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Meet Trailblazer Nyki Allen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nyki Allen.

Nyki, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I credits my grandmother for teaching me how to sew; giving me freedom to express my creativity through clothing. My sense of fashion led me to the International Academy of Merchandising and Design in Chicago; where I graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in design in 1994. I relocated to Los Angeles to pursue my dreams in the fashion industry. I worked with clients such as the Artist formerly known as Prince, Nasty Gals, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom’s, Baby Phat, Dickies and Show Me Your MuMu to name a few. After years of traveling & designing for other companies, I was inspired to create beautiful swimwear for everyday women. In 2013, Gyv Me Body was born with the understanding that Real Women have Curves. Gyv Me Body embraces and caters to the reality of all women no matter the shape or size; her swimwear supports them in feeling confident, sexy and classy. In 2018, I introduced Body for Men and Lil Bodies to the Gyv Me Body Brand. We hope to provide luxury swimwear for the entire family.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been a smooth road, but a worthy one. Designing is not as easy as it appears. There are many artists, but not many who master quality, fit, and presentation while keeping the interests of their market. My biggest battle with the Gyv Me Body brand is that I cater to most sizes. In my industry, they do not want to see full figured models on the runway. If they allow you to showcase on plus sized models, they will limit the number of models or how they look or even what they wear. Then there’s another group in the fashion industry that only wants you to show plus sizes. My brand is all inclusive. I will not separate the models and I want them all on my runway and catalog. It’s a battle, but I will not stop the fight.

Another challenge is that we manufacture in the US. This means that we help take care of families in the US and do not pay our staff pennies on the dollar. We do not wish to manufacture in China because we do not believe in slave labor and quality is one of the top reasons our lines are valued. The challenge is competing with import pricing. However, we believe that our clients prefer quality over anything else and we love them for that.

We’d love to hear more about Gyv Me Body.
I design swimwear for Women and now Men and Children. Our moto is that we create Swimwear for Women in all shapes, shades and stages of beauty. Our Suits & Covers can be worn on the beach, poolside, on cruises, at resorts and outside of water or even in the bedroom. Gyv Me Body Cover-Ups are designed to not only provide modesty, but show style. Acceptable in restaurants and public areas. Gyv Me Body does not wish to hide a Woman’s natural or enhanced curves, but wants to celebrate them with flattering fits, fabrication and styling. Most styles are offered in sizes S – 4X. Many of our swimsuit styles have built-in girdles and support straps and optional padding. We will even customize designs just for you. Our fabrication is a mixture of High Multi Chiffons and Nylon/Spandex which offers four-way stretch and control.

We are most proud of how our brand has encouraged women to go out there and LIVE. It doesn’t matter what size you are, if you’ve had children or if you’re a retired grandmother. You can go travel, see the world and lay out with the best of them in a bathing suit that makes you feel like a queen. You don’t have to worry about seeing yourself on the beaches, because we offer limited edition styles for each season.

So much of the media coverage is focused on the challenges facing women today, but what about the opportunities? Do you feel there are any opportunities that women are particularly well positioned for?
Women are positioned to win. With education stats being at their highest for African American women, we are the top rated in high ranking positions, business owners and moguls. We have more than just the internet on our side, we have social media, women’s groups and socials and multiple press platforms to share our visions.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Derrick Rodgers, Concrete Studios
Getty Images

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Rebecca K

    August 24, 2018 at 21:32

    Beautiful line by a beautiful designer. I am inspired by her creativity and push to showcase the uniqueness in all women. This is a great article.

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