Sunsoaked swimwear is set to take out Brisbane Fashion Month’s resort runway with their Spring/Summer ‘La Dolce Vita’ collection. The luxury label is the brainchild of designer Kate Davis Steer, who had a vision to create a clothing line that focuses on sun protection without compromising chic style.
It’s no surprise Sunsoaked were elected to close the show, as the runway celebrates the colour and vibrancy of Queensland’s resort wear fashion. Kate’s brand is a combination of gorgeous geometric and floral patterns which also guarantees sun safety and embraces body confidence. In the launch of their latest campaign, real women of all ages and sizes walked alongside youthful models in a “flash runway,” as they stripped off their clothing to reveal the swimsuits underneath.
Kate says there was a thrill in seeing her pieces on real women, as the fashion industry pushes toward diversity in the runways and body confidence in women. The Creative Issue were fortunate enough to chat with the down-to-earth, humble designer.
The Creative Issue: So first up, I wanted to ask about your brand in Brisbane Fashion Month…
Kate: So this is our first year for Brisbane Fashion Month, and we did the media launch with them which was a snapshot of what is to come for BFM. Tomorrow we are bumping in for the pop-up shop in the Wintergarden and so we will be there with some other brands, and then we will be closing the resort runway and cocktail party. There will be some great labels on show and I’m sure it will be a lot of fun.
TCI: How excited were you when you heard your collection would be released in Sunburn stores?
Kate: So excited! It was a big step for us and a great place for us to be because that is where our customer shops. We love their (Sunburn’s) customer service as we are really big on customer service and helping women find swimwear that that women feel comfortable in.
TCI: Your bodysuits look like they’re made to be worn in and out of the water – was this intentional?
Kate: When I came up for the idea for Sunsoaked, I wanted the pieces to be able to be worn on and off the beach. You can go to the beach, swim and then pop on our board-shorts or skirts and you can go for a coffee. It takes away the need to take multiple changes of clothes and it allows for more wear out of the pieces. It’s that beach to swimwear concept.
TCI: Would you say sun safety is an important aspect of your swimwear line?
Kate: That was the basis when I started, because back in 2012 I was looking for a rashie. My daughter and I were at the beach a lot on holiday and I was always getting burnt skin. I wanted to set a good example for my daughter and she was asking me, “Where’s your rashie?” I was searching and could not find anything, and so I was having conversations with friends. I started having all these ideas and I started with three pieces to test out in the water and the feedback was so overwhelmingly positive. It validated that definitely something was needed in the marketplace.
TCI: So sun safety isn’t just an element of your swimsuits, it’s the inspiration for them?
Kate: Yes, the brand is built upon sun protection. We use Italian lycra which is very high quality. It is very luxurious, hearty and lightweight, but also very sun resistant. One of my gripes with swimwear is that, you know, you would buy it, and after a season it would have perished. I wanted to make sure that my pieces were something that was going to last. Secondary to sun protection, it is all about providing swimwear that fits the woman’s body really well, hugs you in all the right places and still makes you look sexy and attractive. I’m very careful that swimwear looks as good on a size 8 as it does on a size 16.
TCI: Is there anything in particular that inspires your bold and beautiful patterns?
Kate: I think I am inspired by clothing and other labels and high end designers, and I think that’s why the swimwear of beach streetwear came about.
TCI: Do you have any advice you’d give to up and coming designers?
Kate: The biggest piece of advice that I would give a designer… the market is so saturated with brands that you have to find something different about what you are doing. What is it about your brand that you can’t find elsewhere? You have to be passionate, because building a brand takes a lot of time and energy and you need to make sure you are doing something you love. You need to know why you are there and what you are doing. You have to believe in yourself and you have to believe in your product. Find that unique point of difference and building your brand around that.
Kate’s gorgeous Sunsoaked swimwear line will be presented at the the Sofitel Hotel soiree deck for Brisbane Fashion Month’s resort runway and cocktail party on October 18th.
This post originally appeared on The Creative Issue.