An Exclusive Interview with Forbes 30 Under 30 Awardee & Frankies Bikinis Founder: Francesca Aiello

We sat down with California native and Forbes 30 under 30 2022 awardee to discuss her background, upcoming PINK collective label, and what to look forward to in the future.   

Q: Tell us the origin story of Frankies Bikinis.  

A: I grew up in Malibu, where from day to night the uniform included a bikini in some way—and I was constantly covered in sand. I remember my typical summers were spent being a junior lifeguard in the morning, surfing in the afternoon, and heading to water polo practice at night. All of this is to say that I genuinely lived in swimsuits growing up, and my love for bikinis has always been a part of my life in the most organic way. 

Q: Give us a short story about you—where are you from? How did you get into swimwear? Anything you’d like to share about your background.  

A: One day I saw a woman on the beach wearing a skimpy bikini bottom, and she seemed so confident and empowered in it! I had never seen a cut like that before and had to have it. Of course, when I went to search for it, I couldn’t find anything. This was over 10 years ago, and around that time it was harder to find cheekier cuts, which inspired me to make my own. My mom encouraged me to bring my design ideas to a seamstress, and eventually all my friends were asking for my custom bikinis, too. I was having so much fun with creating my own styles, that in the early days of Instagram I started a page called @frankiesbikinis to show my friends and me wearing the designs. It all took off when a notable supermodel happened to see the page and requested a few bikinis, which she ended up posting. I was still in high school, and it made the brand more recognized than I could have ever imagined. 

3. What are you most excited for people to see in the new PINK collective label?  

The beautiful products we’ve designed. The heritage of PINK and Frankies Bikinis is really infused into every aspect, from the design details to the branding and so on. 

4. Who or what inspires you?  

My mom has been such an inspiration as well as collaborator throughout this entire process—the brand truly would not exist without her encouragement and hard work. I am lucky to have so many strong, powerful women around me. Each inspires me in their own way, and I think of them when designing pieces for the brand. I often ask myself what would make them feel their most confident. 

5. Lie on the beach or by the pool?  

Beach all day every day—rolling in the sand, swimming in the ocean, surfing the waves, all of it! 

6. If you could only wear one style of swimsuit for the rest of your life—what would it be?  

A triangle top and thong bottom. Specifically, our Nick Top and Full Moon Bottom. The pairing is lifting, flattering, supportive, and great for both tanning and an active lifestyle. 

7. What’s a piece of advice you would give to young entrepreneurs?  

Don’t give up on your dreams, and with everything good comes hard work. I can say that in starting a company there have been failures, tears, you name it, but perseverance will take you anywhere in life. 

8. What are you looking forward to showing people in the future?  

Continuing to disrupt the swimwear industry. We want to show things that are fresh, fun, and innovative, whether that’s through our branding or design. 

Jenn is the Copy Director at Victoria’s Secret and has spent the past 10 years writing for brands like Club Monaco, Free People, SoulCycle, and more. She has a degree in English from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. When she’s not chipping away at Pulitzer Prize-winning copy (dream big, right?), you’ll find her living beyond her means by venturing to new restaurants, exploring local shops, and petting other people’s dogs.