Gabi Fresh Wanted To Honor "Women With Differences In Abilities" In Her Swimwear Ads

Courtesy Swimsuits For All

Sure, it’s the middle of February, and the last thing you’re probably thinking about is swimsuit weather. But hear us out: Spring is kinda sorta just around the corner, which means that sunny days and poolside hangs are a lot closer than you might realize. And what better way to prep for all those upcoming beach vacays than with a little retail therapy? Fortunately, Gabi Fresh x Swimsuits For All just dropped a brand new Cruise 2020 swimwear collection that’s got something for everyone.

The style blogger and model has worked with Swimsuits For All on previous collections, but this one stands out for its bold use of animal prints and rich, earthy tones.

“I’ve been so attracted to animal prints and wanted to expand from just leopard print into everything from croc to snakeskin,” Gabi tells Bustle. “From there, I designed solid color suits that complemented the prints, like bright red and yellow, and finished with details like oversized hardware and faux leather trim to make each suit special.”

Once the collection was designed and ready to be marketed, Gabi knew that she wanted a safari-themed shoot to bring her vision for the collection together. Alongside model Veronica Pome’e and the late activist-model Mama Cax, Gabi traveled to the picturesque desert landscape of Yucca Valley, California to shoot for the campaign.

Last December, Mama Cax died suddenly at the age of 30, and the images from this campaign will be among some of her last professional projects. In a press release, Swimsuits For All stated that it “hopes this new campaign will honor Mama Cax’s memory and the issues she championed.”

“Both Mama Cax and Veronica are absolutely phenomenal women who have broken barriers in the modeling industry,” Gabi says. “Both of them had absolutely amazing, positive energy and were so confident in their skin. I think all my campaigns have celebrated size diversity, but I was so glad that this time we included Mama Cax, because women with differences in abilities should also be visible and celebrated in the body positive movement.”

Although Gabi is obviously a fan of the entire collection, if she had to pick a favorite, it’d likely be the colorblock one-piece.

“It’s so simple, yet so stylish, and I haven't seen anything like it before in my size,” Gabi shares. “I don’t have any getaways planned just yet, but I’m hoping to make it to Cabo in the near future. It’s so close to LA and everyone raves about it, but I haven’t been!”

Courtesy Swimsuits For All

So, after more than a decade in the industry, how would she rate the current state of inclusivity in fashion, specifically in swimwear? In short, progress is happening, even if it’s been at a slower pace.

“It’s been so exciting to see things moving in the right direction,” Gabi says. “Brands are finally understanding the need for diversity and size expansion. When Swimsuits For All and I first started working together, it was nearly impossible to find bikinis in plus sizes, and now most plus brands offer them, which is amazing. That said, there is a long way to go in terms of more offerings of quality swimsuits with thoughtful designs, and a lot more progress could be made in terms of casting across the board.”

The Gabi Fresh x Swimsuits For All Cruise 2020 collection is currently available online.