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Sinesia Karol, philanthropist and swimwear designer.
Sinesia Karol, philanthropist and swimwear designer.Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

Anyone who has ever been to a beach in Brazil knows that less is more.

Less fabric means more skin, that is.

For Massachusetts transplant Sinesia Karol, a swimwear designer and philanthropist who balances South American roots with a New England sensibility, her less-is-more aesthetic is one of simplicity, not skimpiness.

“It’s one thing or the other,” said Karol, who started her line in 2012. “If I wear a beautiful gown, I won’t wear a big necklace. Less is better.”

Karol, who heads to London later this month to compete in the International Fashion Showcase, has a wardrobe that mixes classic designers (Brunello Cucinelli) with edgier labels (Alexander McQueen).


Her love of fashion came early, recalling the pile of high-heeled shoes left at her childhood front door in Vitoria, Brazil, by her mother’s friends when they would come to visit.

The shoes would disappear as little Sinesia made off with them — temporarily.

“I would go around wearing them, thinking, ‘I hope one day I will have enough money that I will be able to buy any shoes that I fall in love with in the world,’ ” she said.

Today, finding clothes that fit her petite frame requires her to shop outside New England.

“People are taller here. When I go to Brazil, I can find more. Or Miami or Vegas. I have my best time in Paris. That’s where I find all of my dresses.”

On wearing the same evening dress twice: “If you invest in a beautiful piece, why not? It might take a long time — even five years — but if I’m the same size, I’ll still wear.”

If you have a great bag and pair of shoes: “You’ve made the outfit. They can turn a T-shirt and jeans into fabulous. Like Coco Chanel says: ‘A girl should be two things – classy and fabulous.’ I agree with her.” Jill Radsken

What she’s wearing

Brunello Cucinelli jumpsuit. Ethan Koh bone clutch.

Black Jimmy Choo platforms, purchased at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York last fall.

Black ombre Chanel cuff, purchased at Neiman Marcus, Natick last fall.


White Brunello Cucinelli dress shirt and vest purchased last fall in New York.

Alexander McQueen leather pants. “I bought these pants in Vegas five years ago when my husband went to play golf. They are so perfect to wear out in the evening.”

Limited-edition brown Bottega Veneta clutch in honor of the 250th anniversary of KPM, one of Europe’s oldest makers of fine porcelain. The bag features a cameo as well as cubic zirconia — a purchase Karol made two years ago in California. “I treat this bag like a jewelry piece.”

Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

Custom-made black leather jacket with metallic button detail by Valentina Kova. Purchased at a private trunk show in Boston last fall.

Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

Alexander McQueen red belt, purchased in Las Vegas, 2014. “It’s a great piece to have.”

Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

Jimmy Choo cherry platform slingbacks. Purchased at Saks Fifth Avenue, Boston, last fall.

Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

Jill Radsken can be reached at jill.radsken@gmail.com