Artists/Designers — August 20, 2013 at 8:00 am

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Designer Series: Oakley

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim 2014
SLS Hotel, Miami Beach, FL
Interview with Kimiko Cowan (Oakley)

Interviewer, Photographer: Semant Jain, Ph.D.
Content Editor: Marisa Lyon
Copy Editor: Alexandra Scheck
Fashion writer: Shannon Weprin

On July 21st, 2013, Day 3 of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2014, onlookers lounged poolside at the SLS South Beach Hotel to catch the first glimpse of Oakley’s 2014 Swim collection. Donning only their natural beauty, bare feet and braided hair, the Oakley models commanded the runway in bold, adventurous swimwear. Instead of slipping into an easy-to-snag cover-up, they suited up with a color-blocked rash guard and surfboard. Rather than dragging the trail of a long maxi skirt, they tossed volleyballs in comfortable board shorts.

The Oakley 2014 swim line told the story of the active woman wearing it. After the presentation, in an exclusive interview with Semant, Oakley’s Public Relations representative Kimiko Cowan shared that the biggest inspiration for the collection was the Oakley woman herself: “She is powerful. She is fearless. So we are trying to do a collection that will follow her activity, and still be fashionable and sexy.”

The swimwear celebrated a playful spirit with colors like bubble gum pink, tiffany blue, and sea-foam green. A majority of the pieces sported a medley of these hues in stripes or blurred patterns that captured the essence of the ocean. Amongst the 2014 collection was a traditional one-piece which featured a thin belt at the hip. Complemented by soft pink coloring, the geometric stitches curved down the silhouette accentuating the feminine shape. The design was the perfect fusion of style and practicality.

Each design was strategically chosen with the active yet fashionable woman in mind. “You have a lot of components inside the swimsuit,” Cowan said, “even a lot of silicon in the bottom. So it’s going to stay put when she is swimming. She will not need to adjust her bottoms.” To match the usability of the design, the optic fiber fabric was made to resist chlorine, sun bleaching, and sand abrasion.

Oakley’s mission to make a bathing suit to fit one’s life has been exemplified by blurring the line between sportswear and swimwear. From halters to bandeaus, string tie-ups to hipster cuts, the 2014 collection presented options for the fashion-conscious woman who is not afraid to get dirty. Visit Oakley’s website for more on their swimwear collection for women.

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