Coral Bay’s Rani Keohane and her Ranifly Bikini
With so many beautiful beaches on St. John, it makes sense that the island is home to designer hand-crafted bikinis. And now the world is taking notice. Rani Keohane of Ranifly Bikinis has been making her own bespoke suits since she couldn’t find ones that fit or lasted when she worked as crew on a charter boat more than a decade ago. People quickly took notice and before long, Keohane was sewing suits for all of her friends.
The designer grew up on a small island in Washington State and began making clothes as a young girl. A beach and water lover, Keohane has called St. John home for more than 12 years. She launched Ranifly Bikinis about five years ago and is based in a small boutique and workshop in the Cocoloba shopping complex in Coral Bay where, in addition to keeping her racks full, she also cranks out an incredible number of hand-stitched custom suits.
Lately, Keohane has also been riding a wave of publicity that promises not to ebb any time soon. For the second year in a row, one of Keohane’s RaniFly Bikinis was included in the Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue and her suits were recently chosen as one of five bikini brands recommended for “women who rip” by Grind TV.com.
On the 2014 SISwimsuit Issue website, http://swimsuit/si/com, a graphic printed RaniFly tie-string bottom and triangle top bikini is worn by South African model Natasha Barnard as she’s photographed lounging on a sandy beach in Brazil.
On the heels of the huge SISwimsuit Issue inclusion, Keohane recently discovered that her suits were also featured by GrindTV.com, who boasted that RaniFly Bikinis were “so comfortable they can double as undergarments.” Which, by the way, is true.
All this attention comes well-deserved to a hard working designer who ensures quality and durability in every suit. All RaniFly bikinis are hand-made by Keohane in limited editions with sport-grade Lyrca. Also amazing about RaniFly Bikinis are the prices. Off the rack suits run around $105 to $145 with custom suits about an additional $10 per piece, depending on the fabric. And fabric is one of the really fun things about Ranifly suits. Keohane is continually getting in new prints — she receives a new batch about once every three weeks — and all of her suits are reversible.
Keohane also regularly dreams up different cuts to flatter all figures. The designer offers seven different X-back cuts, meaning women of all cup sizes can find a top that actually fits. “I do bikinis big and small, one-pieces, everything,” said Keohane. “I have suits for everyone from teenagers to people who are in their 70s. We’re different from other lines of suits that are made only for one body type.” “The suits are really comfortable, functional and durable,” she said. “I work really hard to ensure the quality and durability.”
The most popular suits lately are the scrunchbum bottoms, which offer coverage and a flirty gather in the back, and the 12-way top, which is the only top you’ll need to take on a week-long vacation.
If you’re on island, stop by the RaniFly Bikini shop, open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and grab a suit off the rack or choose a print and design a custom RaniFly. Also at the RaniFly Bikini shop, check out Keohane’s line of graphic printed bags, each of which is one-of-a-kind, yoga pants, skirts and headbands all made, like the swim suits, from her sports-grade Lycra.
Even if you can’t make it to St. John, you can still enjoy your own RaniFly. Keohane recently added a “Custom” option to her website offering her full range of 25 different cuts of tops and 20 different bottom styles.
Written by: Jaime Elliott
For more information and to order suits, check out www.raniflybikini.com. To check out Keohane’s feature in SI, go to http://swimsuit.si.com/swimsuit/models/natasha-barnard/photos/8 and to see the GrindTV.comfeature on RaniFly Bikinis, go to http://www.grindtv.com/lifestyle/wanted/post/5-bikini-brands-for-women-who-rip/