Brand Profile: Thorsun

Making a Splash in Luxury Swimwear

Summer is the season of the wanderer. Whether it’s jet-setting around the globe or making their way out East, this lustful traveler keeps versatility at the forefront of their thoughts while packing. Just three years ago, George Sotelo was said wanderer, enjoying the sun and surf that reminded him of his Southern California roots. Now he travels not just as a wanderer, but also as the founder of Thorsun.

Sotelo wanted something that looked and felt as good as it fit, so he started the luxury resort-wear brand in the spring of 2015. He describes his one-of-a-kind designs as the place where Mesoamerican prints meet modern design, with a playful twist of course. We got to catch up with the creative traveler and learn what makes Thorsun unique.

You’re a brand owner and creative director, but you don’t consider yourself a designer. What made you want to pursue creating and designing multiple lines of swimwear?

The brand was born out of a need: I couldn’t find what I was looking for, which was a tailored short with a sporty vibe. Another issue I was having was with pockets. A lot of my stuff was always falling out and I just like to use pockets for everything. I wanted ones that I could actually use for swimming and walking around. The fabric is 100 percent recycled polyester and it dries in less than eight minutes, which lends itself to going from the beach to the beach club.

The design: I’ve always been really obsessed with prints and ceramics. It’s cool to go crazy with patterns, so I thought it would be interesting and cool to do it on shorts. I design the prints so they’re all original. My family is from Mexico and we’re kind of obsessed with Mexican pottery. I’m also really into modernism, so I was finding a way to mix both of them together. That’s how I got the Thorsun print vibe.

Thorsun is such a unique brand name, and definitely not easy to figure out. Where does the name come from and how did you choose it to represent your brand?

When I was trying to come up with a name for the brand, anything that even sounded close to a word was already registered. So the idea for THORSUN came to me one day at the beach in Tulum – a totally sunny, pleasant day. Then all of a sudden an intense thunderstorm came in. Everyone ran for the beach bar; then the sun came back out and everyone was back at the beach. So it’s a play on those summer thunderstorms that happen all over, including the Hamptons! Thor is the menacing God of weather patterns and storms, and sun is the balance. I’m from the West Coast where we don’t have these types of storms, so I’ve always been blown away by the power and sound of thunderstorms.

What has been the most exciting part of the process?

I love travel and I love being at the beach. So it’s cool that I found a way to make that time productive as well.

What is your favorite part about spending time in the Hamptons?

It might sound a little melancholy, but it’s knowing that summer is a temporary season, and knowing winter is coming. It makes it more special; you have to enjoy every day and not take it for granted. I grew up
in Southern California where it was always sunny and I would go swimming in February. I love how seasonal and special it is [out East]. Everything from the food — corn, tomatoes — to events that are very unique to Hamptons summers. Plus the mood people are in: everyone is happy and totally different than when we’re back in the city.

If you had a perfect 24 hours in the Hamptons, what would that look like?

If it was a weekend and it was going to be 85 degrees, we would have all our friends come over for a big, boozy, long lunch by the pool. Maybe go to the beach in the afternoon, but we always like having people over to the house. We usually rent a place in East Hampton.

What’s your favorite style to wear?

I like the new one: the Titan. It’s a mix in that it’s a sporty short, but it’s tailored in the front so it doesn’t scream elastic.

Your brand is built with the lux traveler in mind, so we’ve picked out some of your current styles; tell us where in the world we should be wearing each one.

Titan – The most versatile of all the shorts. Wear this anywhere — the beach or running around town. It’s practical and goes with anything.

Apollo – A very tailored fit. I recommend this for smaller-frame guys or guys that would like to show off a bit more. (Maybe save this for a muscle-clad beach town?)

Alex – Definitely for a girl who’s comfortable with her body, whether at the beach or pool. It’s perfect for Rio!

Billy – A more conservative one-piece that would work well in Southampton, Nantucket, or Martha’s Vineyard, but also Miami and Los Angeles.

Collins – This is one that I’ve seen styled many ways. I’ve seen girls wear it as a top with jean shorts or as a regular swimsuit. This is something you would wear where you need extra sun protection — perfect for paddleboarding in Australia or around the Hamptons.