LIFE’S SHORTS

Written By: Robert Cocuzzo

How one of hottest summer brands became so much more than a swimsuit.

When Jimmy Lambert launched Okaicos, his mission was so much more than creating a comfortable pair of swim trunks. Lambert wanted to sew his fashionable summer wear with a positive state of mind. He sought to create a lifestyle brand that empowered people, making them feel not only comfortable in his apparel, but also comfortable in their own skin. Indeed, unlike any of his competitors, Lambert boldly took aim at improving his customers’ mental health by helping them feel “Okaicos.”

The brand got its start during a family trip to the islands of Turks and Caicos eleven years ago. As someone who has battled with his own bouts of life’s ups and downs, Lambert found the tropical islands to be a soothing balm to his mental angst. The pristine beaches, the mesmerizing waters, the joys of traveling with family and friends—just made him feel good inside. So when his parents asked how he was doing, Lambert began saying, “I’m feeling Okaicos.” The more he said it, the more he thought about how he could share this optimistic feeling with others. So began his luxury apparel company.

Along with its positive branding, Okaicos is built on a line of swim trunks that combine high performance and high fashion. Made with comfortable stretch material, the swimsuits are equipped with a signature waistband that transitions from beach to street seamlessly. The trunks are accompanied by a line of ultralight, supersoft T-shirts, as well as a fun selection of so-called dad hats. Okaicos continues to grow exponentially with new lines of sweatshirts, button downs, accessories and co-branded products currently in the works.

While Okaicos might have been inspired by the Turks and Caicos, Lambert was quick to bring his brand to his other favorite island. Three years ago, he showcased his swim trunks on Nantucket, where he has vacationed with his family for the last six years. This summer, he will return to The Skinny Dip where he plans to unveil a new line of Okaicos styles. Lambert will also launch a signature swim short made in collaboration with CRU Oyster Bar that will be available at their 1 Straight Wharf location. Above all, Okaicos resonates with the unique island attitude found on Nantucket. As Lambert himself says, “When you’re on Nantucket, you feel Okaicos.”

Some might scoff at Lambert’s commitment to serving mental health as just another marketing ploy—but they would be wrong. Lambert has formed an affiliation with Active Minds, a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting mental health awareness in young adults. His social media feed booms with positive energy and has earned thousands of faithful followers. And Lambert doesn’t just talk the talk. Most recently, when the coronavirus gripped New York City, where Lambert’s headquarters are based, he singlehandedly repurposed extra materials from his swimsuits to make hundreds of masks that he handed out for free on the street.

So while swimsuits and T-shirts might not seem like a vehicle for positive thinking, consider the motivation behind each stitch. What makes a product a brand, and a brand a lifestyle, is the core values held and promoted by its founders. Jimmy Lambert reminds us that life is short, and while times like these might be tough, there’s still plenty to feel Okaicos about.

Shop online at okaicos.com or on island at The Skinny Dip. The signature CRU swim trunks will also be available for purchase at CRU Oyster Bar. And if you want to feel Okaicos, follow @okaicos on Instagram.

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