Marina Barnes: She’s Racy

September 6 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: Making a Fashion Statement

There’s a meme currently floating around the internet that all my ’80s ladies will totally appreciate. In it, two side-by-side photos feature little girls. On the left, under the title “How they dress girls today,” a little miss wears a chic ruffled dress and cute camel-colored booties, her sleek hair blowing in the wind. Total model status! On the right, under the title “How they dressed me,” one girl is donning a matching aqua sweatsuit atop a turtleneck and oversized glasses, and the girl next to her is wearing a rainbow-striped shirt emblazoned with balloons that’s tucked into some ill-fitting baggy purple pants—along with one heck of an unhappy smirk. On occasion, I feel like the put-together and fabulous girl, but some days, there’s no avoiding that I feel like my old flare-jeans-and-butterfly-clip self.


Once you get a little older, you start to realize life is less about how you dress and more about actually important stuff, like the goals you set and accomplish. Attaining goals is certainly something Lhakpa Sherpa knows all about. A 44-year-old native of Nepal who now lives in the U.S., Lhakpa recently completed her eighth ascent of Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, breaking her own record and making her the most successful female Everest climber of all time.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Marina Barnes, Founder and Creative Director of Racysuits

Let’s take a journey back to the days of excessive hairspray and giant shoulder pads: the 1980s. Today’s Woman to Watch is boldly embracing one particular 1980s style and totally rockin’ it! Her name is Marina Barnes and she’s the founder and creative director of a fun and funky sports-apparel company called Racysuits.

Marina, the granddaughter of master ski racer Bob Bernard, was inspired by her grandfather’s preference for hand-sewn psychedelic spandex ski suits, which he wowed onlookers with while racing down the slopes and racking up gold, silver and bronze medals.

Decades later, when Marina discovered her granddad’s totally fly vintage unitard racing suits, she fell in love, and decided to make a pretty feisty fashion statement by wearing the suits to fun concerts and events, like Coachella and Burning Man. The designs were such a hit with modern-day fashionistas and athletes that, before long, Marina turned the idea into a full-blown apparel biz, launching Racysuits—with only her personal savings and a successful Kickstarter campaign—more than 30 years after her grandfather started the trend.

From bright hibiscus flowers to black-and-white doodles, neon-yellow pineapples and groovy botanical prints, each Racysuit definitely exudes an I’m-here-to-have-fun vibe, whether it’s on the slopes, on the surf or on the street. All Racysuits are super-stretchy and extra durable, are made in the United States and feature compression lining and zipper legs. But best yet, all Racysuits are race- and dance-ready, so, as the Racysuits website states, “You can comfortably get down a ski slope or get down on a dance floor!” Racysuits also offers swimsuits—or “skikinis”—and accessories, like a classic neon fanny pack, an absolute music-festival essential.

When Marina isn’t designing zany party and ski suits, she excels as a digital marketer and event manager for a very cool performance-art company called Billion Jelly Bloom.

Marina is cashing in on her passion, combining her love for truly eccentric and unforgettable products and experiences, and bringing a bit of much-needed, totally weird creativity to the world. We’re excited to see where Marina’s limitless imagination takes us next!


We’re sure Marina Barnes would agree with this quote from super-fierce ski racer Lindsey Vonn. She said:

“If you go around being afraid, you’re never going to enjoy life. You have only one chance, so you’ve got to have fun.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

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