Ava Sanjurjo says her upbringing and surroundings are what shaped and influenced her swimwear designs. Surprisingly, Sanjurjo grew up in the South Bronx in the 1980’s, which is not somewhere that you might instantly connect with her, chic, glamorous collection of swimsuits and beach cover-ups for her label Rica.
“My passionate Puerto Rican family, as well as the colorful energy of my Bronx neighborhood definitely give me inspiration” Sanjurjo said with a smile “I think there is a little bit of every part of my life and background in each design.”
Sanjurjo and her partner Brendan Pezzoli launched their company, Rica, in August 2009 to offer women modern, fashionable, and most importantly, flattering looks for the beach and poolside.
Starting their own company has been a dream come true for the couple. “The timing was right for us,” said Pezzoli. “We were ready for the challenge, so we decided to take a leap.”
The gamble seems to be paying off. Despite only launching their website here, a few months ago the company has already attracted the attention of critics and retail buyers, who have urged Sanjurjo to offer her designs in stores.
“Things are really starting to take off for us,” said Sanjurjo. “We have already hired a sales director, and we are excited to see Rica in several stores in 2010”
For Sanjurjo’s mother, Eva, who lives a few blocks from her daughter in Hunts Point it is no surprise that her daughter found her calling in creation of designer swimwear.
“Ever since Ava was a child I knew she was destined to be a fashion designer with her own amazing clothing company.”
Sanjurjo, who was highly focused from a young age, enrolled in the renowned High School of Fashion Industries. Upon graduation, she went on to the world-famous Fashion Institute of Technology where she honed her fashion design skills. She resided in the Bronx with her family during her education before introducing her partner, Pezzoli, to the (neighborhood name) area of Bronx that they both now call home.
Rica swimwear is available online here and will be sold in specialty stores nationwide from Spring 2010.