New York-area entrepreneur and fashion designer, Elizabeth Arthur, has always been inspired by butterflies. As a child playing on the beaches of Trinidad and Tobago, she admired the beauty and individuality of the patterns on their wings when they’d flutter by. As an adult, she’s identified with and been inspired by their process of metamorphosis. Consequently, naming her latest endeavor— a swimwear collection— was a no-brainer. Arthur chose Kimimi, the Sioux word for butterfly, not only to pay homage to her personal mascot, but also to remind her clients to embrace their own individual beauty.
Professionally and personally, Elizabeth often seems quiet and reserved. However, when inspired by a goal or presented with a challenge, the fashion industry veteran becomes relentlessly emboldened and flourishes. For example, she began her career in 2003 at Weight Clothing, a men’s collection founded by her brother. While there, she assisted with the running of the business. She has also worked in the male-dominated construction industry as a certified electrician. “That experience,” she says, taught me to be self-reliant and to commit fully to projects.” Further, in addition to being a single mother, she received her Bachelor of Science degree from Empire State College and started the Maia Venae t-shirt collection. In 2013 she founded Kimimi LLC.
A proponent of individuality and women’s empowerment, Arthur designs Kimimi swimsuits with the goal of enhancing the natural beauty of every woman. The collection of one-piece bathing suits, bikinis and monokinis is comprised of colors, fabrics, silhouettes and embellishments inspired by the graceful movements and breathtaking wing patterns of butterflies. The mission of the swimwear collection is to prompt its own metamorphosis of sorts, in which a woman slips into her swimsuit and sheds the confines of her regular attire and everyday life. In doing so, she is free to reveal new sides of herself and to embrace the extraordinary, hopefully holding onto that experience after leaving the beach or pool. Consequently, the woman, like a butterfly, has transformed and emerged with more confidence.
Looking forward, Elizabeth Arthur plans to become involved in community projects that aim to inspire and assist women. One of her deepest desires is to prove by example that women should never give up on what they want to accomplish, despite hardships and challenges. Instead, she hopes that she can teach people that those challenges and dark places should be seen as a cocoon, where one grows, gains strength and struggles to emerge forever transformed… like a butterfly.