Whether she’s jetting off to the twenty offices of Marquee Image Models or spearheading the startup of her new company, Marquee Swim, Andrea Cantu is an extraordinary entrepreneur. With the business savvy of her father and beauty of her mother, this MBA graduate started modeling in college, and shortly after graduation started her own modeling company that currently represents over 800 models. Never overwhelmed by the day to day business… well, honestly, some days are horrific with 90-plus modeling events… Andrea noticed a problem during a company event. Tired of dealing with the prima donnas of the fashion world (the designers), she decided to create something fashionable yet fun to wear: scrunch-butt style bikini and monokini bathing suits. Much to her surprise, during a fashion show featuring the hand-made swimwear, everyone loved the designs—they resulted in a sellout.
Marquee Swim was born featuring the latest swimwear for youthful fashionistas to see and be seen at pool parties, sunbathing on the beach, and even taking a swim. Online sales were launched in January 2014. The swimwear line is constantly updated since new designs are created from customer input and emerging fashion trends. Specialty boutiques will carry the collection, starting in Miami and then expanding throughout the country.
As Sundays become less hectic, the 29-year-old former model put away all electronic devices to spend a little time with Cliché’s Terry Check for an early morning photo shoot along Bal Harbour beach. While shooting the latest swimsuits, Andrea shared a few personal beauty tips for looking great. No matter how busy her schedule is, she faithfully exercises five to six days a week: usually Zumba, Latin dancing, Yoga, and Pilates with a little weight training to boot.
“I am an avid class goer and rarely seen on the gym machines” she confessed, “I am a Gemini… I lose interest very quickly!”
As a New Year’s resolution she decided to give up, or almost completely give up, caffeine. Starbucks lost a frequent customer. “It was tough at first because we don’t realize how much of it we consume,” as she recalls with a smile. “Now I am getting a deep sleep because I have really fun dreams. Before, I couldn’t remember dreaming all that much.”
Water, water, and more water is the secret to good health, less overeating, and, of course, good skin. Meals are usually small and often, every three hours or so. “My diet is high protein and very low carb, which I found to be the best for me to stay lean and energetic,” she said. “I get one or two ‘cheats’ per week: I splurge on Mexican food, a large pizza, or something sinfully sweet.” For beach lovers in Miami, the sun is always a concern. Andrea always uses sunscreen, especially on her face, and exfoliates almost every evening—followed by lather and eye cream. Coconut oil on her face renders a great feel to her skin as well.
What’s on Andrea’s to-do list:
Making Miami a permanent home and enjoying new friends. She may be a spectator this year at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week-Swim, but next year, Andrea’s new designs may steal the show. Get ready for the summer and check out the collection at www.marqueeswim.com.
Terry Check: Photographer, Makeup and Hair: Marquee Image Models, Model: Andrea Cantu of Marquee Image Models
Andrea Cantu Interview: “Beauty & Brains” originally published in Cliché Magazine’s April/May 2014 issue