Are you a #CharlieFan?

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Have you seen this week’s US Weekly? Guess who went head to head with Rihanna in matching Charlie by MZ swimsuits!? It’s pretty crazy to be next to Rihanna when I’m 47, but it’s totally flattering.

You guys know I love my bikinis – it’s no secret that I like to play on the beach in the skimpiest of wares. I love my body and its curves. The modern swimsuit is a celebration of the female form and arguably no one is doing it better right now than Matthew Zink, the creative genius behind the brand Charlie by MZ.

I’ve known Matthew for five years and have loved his designs for as long. We met at an AmFar gala when he was seated next to me and recognized me as the author of The Bikini Book – the authoritative guide to the bikini published by Assouline. The next day Matthew sent over some of his swimsuits – and surprise – as I was reading Vogue, I saw Jennifer Lopez also clad in Charlie by MZ.

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Previously the design director for swim at Victoria’s Secret, he branched out with his own label five years ago and created a huge social media following with #CharlieFans fawning over each new creation and the sexy bodies that show them off, not least of whom is Rihanna.

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I interviewed Matthew for AM NEW YORK last year and he told me about where the name Charlie came from, and how he got his start in the business:

Q: Why the name Charlie?

A: Charlie is my ultimate muse for both men and women. It’s a constant touchstone for my designs. It’s class, handsome, irreverent and has a ’70s/’80s connotation. It is timeless.

Q: Who did you work for in the fashion industry?

A: I worked for Carolina Herrara as an intern. I’m from Ohio and had no New York experience or fashion experience. I got to experience the level, care, polish and the fabric of one of the most iconic brands. I was the first in in the morning and the last to leave. I then worked with a production company and worked with Tom Ford and Gucci, and YSL and Stefano Pilati. It was exciting to work with Tom Ford for he was creating a fantasy with every single detail.

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So I can’t rave just all about Charlie and not let you in on the fun! Summer is just around the corner and there’s nothing hauter than a sexy new bikini for the beach.

Over on Instagram, we’re giving away a Charlie by MZ t-shirt and bikini – all you have to do is head over and tag your favorite beach buddy. We’ll draw a winner and contact you for sizing info.

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I had a few more questions for Mr. Charlie and he was so gracious to give insight into his seductive swimwear world.

What makes a great bikini body:
-I always respond to a confident woman who buys a bikini that attempts to celebrate her body, not cover it up…And having some curves always helps!

Who’s your bikini icon:
-I have a few Bikini Icons: Paulina Poriskova, Jerry Hall, and The Bikini Book.

What’s your favorite Charlie Bikini:
-Definitely our Charlie String Bikini. I’ve tried to create the perfect string bikini for the Charlie girl. The classic string bikini is one of fashion’s perfect designs, it will always be the most iconic silhouette and ours is perfect for any beach body.

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