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[photo_credit]Photo by Daeja Fallas[/photo_credit]
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Kate Ruggiero’s line of underwear is cute enough to be worn in public. Or on the beach, at least.

Hand-sewn in Hawai‘i using soft, stretchy cotton jersey, Gypsy hits in all the right places, sitting low across the hip like a Brazilian, but providing just enough coverage in the rear. So girls can kiss the pinching panty line goodbye! The days of the awkwardly uncomfortable wedgie are over. The barely-there panty is the perfect fit, and it evokes that toes-in-the-sand, waves-lapping-at-your ankles sort of feel.

Kate wanted her collection to evoke the carefree spirit she embodied herself. Before she came to Hawai‘i, Kate had been working for a fashion photographer in New York, but it had always been her dream to live by the ocean and design her own collection of swimwear. Overwhelmed by the bustle of the big city, Kate felt it time to uproot and that if she didn’t move at that moment, she wouldn’t ever. So, at the bewilderment of her family and friends, the bright-eyed, freckled free-spirit hopped on a plane bound for Honolulu, full of smiles all the way there. “Moving to Hawai‘i I felt like a traveling gypsy, so my line is really about being free-spirited and following your heart,” she says, explaining why she settled on the name Gypsy. “Plus, it’s my favorite Fleetwood Mac song.”

Always the dreamer, Kate hopes one day to open up a lingerie boutique that would carry a select line of her intimates, as well as swim and sleepwear, and it seems Hawai‘i is just the place for that. “Hawai‘i is still evolving, as far as fashion and art, and that actually is a really good thing,” she says. “It’s what allowed me to start my own collection. In New York, it’s so intimidating I would’ve never thought about starting something of my own. People here are open, to knowing about new designers and trying them out. I definitely see there’s a community here, and that’s a positive thing.”

Gypsy Hawaii from Daeja Fallas on Vimeo.

GYPSY LINGERIE IS AVAILABLE ON O‘AHU AT OLIVE BOUTIQUE IN KAILUA, ON MAUI AT PINK BY NATURE IN MAKAWAO, AND ONLINE AT WWW.MADEBYGYPSY.COM

To see the full article, check out our “Perception” issue, on stands July 11.