Cuban-American swimwear designer Nicole Di Rocco has built a career around embracing the figures of real women for her label Nicolita. So for the brand's 2014 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim runway show, Di Rocco teamed with Explore Modeling to hold a nationwide, open online casting call.
With no restrictions on height, weight, or experience, more than 1,200 hopefuls participated, with a group of 100 being invited to an in-person casting call at the Surfcomber—just days before Nicolita's July 20th runway show. In the end, 14 models were chosen to walk in the show. "Making the selection for our final models was challenging," says Di Rocco. "I was looking more at the girls' personality and [their] strong runway walk. It's important for the runway models to be able to command your attention, show off the swimwear, and have fun!"
You can see the winners in the slideshow above. As for what they're wearing, the collection is an ode to the derriere, with figure-flattering ruffles, blows, and polka dots.