The first thing to know about Luchyana Gonzalez is she’s not afraid of the truth. Hearing it or telling it. That might be off-putting to some of the people that walk through the door to the fashion designer’s boutique Crystal Water Collections, but she’s unapologetic.
“Once you come through the door, I’m very honest,” Gonzalez said. “You might have seen a gorgeous bathing suit in a magazine on a model, but I’ll let you know how it’s going to look on you.”
Those that find that honesty refreshing, though, are virtually guaranteed to walk away from their Crystal Water Collections experience looking gorgeous in a swimsuit.
Gonzalez and her staff custom design swimsuits for clients. Prices start $170 for a one-piece and the process, which requires two fittings, takes a minimum of 11 days.
After Gonzalez gives her brand of honesty, the experienced designer helps her clients through the entire process, starting with selecting the right style for their body. In the boutique, there are hundreds of samples to try on before choosing a color or print and the fabric.
“Whatever you want, we custom make it for you,” Gonzalez said.
Her dedication to making her customers look and feel beautiful when they step out of the shade comes in part from her own difficulty in finding swimwear.
“I started as a fashion designer for clothes, but I always had a problem wearing bathing suits,” Gonzalez said. “I’m small but with a long torso and everything ended up not fitting, I always had that in mind.”
As a young fashion designer graduate, she saw an ad for a custom swimwear designer in Syosset. She got the job and years later after that store closed she opened her own, Crystal Water Collections, in Bellmore.
“I’m was so happy because now I could make my own suits and can do custom dresses, but my passion is for swimwear,” Gonzalez said.
All sales at Crystal Water Collections are final, and Gonzalez requires 50 percent down to start the process but she said she’s never had a problem with a customer not liking the final product once the design process begins.
“We always work until the woman is happy and we reach an agreement,” Gonzalez said.
As a young designer in that Syosset store, Gonzalez had her hardest but also most rewarding customer.
“I had a woman come in who had a double mastectomy,” Gonzalez said. “I prayed for a week to God, ‘how can I make her look like she had a chest?’ It was so hard for me. After the final fitting, she was so happy, so happy. She gave me a hug and said, ‘you made me feel alive again and beautiful.’”
After that experience, Gonzalez said she promised herself she would always help women who had a mastectomy or double mastectomy feel and look beautiful. Crystal Waters Collections now also offers custom-designed bras to go with formal occasion wear.
With so many options for swimwear, Gonzalez said one of the main differences custom-made offers is that she’s going to measure you and make the swimsuit to your body. The same swimsuit for two people should look different no matter the similar body type if made for the person.
“You’re going to be a human mannequin,” Gonzalez said. “I’m going to make the suit on you. It’s very nice.”
That passion for swimwear helps Long Island women look and feel amazing no matter if they’re lounging by the pool, the beach or partaking in SUP.