Name: Taylor Long
Occupation: Founder/designer, Nomads Swimwear; model
Style: Neutral tones with bold patterns
How did you come up with the idea for Nomads Swimwear?
I studied fashion design at UC. During that time, I started plus-size modeling. When I’d be on-set, I noticed, specifically within swimwear, I was having to model tankinis and swim skirts and skorts, and at the time, at 24 or 25 years old, I’m like, I can’t imagine these being my main options for swimwear. Connecting that back to my experience being a model, I would notice the [plus-size] designs weren’t cool. They weren’t overly exciting. A lot of things fit like a potato sack. When it came time to do my senior capstone collection, I had just come back from a trip to Australia. We had done this coastal cliff walk, and I had taken a bunch of pictures of rocks and cliffs. When I got back, I was looking at those images and [thought], These could be really interesting prints for swimwear.
How does your style inform Nomads designs?
My personal style can be neutral one day, then bold and vibrant the next. I factor that in when designing Nomads pieces. That’s why I offer both mostly solid pieces and mostly printed pieces—to fit whatever mood our customer may be in that day.
What kind of response has your line received?
Response has been amazing, to say the least. The week we launched, we were in a Marie Claire round-up. The week after, we were in Forbes. I couldn’t have ever fathomed that would happen. People have really responded so positively. March’s collection will feature regenerated nylon fabrics made from materials like fishing nets.
How did that idea come about?
I always like to have my ear to the ground, reading different people’s takes on social media. What I was hearing and seeing was that it’s hard to find size-inclusive clothing options that are chic and high quality, and it’s even harder to find plus-size, inclusive, sustainable, and eco-friendly options.