From Laguna Beach with Love: Seea x Thalia
San Clemente-based swimwear designer Amanda Chinchelli of SEEA has unveiled a limited collection of custom pieces as part of an ongoing collaboration with Laguna Beach’s Thalia Surf Shop. The behind the scenes creation process, from concept to end product, was all documented through a video dubbed “Made In the USA,” filmed by Chis Steblay of the Seeworthy Project
Thalia Owner Nick Cocores and his VW bug made the trip alongside Chinchelli up to LA to source the fabric, getting an up close look at the step-by-step production process—which Chinchelli has called “the swimsuit version of the farm-to-table method.”
Watch the video and read what Chinchelli has to say about her latest suits, working with Thalia Surf, and the details behind making swimwear from start to finish in the US.
How is this collection different than what you’ve done in the past with Thalia?
We built this collection as a follow up to last year’s Seea x Thalia rashguard, which did really well at retail. Since those sold out in less than a month during Holiday, it made total sense to expand the collection for Summer. We were open to ideas, but since Thalia has had great success with our long sleeve surf suits, they specifically requested a custom version of the Swami’s Playsuit, and I snuck in the leggings out of nowhere, as I was pretty obsessed with them after sourcing the fabric. It turned into a great assortment – we’re stoked – they’re stoked!
How do you choose which companies to source your material from in LA?
Anytime you’re sourcing for a quick turn project, you have to choose from what’s available. It was clear from the beginning that we both wanted to do a print, and that if I couldn’t find a good one, the project wasn’t going to happen. We played it loose, but after sourcing the fabric, the designs were done and finalized the same week. Like most of our collabs, everything sort of fell in place at the right moment.
What was the overarching theme for these three suits and how did you come up with those ideas as you worked on them?
California Classic – palm trees and surf breeze, made in the U.S.A.—red, white, blue.
How long was this whole process from concept to finished product?
From start to finish, it took us about 60 days. We got the suits from the factory a month after placing the PO, and Chris from Seeworthy shot the video in two days – one day filming in San Clemente and LA, and one day down at Doheny to get the surf shots.
How does it feel to have completed this collection, and what was the response like from Thalia’s Nick and crew?
The crew is stoked! With so much innovation in menswear over the past few years, there just hasn’t been much on the women’s side of things to get excited about. They are all super cool and friends for sure, but they’re also running a business, and they are happy to have a brand in this segment that is selling well.
When did the product actually hit the shelves at Thalia and your online store with SEEA? Once the initial product offering is gone, will you make more or is this a limited run?
The suits went live this weekend, and the leggings just arrived today. We made less than 100 each, so the product is definitely limited… When they’re gone, they’re gone!
What was your favorite part about working on this project?
Shooting the video was so much fun, and it really felt great to share how we actually make things, and to involve one of our best shops in the process. From design through production, they know our story, now better than ever, and you can bet that will make a difference at the counter this Summer.