Designer Interview: Beach Riot X Free People Collaboration

When it comes to watersports, being comfortable is key. 

Too many times have I been in the water and my movements have been restricted due in part to a bathing suit not staying in place. I’ve found it tricky finding the perfect pieces that are fashion forward, yet functional. When it comes down to it, I think functionality is most important. So, where do you find a happy medium? The new Beach Riot x Free People Collaboration, that’s where.

Tropical prints, bold hues, soft neoprene… the collection is unique, beautiful, and inventive. Some of the designs within the collection are something I’ve never seen before, but they work in every way possible.

Based in Costa Mesa, CA, Beach Riot was founded by fashion designer Nicole Hanriot in 2012. “Riot on the beach, Party in the streets,” is the motto they like to live by over at Beach Riot, and If you ask me… I like the sounds of that.

To find out a little more about the collaboration, I caught up with Nicole and talked to her about the inspiration behind the collection. Get the insider scoop below!


Sup One Piece

Hello! Can you introduce yourself, and tell us a little bit about what you do at Beach Riot?

Hi, my name is Nicole Hanriot and I am the founder and designer of Beach Riot.


Sup Neoprene Bralette

How did Beach Riot come to be?

I have been designing swimwear for the past six years, it had always been my dream to have my own brand, I was lucky enough to be able make that dream become a reality in 2012. Beach Riot is a play off of my last name HanRIOT.


Printed Sup Bralette, Sup High Waist Bottoms

Where are you based? How is it representative of the Beach Riot brand and Lifestyle?

Beach Riot is based in Costa Mesa, a beach town in Southern California. Beach Riot is contemporary chic mixed with surfer girl which definitely reflects the lifestyle of southern California.


Printed Sup Bralette

“Riot On The Beach, Party On The Street”… what’s your motto all about?

All of our pieces are made to be styled and worn from the beach to the street. We encourage our “Rioters” to be creative when styling their pieces and use them as more than just a bikini. For examples the long sleeve crop top in the SUP collection, it can be just as functional as a bikini top as a glamorous crop with a maxi skirt!


Printed Sup BraletteSup High Waist Bottoms

What inspired the exclusive Beach Riot X Free People collection?

We love working with Free People and being able to design a collection for the Free People girl. The idea of having a fashion forward, but functional, collection for your surfer girl is exactly what we wanted to create. It’s great working with people who inspire you because you both feed of each other’s creativity to create something completely new and innovative!


Sup Sleeveless Crop

What’s your favorite piece from the collection?

I love the retro high waisted bottom with the color blocked bralette!


Solid Strappy Rashguard, Solid Sup Boy Bottom

When it came to designing this collection, who was the girl in mind? Who is she?

The girl for this collection is active but has a great sense of style. She wants to be noticed on the beach but also in the water. Any girl will look like a PRO at surfing in these pieces.


Printed Neoprene Sup Top

I love how this collection incorporates elevated designs, while the pieces still remain functional for an active lifestyle. Is this something that’s challenging during the design process?

When designing this collection that was my main focus, I wanted to create something that was fashionable but functional on the beach or in the water. There are so many new amazing designs in the active lifestyle category right now and I love that swimwear is playing a big part in that category.


Solid Sup Bralette

It’s the weekend, and you’re headed down to the beach. What’s playing in your car?

High You Are (Branchez Remix)


Strappy Back Rashguard, Sup Boy Bottoms

What does being “Free” mean to you?

Free to me means being able to express yourself freely, whether its thru fashion, art, music anything!


Sup Neoprene BraletteSup High Waist Bottoms

Thank you, Nicole!

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9 years ago

The strappy rashguard is beautiful! I tried surfing in a bikini a while back – not pretty! but these suits definitely meet that space of being beautiful and conservative enough to play in. LOVE.

Warm Regards,

9 years ago

Such a gorgeous collection. I really love the idea of having swimwear that is beautiful, well made and comfortable. Suits that you can actually swim in without having to worry about wardrobe malfunctions!!!! Thank you for sharing!

Best Wishes,

9 years ago

What’s the point of wearing really high-waisted biki bottoms with half of your backside showing?

9 years ago

Anna……….let me explain…… lay on a surfboard……ass side up…….the style is perfect for the sport

9 years ago

I love these, all of these!! I can just imagine feeling sexy and good in my skin x

9 years ago

Beautiful collection! Cannot wait to pick up a few pieces for this upcoming summer <3