Series The Label is a small independent brand founded by Marina Malafis. Her dream was to create minimalist, flattering, and effortlessly elegant swimwear that is responsibly and meticulously designed. Series was made to make you feel good while doing good — the pieces focus on quality, sustainable design, and the fit and fabrics are built to be timeless, with classic silhouettes and reversible, long lasting styles. The suits are designed to seamlessly take you from beach to pool to town. Pair with simple linen oversized blouses or flowing pants and sandals for a sophisticated, classic summer look.
The collection is handmade in New York by a small family-owned and operated facility, and the brand aligns itself with local artisans that share its passion and pursuit for quality, sustainability and ethical work environments.
Marina sat down with us to discuss her label. We're excited to welcome the brand to Golden Edit!
We love connecting with a fellow New York City based brand. What inspired you to develop Series The Label and how has New York influenced your brand?
I may be a New Yorker but I am also Greek, a water sign and a summer baby, so sun, beach and everything summer is in my DNA! I was always into fashion – my grandmother was a seamstress and my inspiration growing up. I remember as a young girl being so fascinated by how she would create something from scratch. I would sit and watch her and pretend to drape a dress with all her fabric scraps. This stuck with me throughout my teenage years. It was the late 90’s when I studied fashion design at FIT, I was obsessed with the style of Donna Karan and Calvin Klein, it doesn’t get more New York than that. Living in this inspirational city just solidified my love for fashion and really influenced my personal style, even to this day. I always go back to that time when I’m designing, but try to modernize it for the woman of today. That simple, effortless New York style is at the core of my mindset when sketching a swimsuit. I hope that vision resonates with my customer. STL was born because I had a hard time finding a great quality swimsuit that suited my minimalist style and made me feel good wearing it. I would always settle for an unflattering fit because it was the style I was looking for or the quality was poor but it was the color I wanted. I never found a suit that checked all my boxes and I ended up with a drawer full of swimwear that I really never wanted to wear again. I felt that my “swim wardrobe” lacked my personal style and I knew that I wanted to change that.
Your pieces are so timeless and sleek, yet functional. What elements do you consider during your design process?
Style, purpose and fit, always. I probably sample a suit 4-5 times before it goes into production; it really has to be perfect. My patternmaker sometimes thinks I am crazy for that quarter inch detail, but it matters to me and it can make all the difference on the body. I think about how a piece can be worn and incorporated into a summer wardrobe, season after season, so that you reach for it every summer. It has to be functional but versatile enough to go beyond the beach. I love suits that are modestly sexy, uncomplicated and are effortlessly chic. I design with the mindset that you can add to your swim wardrobe and they complement each other; mixing last season’s top and this season’s bottom. Trends are great for the moment but eventually they fade. For me, it’s really about the woman wearing the suit, not the other way around. Creating your own personal style, is timeless.
Your brand is driven by a ‘less is more’ vision. What does this mean for you in terms of personal style — beyond swimwear?
I am definitely a T-shirt and jeans kind of girl. If I am going out, I’ll wear a sleek blazer over that and a pair of high heels. During the summer months, I’ll reach for an asymmetrical bodysuit (or swimsuit!) paired with high waisted trousers. On the beach, definitely a black one piece under a white linen shirt dress and a straw hat.
We love that ethos is core to your brand. How do you carry your commitment to environmental responsibility through your line?
Even when the brand was born back in 2018, environmental responsibility was always at the core but it wasn’t until Covid hit that I really sat back and thought about what really matters and what I was going to do moving forward. It really played a big part of the direction I wanted to take the brand. So I started designing pieces that can be worn in more than one way (reversible) to help minimize consumption, produce in limited quantities and commit to only using 100% sustainable materials. I knew that this was going to be a challenge every season; creating fresh pieces from such limited sourcing and to keep customers coming back, but it was worth the risk and I am so proud I made the decision to create a product that is consciously made. The thought that something new was created entirely from regenerated ocean waste sits really well with me. But, it didn’t stop there: hangtags, hygiene liners, mailers, packaging, and even tissue paper is all recyclable, recycled or biodegradable. As the brand grows, I aim to continue to educate myself on ways to become a more environmentally responsible brand.
In line with your ethos, you commit 1% to the Healthy Seas Initiative. Why is this partnership so important to you?
It's very important. I have two young boys, they are the future. I try to instill responsible values to my children. If I can help and be a part of change that will impact not only our planet but the life of marine animals while doing something I am passionate about, and set that example for my boys, it’s priceless. The Healthy Seas Initiative resonated with me because I loved their mission and was fascinated with their accomplishments. I am sometimes in awe when I see the quality of the fabric on a finished product and think about where it actually came from. It’s such a good feeling.
You clearly have a love for nature and specifically the ocean. What is a coastal escape you are planning for or dreaming of at the moment?
Definitely the Greek Isles. The fresh air, the food, the culture, the sunsets, the beaches, everything! Just the overall way of life. I am really looking forward to that moment again!