At InStyleSwimwear.com, we really value each and every one of our swimwear designers. Not only are they all talented and truly inspiring, but each designer is also extremely unique in his or her own special way. So we took it upon ourselves to conduct exclusive designer interviews. Through these interviews, we’ll take you behind the scenes and you’ll get to learn a little about our designers and their world-renowned brands.
First up is Monika Hornbostel, creator and designer of Anika Brazil Swimwear. Let’s see what she has to say.
Q: How did Anika Brazil first come about?
A: ANIKA, from the name of the brand (meaning grace and thanks), to the inspiration behind the brand, is all drawn from my near constant love affair with Brazil and all things Brazilian.
As the bikini gods (or goddesses!) would have it, I moved here during my adolescence and absorbed the culture and (I hope) a bit of that delicious Brazilian style. After university and a treacherous, torturous 2 years in banking I fled back to Rio de Janeiro and several years later realized that designing swimwear neatly brought together all of my passions! Drawing, working with color, even cutting material, provided an on hands experience and satisfaction that sitting in front of a computer just didn’t fulfill. The obligation to spend hours on Ipanema beach for field study wasn’t bad either!
Anika brings together swimwear with jewelry, through embellishments and sidepieces. I joke around that if you tire of your bikini, you then have some jewelry to play with. This is what sets Anika apart from the others and what makes Anika truly special. I use freshwater pearls, mother of pearl and even polished horn in my collections.
A: Inspiration for Cruise 2010 comes from the incredible precious stones that come from Brazil. The colors are rich and opulent such as emerald, aquamarine and my absolute favorite, sapphire, which is a beautiful cobalt that stands out on all skin tones.
Cruise 2010 embellishments come from natural sources, whenever possible, such as mother of pearl details and also polished horn. All of our embellishments are made to go in the water. I cannot imagine designing swimwear that was only for show and couldn’t get wet!
Q: Do you feel that swimwear trends are related to more general fashion trends? Do you consider general fashion trends before designing a new collection?
A: Certainly colors and some prints follow fashion trends. But what I love about swimwear is that you are designing for women to feel great about themselves, even when they may be at their most vulnerable (almost naked!). Swimwear is about a great fit and colors that compliment women’s skin tone. Last season nude was big on the runways, but there was absolutely no way that I was going to incorporate nude into our color palette. On the beach you want colors that are rich and stand out, without being tacky or too over the top. I feel that Anika is able to do that in a sophisticated color palette and with incredible sidepieces.
Black with opulent sidepieces is always one of our bestsellers, and I think that says a lot about what women are looking for in swimwear. They are looking for sophistication and a color they feel chic and comfortable wearing on the beach or at the pool.
Q: What’s your all time favorite product that you designed thus far? Why?
A: I absolutely LOVE sliding rings. We started with sliding rings 3 years ago and lots of other brands saw how great they are and continued with this trend. Even so it is a silhouette that I always have in the collection. Anika does more of an artistic ring, not the plain metal ring but rather a miniature piece of art. This year on of our sliding rings is hand woven with seed beads and on the front of the ring is an amazing gold foil murano rectangle. It is rightly named GOLD BAR.
Q: What is one item you can’t live without at the beach?
A: Oversized sunglasses – I have an old school YSL pair that are so cool. Even wearing a skimpy string Anika I feel duly covered, since I am hiding behind my shades. I also love Humectress leave in conditioner after I come out of the water. It smells lightly coconutty and is as important as sunscreen for me and my big pile of curly hair. My hair actually looks better after the beach than before!