platform for me. I'd say have fun with it, think of it as the front of your binder in middle school—make it cool and personal.
We got a chance to see you on screen in Gone Girl and We Are Your Friends, but we want more! Do you have any other roles in the works? ER: Yes! I did three movies this year: Welcome Home with Aaron Paul, Lying and Stealing with Theo James, and I Feel Pretty with Amy Schumer, which comes out next summer.
I have to ask, since you've worked with some pretty high-profile Hollywood actors and actresses, what you make of all the disturbing stories coming out about sexual harassment? ER: I think no woman has been surprised by these stories, in or out of the industry. I hope we learn to stop making women feel responsible for preventing sexual harassment and instead change the larger culture—starting with educating men and boys about power, gender, and what’s appropriate. I also hope we start to see more women in positions of power in Hollywood.
Where do you like to hang out, shop, and dine in Los Angeles? ER: I love downtown and the east side. Grand Central market, Dodger's games, Alhambra or Monterey Park for dim sum, Proof Bakery for croissants, and Little Dom's in Los Feliz for dinner!