Our Story

"Fashionable Coverage with a

little more Legverage."


"Fashionable Coverage with a

little more Legverage."


Time is literally zooming by, way too fast!

Gabrielle Haywood
CVO and Creator of Knee-Kini

I realized too well when I noticed I had not put on a swimsuit in fourteen years! I also realized at the same time that my thighs did not look the same as they did fourteen years ago.  Hmmm…what to do?

I really wanted to start an exercise regimen and wanted to do something fun like swimming or dancing. Something I enjoy and knew I would stick with. For health reasons, I especially wanted to take water aerobics classes.  I went to a few sessions. When attending, I would kind of make my own swimsuit, so to speak. I saw other women basically doing the same thing, creating something comfortable to swim in. I would put on leggings, then my one-piece swimsuit on top of it. Then sometimes I wore a t-shirt over all of that. Oh, by the way, the one-piece swimsuit was the one I bought fourteen years ago. I was glad I could still fit it but was definitely not happy with the way my thighs looked in it.


Although, there were only women in the class, I didn’t like putting together a makeshift bathing suit, just to have more coverage for my thighs. And, just because it was water aerobics or aqua therapy classes, didn’t mean I didn’t want to wear something pretty. I still wanted a swimsuit that had bright color patterns. A stylish swimsuit that looked good and felt good, but covered more of my thighs. Something a little more age appropriate but stylish. 

When I went looking for something with a little more coverage around the lower



How We're Making Waves

“Swimming is a life-changing skill we should all know, no matter our cultural backgrounds”.

 It was heartbreaking for Gabrielle to discover one of the reasons blacks did not swim, as she grew up with a great love of swimming.

Did you know?

Segregation and fear have long kept many Black Americans from learning to swim. Blacks were historically denied access to public swimming pools and beaches. As a result, swimming never became ingrained in much of their culture.  According, to a recent national study conducted by the YMCA’s USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis, 64% of Black American children can not swim, and according to a report in 2012, a statistic from the CDC and Prevention stated that 70% of black children and 60% of Latino children don’t know how to swim.  This means black and brown children drown about three times as often as their white counterparts. This disparity is rooted in a history of discriminatory access to swimming pools.

​Swimming can quickly move from innocent summer fun to life-ending tragedy.

If parents can’t swim, it is less likely that their children will learn to swim.

​ Virginia Dere is passionately “Making Waves” by being an advocate for adopting healthier lifestyles to include aquatic activities.  We want more women taking part in aquatic events, especially women of color who have a higher rate of Diabetes, Heart Disease, and High Blood Pressure.  Swimming is an excellent exercise for combating some of these health issues.

By partnering with the various organizations in the surrounding areas, we would like to advocate for more Safe Swim Lessons, Sponsor Lifeguard training, and introduce the “Dip Your Toe” movement for more women to get involved in becoming healthier through aquatic activities, especially women of color.

Dip Your Toe for a healthier YOU!

What Women Are Saying

"I love the Knee-Kini because it helps boost my confidence at the beach or pool.  When I was 18 years old, I was in a tragic car accident where I was severely burned and needed skin graphs.  Not only did the skin graphs leave unsightly marks, the donor sites where they took the skin are on my upper thigh.  Boy shorts don't cover them and since I feel very self conscious in any type of bathing suit; the Knee-Kini stylishly covers those areas and not in a "granny" type of way.  I still feel young and flattering in them and now I can not wait for my beach vacations thoroughly."

                  T. Johnson-Rainey - Pittsburgh, PA

"As a proud Latina who has embraced her curves and everything extra that comes along with them, I was looking for a bathing suit that would cover my hips, thighs and knees. One that pulls together my silhouette in a flattering and flirty manner, yet give me the breathing room to be active. I was so excited when I heard about the Knee-Kini because I strongly believe this product is what I've been looking for and I highly anticipate it's release."

                               S. Cruz - Orlando, FL

Pittsburgh, PA

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T: 412.616.6250
E: info@kneekini.com


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