Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons has moved on since his breakup with Kendall Jenner. He’s been spotted going on dates with Francesca Aiello, a wildly successful young entrepreneur. She’s the owner of Frankies Bikinis, which she founded when she was still a teenager.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Griffin and Aiello Have Not Publicly Commented on the Relationship
Griffin and Aiello have been going on dates for at least a month. They were spotted in early June walking around Malibu, Griffin with his shirt off. A photo was also snapped of them sharing a kiss in his Land Rover.
Griffin and Aiello had photographers all excited again this past weekend, when they went for a swim at a Malibu beach. There wasn’t much PDA this time around though. TMZ snapped photos of the pair hugging in the water, but they didn’t kiss this time.
Neither one has publicly commented yet on the status of their relationship, or posted any hints on their respective Instagram accounts. One thing to watch for is whether Aiello, who lives in Malibu, makes any trips to Detroit in the coming months.
2. Francesca Aiello Launched Her Bikini Line as a Teenager
Aiello started Frankies Bikinis in 2012, when she was just 17-years-old. On the company website, she shares that it was her mother who first encouraged her to get a custom-made bathing suit. In the “Our Story” section of the site, Aiello writes: “I’ve always been very picky about my bikinis, so I was going to Hawaii to get them custom-made, and my mom suggested I get a few for my friends while I was there. I’d give all of my friends bikinis, then they’d go home and post them on Instagram and that’s when Frankies Bikinis started.”
In an interview with Fashion Week Online in 2017, Aiello shared that growing up in Malibu she struggled to find bathing suits that fit properly. She told them it’s important for her to design bikinis for all women, not just supermodels. “I strive to make bikinis that everyone and every body type can feel confident and beautiful in… I want to keep making swimsuits that make people feel really good about themselves.”
Aiello also strongly emphasizes the high quality of her designs, with a price tag to match. Each piece typically costs between $75-$90. One-piece suits can run as high as $225. She encourages buyers to wash them by hand.
3. Aiello Made History as the Youngest Designer Ever Featured During Miami Swim Week
Francesca Aiello got her company off the ground by designing two collection, gaining attention largely through social media. Then in 2014, when Aiello was 19, she became the youngest designer to ever be featured during Miami Swim Week. The CBS affiliate in Miami published an interview with her. She admitted that although the experience initially had her feeling nervous, she was more excited about getting out there on the big stage. “They’re not stopping me because I’m only 19. I’ve always said that it’s really important for young girls to know that they shouldn’t let their age stop them.”
Aiello acknowledged how crucial social media has been for her success. She says she now owes it to her fans and buyers to make sure they have the most up-to-date information about her designs and company. “It’s also important for me to share big moments with our followers because some of them have watched our company grow and I think it’s just as exciting for them as it is for me.”
4. Frankies Bikinis Made Its Los Angeles Runway Debut in June 2018
Francesca Aiello has been debuting her collections in Miami over the past 4 years. But for her newest collection, she was able to showcase it at home in California for the first time on June 21st. And she chose a hardcore theme for the fashion show. Apparel News described the decor of the event as resembling a “meetup for street racing, as the chain-link fencing lined the walls and cars enhanced for speed were parked within the space.”
She used the show to debut her new ready-to-wear clothing line, simply called “Aiello.” In a statement, the now-23-year-old designer said she wants her buyers to be able to seamlessly transition from the beach to the street. “All our girls aren’t just wearing Frankies Bikinis on the beach, they’re wearing it everywhere, so the ready-to-wear collection is based on the idea that our girl can drift her style from tomboy to flirty girl next door.’” She also told the online fashion website WWD that one of her goals with the new line is to change people’s perceptions about what is acceptable to wear with a bathing suit. “I cringe when I hear the words ‘beach cover-up.’ We wanted to detach ourselves from that and create a new era of cover-ups.”
5. Aiello’s Celebrity Fans Include Kylie Jenner
Blake Griffin dated model Kendall Jenner for about 5 months. Coincidentally, Kendall is likely familiar with her ex’s new beau; Francesca Aiello already has her own connection to the Jenner and Kardashian clan. The youngest of the bunch, Kylie Jenner, has been wearing Frankies Bikinis since at least 2015, thereby helping spread the word about Aiello’s designs. The post above, which was shared on Instagram 3 years ago, was liked nearly 1.5 million times.
Aiello’s designs have been worn by some of the biggest names in the fashion world, including Victoria’s Secret models Alessandra Ambrosio and Candice Swanepoel.
Other celebrities pictured wearing Frankies Bikinis pieces include Gigi and Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin and Elsa Hosk.