Posted by Anastasia in Fashion, Images 889 Comments
Photos by Sam Dameshek
"Miami swim week is near.. I'm taking off later this week to see all the hottest designers new collections at the Hammock show"
I got the chance to interview two of my favorite designers who will be displaying their new collections at the Hammock Angela Chittenden from Beach Bunny and House of AU+Or
Beach Bunny has been one of the leading brands in swimwear for the last 10 years. Based in Southern California and founded by over 10 years ago it has become one of the world's biggest swimwear brands. I caught up with Angela and was able to interview her on the collection and what she's looking forward this year at Hammock!
Being from Southern California how did that inspire your design feel for the brand? How long has the brand been around, and what's next?
I love the fact that the "word" bikini is a permanent part of our Southern California culture and immediately comes to one's mind when visualizing what we are all about! Southern California is all about that perfect summer which involves anything from surfing and beach volleyball to pool parties in Hollywood or yacht cruising down the coast. A perfect balance between functionality, comfort and sexiness is where we try to stay!
You use some of the best photographer teams and models for the past few campaigns , how do you decide on the concept and the creative for each campaign, and what goes into this?
Most of the time, our design team will decide on a concept or "theme" based on a trend that is predicted for the next season. For example, our theme for last Spring was "Electric Barbarella" which was based on the cyber, holographic trend happening in swim. We booked one of our favorite models, Hailey Clauson, and turned her into a futuristic
"Barbarella", painted a jet ski silver and hauled it to the beach. The shoot was SO much fun and really unique. We like to keep our
customers excited about the next season and guessing what the concept will be!
I understand that you will be using LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ in your new collection. What made you decide to do this?
As we look to expand our customer base with more versatile styles, using fabrics that include LYCRA® Xtra Life™ will help ensure that the wearability of garments extends far beyond the beach or pool.
You've done a great job with merging fashion with swimwear, what are some of the new trends we will see with your new collection?
Being on the go means the desire for styles that can become part of an everyday wardrobe. Look for femininely edgy pieces that
incorporate beautiful laces, unique cutouts, and sexy strapping to make a statement on or off the beach.
Favorite part of Miami swim week and what are you looking forward to most during the Hammock show?
I love all of the energy and life of the city during Miami Swim Week. It is such an exciting and inspiring time of year, and something we always look forward to because it is the debut of all of the hard work we have put in to our Resort and Spring collections. This year we are looking forward to being a part of Hammock. We enjoy the intimacy shows like Hammock create. Not to mention debuting our line with a view of the ocean – we live and breathe the beach life so it only makes sense to have it as our backdrop.
How will LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ fiber help ensure your customer’s happiness with your suits?
Including LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ into our collections allows our customers to enjoy their favorite Beach Bunny staples season after season. Some of our favorite benefits of the XTRA LIFE™ fiber include colorfastness, durability and a great lasting fit.
My Favorite piece from the collection retro inspired Endless Summer and ready for the surf
In the sultry Caught up
Ocean blue vibes in the Tigerly
Founded by two best friends in Socal, house of au+Ora was inspired by the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, their soulful and playful bikini line is one of my new favorite swimwear lines. What I found great about their line is the mix between exotic prints and fashion forward cuts.
What made you decide to get into the swimwear market? How was the brand created
We knew we wanted to create something when we first met 11 years ago. We both loved fashion and LIVED in bikinis. We were getting sick and tired of altering our own suits to give them the shape and details we wanted. From scrunching the butts, adding beads, to messing around with strings, we were constantly changing the things we had just paid good money to wear. It was like we were constantly searching for the perfect suit. We realized the only way to get what we wanted was to create it ourselves. So one day we just went with it and starting sourcing out everything and a few months later we were showing the line and getting great responses. It’s been such a fun ride and now here we are back at HAMMOCK!
I love the name of the brand can you help explain how the name came about?
This is the million-dollar question. We wanted our name to represent something that reflected the Sun, something that represented the center of our universe, and the center of our beings. Au is the periodic symbol for Gold and ORA is a derivative of Aura. Basically
it means a Golden Aura. The Au-ORA girl is many things, but to her center she is always positive, golden, and illuminating. Her feet are on the ground, head in the clouds, heart in the ocean, and soul blazing in the House of Au-ORA.
How is being a part of the Hammock show been for the brand?
Hammock has been amazing exposure for a new brand like ours. It has given us a broader platform to work from and helped us reach more golden beauties. We love the entire team at Hammock and we are so happy to be back this year. They have introduced us to so many people and the show is a blast to be a part of. It doesn’t feel like a tradeshow it’s more of a fun experience than anything.
What are you most excited for at this year’s Miami swim week?
We are obviously huge fans of Swimwear so we get very excited to see what everybody has come up with. We love seeing the creativity displayed by so many talented people from across the world. But, what we love even more is seeing our new designs on all the girls and hearing the feedback at HAMMOCK. We don’t mind a little Miami sunshine either ; ) This year is really exciting for us. We are showcasing a lot of new designs and techniques plus adding a lot of details back into our swim. We’ve taken our best LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ suits and added extra details to give them the Au+ORA golden touch. On top of that we are so excited to launch our second skin active line!
You're known for sexy cuts, How does LYCRA® Xtra Life™ help with flattering the cuts in your suit
It helps us in so many ways! LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ is the Best of the Best and we want our suits to not only have great designs, but the best fabrics too. The feel of the LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ is beyond comparison and it is by far the softest and most sustainable swim fabric out there. There really is nothing that compares to LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ and our customers will notice not only how great it feels, but also how great it looks on their bodies. It allows our suits to stay put and to be highly functional in all the elements our customers endure.
How important is it to you is functionally within a suit?
To us it’s extremely important. We love to be active and adventures and our swim needs to be too. No matter how cute a suit is if you have to adjust it all day or it’s bagging and sagging in all the wrong places you don’t want to deal with it. That is a big reason why we use LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™. There needs to be a balance between something being functional and aesthetically pleasing. You never know what life will throw at you and we want our customers to have the ability to adapt, which is why not just functionality in a suit is highly important to us, but versatility as well. We want our suit to work for every bikini lover in every situation.
Where are you from?
Miranda grew up all over the California coast while I am from Southern California. We both grew us in the California sunshine and the beach is home to us, so starting a swim line seemed very natural to us both.
And do you travel anywhere for inspiration for the line? Or have any influences from any other countries?
Yes totally. Our line is inspired purely from nature itself. Each collection is based off the earth’s elements Fire, Earth, Air, and
Water and inspired from natural habitats we explore and are drawn too. Miranda and I take pictures all year long of things we see across the globe and bring them together for inspiration. Whether we are in the Bahamas, traveling through Europe, or wandering through the Mojave Desert, we are constantly letting nature into our hearts. For our resort collection we were drawn to the way the soft blue sky reflects on the warm sea. For our spring collection our inspiration came from the hot desert sunsets and fields of golden daisies. The Summer Collection embraces the light of the underwater world, like the way coral vibrantly illuminates under the water’s surface.
In the ride or top and bottom
And a preview from their new collection