By Andrea Milam, Special Contributor to News of St. John
In the small island town of Coral Bay, swimsuit designer Rani Keohane is making big things happen. Her swimsuit line, Ranifly, was recently featured for the second time in Sports Illustrated, and she was also featured on GrindTV’s website in a piece on swimsuits for active women.
Ranifly swimsuits are coveted by women of all shapes and sizes thanks to their durability, comfort, and Keohane’s ability to create custom suits that flatter any body. She hand selects her fabric from a secret source in small batches and makes swimsuits in various styles, ensuring each Ranifly suit is unique.
“The suits are reversible, and we have hundreds of fabrics to choose from,” said Keohane, who makes the suits right in her Coccoloba complex shop.
Ranifly swimsuits can be purchased off the rack at Keohane’s Coral Bay shop and at various other St. John retailers, or ordered custom in the shop or online at www.raniflybikini.com.
Keohane’s success story begins with her simply trying to solve a problem: how to stay comfortable while working long days as a charter boat crewmember.
“I was working on boats and could never find anything that fit or was comfortable for the whole day,” she said. “I was always getting headaches from the suit pulling on my neck. So I started designing suits I could work in.”
Coworkers and friends took notice of Keohane’s designs, and immediately started placing their orders.
“They were so comfy and people loved them,” she said. “They’ve developed into being some of the most comfortable and flattering suits. Once people wear them, they’re hooked.”
In the 12 years since Keohane began making her own swimsuits, her business has grown in popularity, and today her easily recognizable designs are prolific on St. John’s beaches. Keohane works with her assistant, Sarah Swan, to come up with ideas for creative new styles, and Keohane engineers the suits to ensure their comfort and durability — hallmarks of Ranifly bikinis.
“Sarah will come up with something she thinks is really creative, and we’ll tweak it so that it’s functional too,” said Keohane. “That’s the part I do — I’m the mechanic. We don’t follow trends; we follow function, and we’re creative within that functionality. We try to be innovative. We’re trendsetters.”
Ranifly’s clientele ranges in age from teenagers to women in their mid-60s, and she’s made flattering, comfortable suits for every type of body.
“We get to make people feel good about themselves, and feel comfortable and confident at the same time,” said Keohane. “Bikinis are really hard. It’s a struggle for people to find something that works for them. We enjoy helping people leave happy and satisfied.”
To learn more about Ranifly, visit www.raniflybikini.com or contact Keohane at [email protected]