Wednesday, April 17, 2024 Apr 17, 2024
77° F Dallas, TX
Advertisement
Shopping & Fashion

This Dallas-Based Retailer Wants to Be a One-Stop Shop for Resort Wear 

Launched in December 2023, Casalina carries a range of swimsuits, coverups, and clothes you can transition from vacation to daily life.
|
Image
Models wear swimsuits and dresses from designer Maygel Coronel, sold on Dallas-based online retailer Casalina. ps.swoon

In the summer of 2021, friends Lauren Mize and Lamar McKinley were frustrated that nothing in their wardrobes was appropriate for the vacations they had planned.

They found it tedious to dig through the resort wear selections carried by online retailers. Too, the clothes were often dated or too expensive. “You have to be very patient and have a pretty high credit card limit,” Mize says. They turned to fast fashion and last-minute purchases, but they really wanted a “one-stop shop for vacation shopping” that was easy to navigate and had everything on their packing list. So Mize and McKinley decided to do it themselves. 

Last December, the Dallas-based pair launched Casalina, an online shop that carries a tailored selection of designer vacation clothes that shoppers can wear at the beach and at home. Mize contends that vacation clothes are too often a part of your closet that doesn’t get touched unless you’re near a body of water. Resort wear has become so expensive that they felt it should be something you can transition into your daily life. 

Casalina carries swimsuits, coverups, dresses, accessories, and more from a small list of designers. You won’t find their pieces in too many other places. “Exclusivity is really important to us,” Mize says. They plan to do quarterly collaborations with designers on limited-run collections that will be exclusive to Casalina. They also want to expand their selection to cover the whole vacation: from travel clothes to beachwear—everything “you would need to go on a trip,” Mize says. But the through-line, they say, is everything could be worn whenever you wanted.

Mize says she’s worn their one-piece swimsuits as body suits and styled a pink Oroton skirt for three different events. McKinley says she packed several Leslie Amon items for a wedding in Naples. She also loves the versatility of Nigerian designer Abiola Olusada’s clothes

Fashion has been a part of Mize and McKinley’s lives for years. While working in PR in New York City, Mize “dabbled in fashion,” helping with brands like Khloe Kardashian’s Good American. McKinley worked as a nurse in operating rooms, but would style people for weddings on the side. Through those stylings, she “found a passion for that and always wanted to get into the fashion world,” McKinley says. Casalina was “the perfect fit.” 

They wanted to be a “Bandier for swimsuits,” she says, referencing the athleisure retailer, but they ditched their early plans for a brick-and-mortar store. Instead, they’ve chosen to invest in an easy-to-navigate website that looks modern but functions like it’s “been around for five years.” They want customers to quickly find what they’re looking for, and offer a size guide that is inclusive and thorough. They also want to offer pieces for any budget. (Prices currently range from $49 to more than $1,800.) Really, they want to fill a void they say they’ve experienced in the resort wear world for a long time. 

While they are online-only, they do maintain an office by Dallas-Love Field Airport. It probably won’t become an in-person shop where customers can browse, but Mize and McKinley use it to host pop-ups. They can see themselves turning part of their space into an appointment-only private showroom. Trying on swimsuits is personal—”it sucks for a lot of people, to be totally blunt,” Mize says—and this, like the website, could make that experience easier and a little more fun. 

Since a buzzy launch party in early December, Mize and McKinley say they’ve attracted a significant customer base from other states. In the coming months, they plan to host more pop-up events to continue to get the word out. “We really see ourselves as our own brand that we want people to be excited about,” she says. They want to be a go-to for vacation shopping—like what they always wished they had.

Author

Catherine Wendlandt

Catherine Wendlandt

View Profile
Catherine Wendlandt is the online associate editor for D Magazine’s Living and Home and Garden blogs, where she covers all…

Related Articles

Dolly Python
Shopping & Fashion

Where to Buy Vintage in Dallas

Whether designer consignment or thrift-store finds are your bag, here are eight top shops with enduring style.
McKinney Knittery
Shopping & Fashion

Needlework Is the New Craft Craze

Cross-stitch, needlepoint, knitting, and crocheting have seduced a new generation that's desperate to disconnect.
Image
Fashion

A Colombian Resortwear Brand Makes Its Debut in Highland Park Village 

Crochet is now high fashion. Get your hands on these high-fashion pieces, and learn how to style them for spring.
Advertisement