Suitable for Framing: Designer puts iconic La Jolla Cove images on new swimwear line

By Jenna Jay

Seals, palm trees and sand-covered steps — all icons of La Jolla’s most popular swim spot — are now part of the new Cove Collection, a line of women’s swimsuits designed by Jennifer Carrillo. She unveiled her collection at the Cove in advance of the Sept. 11 Rough Water Swim.

Carrillo’s Lorelei Swimwear (


means mermaid) launched its one-piece, two-piece and triangle-top competitive suits from a tent near swimmers and snorkelers. The swimsuits were $45-$50 during the weekend-long presale. They retail for $49.99-$56.99 and come in sizes small to extra-large.

Boasting a line based on affordability with a hometown-hook, Carrillo’s collection features collages of over-exposed images of the Cove, most first captured on film by Carrillo herself. “The artwork adds something on that people call close to them,” Carrillo said. “The over-exposed pictures are really popular right now. I took something that’s trending and made it into something that’s more appropriate for what we’re doing with the swim line. It’s something that people can relate to locally.”

Carrillo, a self-described “water sports girl” and former competitive swimmer, said she has participated in several open-water swims in the Cove. She has been designing swimsuits and other apparel for nearly a decade, and the new Cove Collection for Lorelei Swimwear has been a work in progress for almost two years.

Although hobbies like swimming, surfing and diving have recently taken a backseat to Carrillo’s two young children, the designer is using her new swimwear as a way to get reacquainted with the water. “I’m looking at this as my entryway back into the whole realm of organized swimming,” Carrillo said. “It’s something that I’ve always loved to do. Since I’ve had children, it’s been a little bit more of a challenge.”

Carrillo also plans on giving back to the community by donating a portion of Lorelei’s proceeds to the San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation for its work in protecting and preserving the world’s oceans.

Carrillo sells her swimsuits online and at select stores around town. Lorelei’s expansion could include men’s competitive swimsuits in the future, but for now, Carrillo will continue designing women’s wear exclusively. She is already at work on her next Southern California coastal-inspired collection.

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