It’s swim season — and we are loving the fun prints on our swimwear this season! We interviewed Sarah Cassar, one of our women’s swimwear designers in our New York Design Office to tell us what inspired the print trends for spring. We also got an insight into her style and what pieces she recommends for Spring.
Sarah enjoying the sun on her NYC rooftop
Associate Designer: Swimwear and Dresses
Where are you from:
Sleepy Hollow, NY
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired all the swim trends this season?
I’ve always been an artistic and sporty person so designing clothing for young, fun active people is a perfect fit! I like to design things that I also want to wear. It’s great working for a company like American Eagle Outfitters, because it’s a lifestyle that I want to be a part of.
For swim, I like to have a few different suit options depending on what I am doing. I like scuba diving and my fiancé is teaching me how to surf so I need a couple suits that won’t fall off in a big wave. But I also love wearing a bathing suit as a layering piece in the summer even if you aren’t at the beach! So I need a couple fashion pieces that just look really sexy under a loose tank top.
The best way to get inspired for swim is to get out and do stuff! I like to see what people are wearing and how they are styling them. I’ve been to over 30 different countries so traveling has always been important to me. My recent beach trips have been to the islands off northern Columbia, Belize and the Cayman Islands.
This year we wanted to capture a few different stories. We have a tropical, festival, retro-femme, and black/white story to cover all the great trends that are happening. The best part of designing swim is working with our CAD (computer aided design aka pattern designers) team on the patterns. Swim patterns should always be bright, sunny, clean and cute! Swim is never serious, it always should be fun and happy. That’s the way I like to live my life-thinking about or being at the beach!
What do you love most about working in a creative field?
Our office! These people are the best to work with. Our production team, Kyla and Nia, always keep me laughing.
Sarah and co-workers sporting swimwear at our New York Design Office
Any upcoming vacations planned that you are excited about?
I’m getting married this year and we are going on a Safari for our Honeymoon. We are still researching the best place to go in Africa. I’ve never been and there are so many options! I’d love to also go to Morocco and the Galapagos Islands.
Sarah scuba diving with sea creatures
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Someone once said that our generation will have four different careers, so go ahead and try new things and don’t be afraid to start over. I switched from Merchandising to Design and it was the right move for me!
And the advice you’d offer aspiring designers?
Push the envelope with your designs then pull it back just one step.
Three items on your AEO wish list -
1. Our woven printed easy layering dress—it makes a great beach cover up that you can wear on and off the shore!
2. The lace crossback tank, its great to wear to a concert or festival.
3. AEO Swim! I love our tropical pineapple prints (in-stores in April), they are so fun and fresh!
Five items every girl should have this season-
1. A bottom layer that’s okay to show- Wear a swimsuit off the beach or one of our cute lacy bralettes that are made to be seen.
2. A match back outfit–doesn’t matter if it’s with a skirt, pants, or romper.
3. A flirty dress–it has to warm up sometime soon in NY!
4. Delicate jewelry–fine piece are very feminine.
5. Really good friends to spend the summer with!
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere: friends, blogs, Pinterest, travel and nature. It’s important to combine inspiration from all over! When I see something that’s amazing, I make sure to make it feel new. Either I bring it together with other elements that are unexpected or use it in a new way.
Sarah getting inspired at a flower market in Columbia
Wedges or Flats?
It’s a coin toss! I have a closet full of heels but they just don’t work for a girl on the go.
Twitter or Instagram?
Love learning about our designers? Click here to learn more about the designer behind our Legend T-shirt, Stacey Lange.