Halter-top two-piece bikini, Prada ($435). Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave.; prada.com. Skirt, Domenico Vacca ($1,900). Bal Harbour Shops, see above; domenicovacca.com. Two-headedbird bracelets, Lanvin ($1,410 each). Bal Harbour Shops, see above; lanvin.com. Parentesi cocktail ring, Bulgari ($8,850). Bal Harbour Shops, see above; bulgari.com. Cutout platform boots, Gucci ($1,550). Bal Harbour Shops, see above; gucci.com. BELOW, RIGHT: Kia bathing suit, Diane von Furstenberg ($220). Village of Merrick Park, 358 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables; dvf.com. Shiny hematite metal tube necklace ($98) and bracelet ($88), Kenneth Cole. 190 Eighth St., Miami Beach; kennethcole.com. Fleur di Lis ring,Scott Kay ($395). Montica Jewelry, 75 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; montica.com

F

ew people feel their most comfortable walking around in three swatches of fabric that total maybe 10 square inches—but Irina Shayk is one of that rare breed.

At least, this is what I think while observing the 24-year-old on the set of this month’s cover shoot: The Russian-born beauty is something of a bikini ninja, knowing instinctively from its lines how a suit should look on camera. California-based label Beach Bunny Swimwear must have thought the same thing, having sought Shayk out not only as a face of its ad campaign, but also to design a range of pieces. “I knew their suits, as I’d been shooting in them for Sports Illustrated,” Shayk notes (she appeared in the last four SI Swimsuit Issues). “Because of my job I’ve had an opportunity to wear thousands of swimsuits, and I was happy to try designing practical and beautiful suits that can be worn by any woman who wants to feel sexy and confident.” She mentions those elements important to her aesthetic—that the suit look great both dry and wet, that a snakeskin strap is a versatile detail that can be tied different ways on one favorite bikini—and you immediately grasp that Shayk indeed has put a lot of thought into one of fashion’s most challenging questions: How do you invent a new bikini?

It’s a talent all the more enviable when you consider that Shayk’s upbringing was about as far from a beach as one can get. She was raised in a small town called Yemanzhelinsk, located in the Ural Mountains of western Russia “The town is so small that, for me, thinking of becoming a model was something like becoming a cosmonaut—absolutely unreal,” she says. “I grew up loving literature and thought I would become a teacher; I loved reading and making up stories.”

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