By  on May 23, 2007

After designing kimono cover-ups for four years in the U.K., Apsara is adding swimwear to its portfolio as it crosses the Atlantic.

Launching this spring, Samantha Graham-Bell's London-based, high-end swim line has been picked up in the U.S. at Scoop and Catriona MacKechnie in Manhattan's Meatpacking District, adding to its international distribution at stores including Harvey Nichols and resorts including Amanyara in Turks & Caicos.

The line, which wholesales from $100, uses Italian fabrics and Murano glass with beading done in India. The Murano glass dangles add interest to the minimalist bikinis and sexy one-pieces in neutral-colored metallic fabrics, as does the Indian beading on the slim-cut cover-ups.

Graham-Bell, who has worked in fashion public relations as a stylist and in the jewelry industry, said her inspiration for the line came from planning her marriage in the Caribbean when "it was all about me and what I was wearing."

"The line is feminine, sleek and still sexy," said Graham-Bell. "When the first caftans came out, they were so voluminous, while these are sleeker and sexy."

The cover-ups come as one-size-fits-all, while the swimsuits are in Italian sizes 40-46. Apsara does about $500,000 in wholesale volume.

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