Local designer: Cheryl Gushue/Cascata Blu

Swimwear designer Cheryl Gushue still has Barbies in her loft. It’s not that she’s an avid collector or simply likes to play with dolls. Rather, the figurines serve as a reminder of her start in the fashion industry, sporting the first intricate swimsuits she constructed when she was a mere 10 years old.

“I still have them,” she says from her Leslieville home. “I guess I knew that was sort of my calling. I kind of live for the beach and my place is like a beach house.”

Although she’s been designing custom swimsuits for the past eight years and has been featured on **Fashion Television,** Gushue and her business partner Joan Kelley launched Cascata Blu, a resort-wear line of
swimsuits, cover-ups and body jewellery, at a fashion show on Sept. 8.

“I want to be able to cover as many body types as I possibly can and I just want women to look their best,” says Gushue, who studied fashion design at Seneca College and has also made a name for herself in the beauty
industry as a makeup artist. “I will always make something that I want to wear and something that’s comfortable. My fabrics are super soft, have lots of ties and are very adjustable.”

With a goal of hitting international distribution at beach boutique hotels and cruise ships, Cascata Blu, which is Italian for blue waterfall, is currently available online at cascatablu.com and at Kamalame Cay Boutique
Hotel on Andros Island in the Bahamas.

“Fashion design and fashion has always been an interest to me, that was always my first love,” she says. “It’s one of those lifelong dreams that I managed to do as a living and as a career.”

ON THE RUNWAY: A shot from the official launch of Cascata Blu’s 2013 resort wear collection at The Spoke Club on Sept. 8, for more images click here.


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