It’s time to face the facts ladies: swimwear season is almost upon us. Before you freak out, get some inspiration from swimwear brand, Phylyda and founder Lydia Maurer.
Phylyda is a luxury, size-inclusive swim brand founded and designed by Lydia Maurer (formerly with Paco Rabanne, Yves Saint Laurent, Rue de Mail, Givenchy). Phylyda aims to redefine fashion-forward swimwear for all, crafting the perfect-fitting separates that are made to mix and match and celebrate the nuances and diversity of the female figure. Pairing aesthetically-driven designs with fit-focused techniques and technology, each item in Phylyda’s collection is customizable and current. A pleasure-seeker first and foremost, the Phylyda woman knows she’s beautiful because she knows herself and reaches for swimwear that lets her truly dive into life.
(Above: Portrait by Steven Kohlstock, Below: Lookbook Photos by Lucian Bor)
Choupette Social Girl: How can you embrace your “winter body” transitioning into summer swimwear?
Lydia Maurer: Always, always enjoy life and the lovely end-of- the-year meals it brings and focus on being good to yourself. I think the whole concept of winter body versus our summer body just describes the totally healthy way in which our body shape is always in flux, and how we nourish ourselves according to seasons, should have no impact on how we feel about our bodies even when we take them out for a spin in our swimwear.
CSG: What’s the best advice to women who aren’t comfortable putting on a bikini?
LM: I would love to suggest to them that life is too short and that we should all, whatever our shape, aim to love and respect our bodies, which are what has brought us this far after all. We are 3.52 billion women in this world. It would be awful if we all looked the same, so let’s celebrate that we are different, let’s enjoy our individuality! What truly matters is our attitude toward life and where we want to go with it, and not what we look like in comparison to others’ ideals.
CSG: What makes Phylyda different than other swimwear brands?
LM: Phylyda is the first size-inclusive swim brand. There are so many brands that design their swimwear only with a size 2 model in mind, simply scaling the design upward for larger sizes. So many simply don’t go beyond a size L! Unlike what I could see everywhere in the marketplace, I didn’t want to perpetuate women’s body image anxiety through my designs.
Instead, I wanted to offer a brand that enables women to choose freely amongst a selection of pieces that actually come in their size and that are all designed with specific body shapes in mind while all being combinable.
At Phylyda you can find separates which you can combine to create the bikini that best suits your physique. I still have a long way to go to offer Phylyda to as many women as I would like but we are already catering to women sizes 2-18 and some of our tops are available in bra sizes up to a 42F.
CSG: How does your experience in the luxury market tie into the brand?
LM: I spent over 10 years designing for beautiful luxury fashion brands in Paris and as I got more mature, my dream of creating a brand of my own inevitably started evolving toward one thought: I wanted my brand to be a kinder answer to the the sizing dilemma most women face in the dressing room. In such a fast-paced, globalised and fluctuating world as ours, it felt wrong to perpetuate a fashion ideology that does not acknowledge body diversity and a need for fashion culture to become more open. My dream became to put my skill to use to offer more women the experience of wearing a well-crafted product made with love for their own version of beauty. And all that with the use of all available technological advancements at the service of their comfort.
CSG: What are your top shopping tips for purchasing swimwear (without tears in the dressingroom)?
LM: Focus on enhancing, not hiding yourself. Don’t ever blame your body but look for swimwear that can be a true partner on all your travels.