Saturday, March 10, 2012

Our first boutique employee

Stuart’s ex-Playmate launches luxury swimwear line

by Staci Sturrock

Kelly Carrington
Twenty-five-year-old Kelly Carrington has gone from playing volleyball and lacrosse at Martin County High School, to posing for Playboy (she was the October 2008 Playmate of the Month), to launching a luxury swimwear line.
Kelly is putting what she learned on the beaches of Stuart, on the shop floor at Stephen Bonanno Sandals and at the University of Florida as a public relations major to use as co-founder and creative director of Eclairee (French for “enlightened”). In a way, the House of Hefner even had a hand in guiding her toward a career in fashion.
Now a New York City resident, Kelly recently answered a few questions about Eclairee — which updates classic silhouettes with of-the-moment touches like color blocking, geometric seams and mesh inserts — via email.
Malled!: How did your experience with Playboy shape your current career path?
Kelly Carrington: ”I posed for Playboy once when I was 21. It was a quick, adventurous decision, and I did not realize how it would impact my future. …  Essentially, (it) forced me to realize there was a much grander plan for my life and my journey into self-discovery and enlightenment began which led me to my true passion — creativity, design and fashion.”

The Chantal suit ($280) from Kelly Carrington's Eclairee swimwear collection.
Malled!: When you’re in South Florida, how do you spend your time?
Kelly Carrington: “I always make time for an afternoon in downtown Stuart and time on the boat. The Breakers and Mar-a-Lago are my two favorite hotels to kick back and relax. I recently experienced Mar-a-Lago on New Year’s Eve and was taken aback by its beauty and authentic Palm Beach style. The gold ballroom took my breath away— simply magical!”
Malled!: Favorite restaurants in the area?
Kelly: Jetty’s and Guanabanas in Jupiter, and Sailor’s Return in Stuart. “All three are waterfront and perfect sunset spots.”
Malled!: How did working at Stephen Bonanno Sandals influence you?
Kelly: “It was my first real job and glimpse into the world of retail and manufacturing. I think my time at SBS has had the biggest influence on my work ethic, attention to detail, importance of quality control and overall understanding of customer service. Everything I absorbed was instilled by Vivian Bonanno-Benvenuto, who was very disciplined, a true perfectionist and very hands-on with customer relations. We built a powerful trust that pushed me to exceed her expectations.”

The Celine suit ($320)
Malled!: You look great in a bikini. What about the rest of us?
Kelly: “Looking and feeling amazing in a swimsuit is about confidence, and confidence arises from feeling comfortable. In my collection, it was very important to me to design beachwear accessories, sarongs and modern swim skirts, that give women that extra bit of confidence we all desire. Éclairée invites women to get up from their chairs and walk around confidently in their beachwear.”
To see more suits and find out where Eclairee will be sold, visit