Interviewed by Charles Morgan III
Cayce Collins is busy. She’s the kind of person who has more energy than people are supposed to have. In addition to raising a family and training a devoted crowd of people to become more fit, Collins is carving out an unusual career in our tourist-driven area. She designs swimsuits.
How did you get here?
My family moved to Destin when I was two years old, and I have lived in the area for most of my life. I attended Choctawhatchee High School where my mom is a teacher. I went to college in Tallahassee at Florida State. After college, I moved to Colorado where I did a short internship and skied a lot.
I returned to Destin in 2003, where I met and married my musician husband, Dan. We have three children—Ashton (my stepson) is 13, Clara is nine, and Murphy is five.
What have you been doing since you moved back here for good?
I have been a tutor and I’ve given art lessons to children. Most recently, I have tapped into my zeal for fitness and become a group fitness instructor. Teaching fitness has been incredibly fulfilling. Partnering with clients to set and surpass individual goals is rewarding. I also believe instructing fitness classes supplements my swimwear designs by teaching women to feel confident and strong in whatever shape body they live in.
I know a bunch of people—several of my family members—who stumble to your fitness class way too early in the morning. They all love it.
It’s a boot camp style workout. We utilize repetitive lifting of light weights, Yoga, Pilates, and cardio/endurance exercises. I keep it interesting by mixing things up.
How does one design swimsuits?
The inspiration is architectural in nature. A lot of it has to do with the structure of the female body. That drives my creativity.
Are the swimsuits designed for six-foot-tall Victoria’s Secret models?
I’m a mom—I’ve delivered two children. At first I designed for skinny models. Now I’m more creative, and I’ve found success by creating things that I know I would wear.
How are they produced?
I used to make a digitized pattern and would send it overseas for production. Now I’m looking for domestic companies to work with. I’ve been a seamstress all my life, and I have others who help with the process.
Is this a good area to be a clothing designer?
Fashion can start anywhere. The biggest market for swimwear is in Miami. The details of production are intimidating. But I have been so humbled by the progress I’ve made and the feedback I have received over the past few years.
I was invited to show a collection at South Walton Fashion Week in October 2016, and was named a finalist out of 12 established designers. I also showed collections at SWFW in 2013 and 2015. I had a swimsuit on the cover of VIE Magazine in the summer of 2016 and an article in the Northwest Florida Daily News in November of 2016.
It’s Christmas. People have to buy gifts. How can someone get one of your swimsuits?
Caycecollinsswimwear is the Facebook page.