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JUST ADD WATER: After 13 years as senior editor of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, Diane Smith has seen her share of risqué swimwear, pristine beaches and brochure-worthy swimming pools. She’s quietly returned to the surf, so to speak, with the launch of the Diane Smith Swim a la Mode, Keep Chic on the Beach blog. While bikinis and maillots are her specialty, Smith is also sizing up accessories, resorts and whatever else strikes her fancy, such as Marysia Swim’s gingham bikini, Toss Designs’ striped travel bag and the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon. “I could seriously live there,” she said of the Portugal property overlooking St. George’s Moorish Castle and the Tagus river. “I’m really isolating some of my favorite things.”
That includes an at-lunch-with series featuring pals such as model Damaris Lewis. Smith, who was also an executive producer of the 50th anniversary edition of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, knows of what she speaks. By her own estimates, she eyeballed 2,000 swimsuits each year at SI. Industry friends encouraged her to put her knowledge to use. After serving as executive producer of the book “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful,” Smith left Time Inc. last year.
At this stage, there is no financial arrangement with any of the brands or companies that she features, though she does hope to get sponsors eventually. “Right now it’s just a labor of love,” Smith said.