News & Runway

21 Questions With… Designer Shoshanna Gruss


Though Shoshanna Gruss started her eponymous ready-to-wear line in 1998, it was in 2001 that she really left her mark on the fashion industry with the launch of her swimwear collection — the first in the contemporary marketplace to be sold as separates with lingerie-inspired sizing. Now, nearly two decades after its launch, Gruss’ brand also includes a line of swimwear for girls, Shoshanna Baby Girl, and a legion of celeb fans, including Eva Longoria, Taylor Swift and Emma Stone. We spoke with the designer about shopping for swimwear, what keeps her inspired and more when we asked her our quickfire questions. 

  1. I usually wake up around… I know it sounds scary, but I normally wake up around 4:30 a.m. or 5:00 a.m. It’s the only quiet time I get in the day and I can get so much done before the world wakes up…I love it!
  2. When it comes to shopping for swimwear, it’s important… to make sure your suit fits! I know that seems obvious, but I’m amazed at how many people I see wearing ill-fitting suits.
  3. The most inspiring place I have ever traveled to is… I am crazy about Tahiti­ — the colors, the sea life, the food and the culture. I’m always dreaming about when I can go back.
  4. My most treasured piece of clothing is… I believe the most important piece of clothing is a great-fitting bra. I swear by Chantelle.
  5. The best gift I ever received was… honestly, the best gifts I receive are the trinkets and pieces of art my kids make for me. It makes my heart leap. I swoon.
  6. When I’m looking to get inspired I… wander the streets and stores of New York City. It doesn’t take long to get inspired by this beautiful city…
  7. When I’m stressed I… take a long bath. I light candles and use bath oil…the whole nine yards. I let myself float in the dark and it usually does the trick.
  8. What keeps me excited about working in fashion is… the constant newness that is needed to stay relevant, it keeps me on my toes. I can honestly say that I am always thinking about work on some level.
  9. If my days had one extra hour I’d… probably be answering emails, but what I wish I could be doing was reading a book. Reading is hands-down my favorite hobby and I just don’t have time to read all that I want to!
  10. My beauty essentials include… Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour products and Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara.
  11. When it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle… I love fruits and vegetables,­ simple dishes. I also gravitate to healthy dishes as it’s how my family ate growing up. I also don’t have a sweet tooth, but I will never pass up a piece of pizza­ — it’s my biggest weakness!
  12. The spring/summer trend I’m loving… is all the chromatic color on both accessories and apparel. I would wear rainbow every day if I could!
  13. I’d never travel without… a great book. You never know when you might have an extra few minutes somewhere or get delayed. I’d be so sad to find myself with time to kill and nothing to read! 
  14. My biggest fashion pet peeve is… ill-­fitting clothing. When people don’t dress to flatter, but blindly follow trends that don’t suit their body type.
  15. If there’s one swimsuit style that flatters everyone, it would be… a halter bikini.
  16. I’m most excited for summer… always! I am a beach girl at heart and I live for the summer and sand and salt water in my hair. I would be happiest if I could always be barefoot.
  17. Every woman should own… great-fitting undergarments and a perfect LBD for an unexpected moment.
  18. My favorite quote is… I have SO many, but I’ve been thinking about this one lately: “Don’t find fault, find a remedy,” ­by Henry Ford. 
  19. My biggest style regret is… I went through an overly preppy phase, it just didn’t work on me.
  20. On a typical Saturday… I am usually hanging at home with my kids or maybe my eldest daughter and I will go to one of our favorite restaurants. She is easily my favorite person to go out with.
  21. The one career highlight I’ll never forget… is just getting to see women feel like someone is thinking about them and appreciating their body type. Easily the most gratifying thing is getting an email from a customer who says she never felt so pretty until she put on one of our pieces and that it felt like the dress or bathing suit was custom made for her. That is what I love about what I do!