MUO announces Swimsuit Sponsor for Miss USA 2014

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April 1, 2014

Miss Universe Organization Selects Kandice Pelletier Swimwear
® 2014 Swimsuit Competition
MISS USA® 2014 pageant to feature swimwear during live telecast on NBC

Official Press Release

Kandice Pelletier spent time interviewing with to answer questions about herself, the Kandice Pelletier Swimwear line, and what to expect from the swimsuit competition at Miss USA 2014.

Also, as the new swimsuit sponsor for Miss USA 2014, Kandice Pelletier Swimwear has partnered with to launch a brand new contest to begin this week. Stay tuned for information on the Kandice Pelletier Swimwear Sweepstakes!

Interview with Kandice Pelletier

What makes you different from other swimwear brands?
Wearing a swimsuit on stage can be such a point of vulnerability for women, so I think it’s really important that a swimsuit is well fitting and inspires confidence. We consider a woman’s body type first and style second, because when a suit fits correctly a woman feels transformed.

We’re obsessed with quality – Kandice Pelletier Swimwear sources the best fabrics and hardware accents. Everything we do is aimed at making things as easy as possible for the competitor. From nickel-free back clasps to adjustable straps and features to make quick changes as consistent and effortless as possible.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen flimsy plastic back clasps break, which is the principal reason we only use metal hardware, not only do they look better, but also we haven’t had one break yet.

Our bottoms and tops are sold separately because no woman is built the same and most women are not the same size on top as they are on bottom. There are no one size fits all suits.

One big advantage for us is that we’re designed and made here in the USA, in New York City. This allows us to not only keep our finger on the pulse of the latest trends, but also work with pattern makers and craftspeople that are the best in the business. We work with the same craftsmen used by major high-end luxury brands (who sell at much higher prices). These team members bring their experience and expertise to our swimwear and it really shows in the quality of our product– you can’t put a price on that. We wouldn’t get that if we were made anywhere else and it’s a huge differentiator for us.

What is the inspiration for the Miss USA swimsuits this year? What can we expect from the Miss USA 2014 contestants during swimsuit competition?

First, given the opportunity to dress some of the most beautiful women in the world, I wanted to do something special and unique, but without being distracting. We wanted to capture the essence of the Louisiana culture, keeping it fresh and gorgeous, just like the Miss USA contestants. I’ve been itching to use mesh in my swimwear collection for a while to add a bit of dimension, so you’ll see some of that subtle detail in the suits.

Who are some of your more notable clientele?

We’ve had a busy couple of years, for starters, some notables include:

Cassidy Wolf - Miss Teen USA 2013
Nina Davuluri - Miss America 2014
Mallory Hagan - Miss America 2013
Lauren Guzman - Miss Texas USA 2014
Kelsey Griswold - Miss Oklahoma 2013
Myrrhanda Jones - Miss Florida 2013
Denise Richards (actress)

Do you design custom swimsuits for pageant contestants that want a unique design?

We started the company doing only custom work for a few years. A lot of the inspiration and know-how from our custom swimsuits were used to create the classic suits in our line today. We continue to work with clients who want the experience, fit, and feel of a custom designed suit – it’s what we consider to be one of our specialties.

How do I purchase your swimsuits?

Our suits are available in select pageant and prom stores across the country. We’re in the process of launching our web store which will have some special, internet-only suits available in the next month.  A complete list of stores can be found on our website at

Why did you start Kandice Pelletier Swimwear?

Growing up as a competitor in Georgia, I had a really difficult time finding a swimsuit that showed off the hard work I put in at the gym. The bottoms would cut into my sides and the top offered no support or lift. My mom and I would deconstruct other suits. In the process we found ways to make them better and more flattering. The reconstructed suits became my secret weapon and it didn’t take long for other contestants to take notice. Soon after, we began taking custom orders for other girls around Georgia.

Explain the difference between a "pageant swimsuit" vs a beach swimsuit?

First, a swimsuit built for stage must be double-lined. You want to avoid unnecessary ties and strings, things that are going to be distracting to the body, as well as overly patterned suits. Another aspect to consider is more construction in the top, if necessary.

What are some tips in selecting a swimsuit for pageant competition?

The most important thing is to consider your body type. All of us are built differently.

Then look at your complexion, height and personal style. Not too long ago, we did a detailed writeup on our blog on this very subject:

You must have some interesting stories from your experience fitting swimsuits for titleholders, can you share one with us?

We did a custom fitting for a client competing in Miss New York a couple of years ago. With all the stress of pageant week, she forgot to pick up her swimsuit at the post office until 3 days before the pageant! When she tried it on, the fit wasn’t exactly right. In 48 hours, our team made the necessary adjustments to the suit to get it exactly right and got it back to her. The client, Mallory Hagan, went on to win Miss New York the next day and later, Miss America.

You have a really interesting background in entertainment, can you tell us about it?

I come from three generations of dancers, so one of my first passions is entertaining and being onstage. I danced as a Radio City Rockette for 5 years, and was created into the Rockette wax figure at Madame Tussaud’s Museum. After winning Miss New York and competing at Miss America, I had the opportunity to compete on two seasons of the CBS show The Amazing Race with my friend and former Miss California, Dustin Leigh Seltzer.

The Amazing Race gave me the confidence that I could do anything. We traveled around the world and experienced other cultures and learned a lot along the way. We did everything from a 17-hour train ride across the Gobi Desert, tamed wild crocodiles, dragged bags of seeds across Kuwait, to jumping off one of the largest towers in Asia, things I never thought I would do in my life. We ended up coming in second place – I have no doubt that our experience in pageants helped us be poised under pressure!

You were selected to be on the cover of an issue of Vanity Fair with James Gandolfini of The Sopranos, what was that process like?

I was in the last semester of school at NYU -- late and in a rush I quickly just threw myself together and my hair was natural and curly.  I was invited back the next day with about ten others and Annie Lebovitz shows up, pulls me aside and sent everyone else home. We shot for 3 days. It was amazing to work with one of the best photographers in the world! Despite his persona on screen, James Gandolfini was a real gentleman throughout, may he rest in peace.

I think being in the entertainment industry has given me the ability to know what looks good on stage, what looks good on a woman’s body, and to be able to finesse things ever so slightly to make things look just a little bit better.


This article was written by Will the Pageant Guy

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