Favorite Swimwear // Interview with Elle Evans
Interview originally published on The Messy Heads.
Elle Evans* sustainable swimwear is one of our favorite swim brands because of the innovative designs & care for the environment. We asked this girl boss about what inspires her and what it’s like running her own company.
First things first, tell us your favorite…
Book: Catcher in the Rye.
Movie: Empire records. I honestly couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve watched it. Oh Rexy your so sexy!
Beach: Skenes Creek Bach along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia.
Song: I’m too indecisive, I feel like it changes weekly! But this week I’ve been obsessed with Ugly Boys by Die Antwoord.
Breakfast: Coffee, fresh fruit and coconut yogurt
What are some great things about starting your own line so young and what did you have to overcome?
The best thing about starting out young is not having anything to lose. I’ve taken some pretty big gambles in my business that I wouldn’t have taken if I had say; kids or a home loan. The main struggle I’ve found is people not taking you seriously as a business owner, or even taking advantage of your naivety in certain areas of your industry. But you learn on the job and sometimes learning the hard way is the best way!
I don’t think many people realize how many steps you have to go through to produce just one bikini. What is your favorite part of the process?
Without a doubt the physical designing is the best part of my job. I could sit on the beach and draw for days given half the opportunity. To me design is like the origin of the product; where I find a true connection to each style that never leaves me.
You put so much of your personal story into your garments, like how your practicing ballet was translated into your very first collection. What is your newest collection inspired by?
The 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde inspired my latest collection “Bonnie & Belle”. I love Faye Dunaway’s rough and tough attitude paired with her feminine chic, she was a strong style and beauty icon to me in my teens, and I’ve tried to bring some of her beautiful, raw, feminine strength to my collection through delicate sheer inserts, elaborate frills and cheeky cuts. The hero print of “Bonnie & Belle” is a saturated aloe vera cactus plant. I was brought up as a true tie-dye-wearing, kombutcha-drinking, hackysack-playing hippy kid and one of my dads standard cures for everything was aloe vera, I came to see aloe as this exotic desert plant with magical properties so I wanted to make the print mystical and unreal in its bright colours. I think this print also follows the theme of beautiful but a little bit dangerous that you can see through-out the collection.
When you get into the zone of crafting, what snack & drink are by your side and what music is playing?
Always a scolding hot coffee or green tea, I’m constantly in danger of spilling coffee on my laptop or sewing machines! I listen to a lot of music and podcasts when I get in the zone, the quicker I need to work the more up tempo my music is!
What do you bring with you to the beach?
The staples, a good beach bag, huge towel, iPod, coconut water and some fresh grapes or watermelon to keep me hydrated, and of course a bikini
How do you set yourself apart from other swim brands?
When I started Elle Evans Sustainable Swimwear I had worked in the fashion industry for 4 years, I couldn’t believe how often you would see someone in a powerful position turning-a-blind-eye to waste and safety for the sake of some extra profit. We use fabrics that are environmentally friendly, we make to order where possible and where we can’t make to order we make very small production runs so we don’t have 1000’s or even 10’s of leftover swimsuits that we have to sell at unsustainable prices or send to landfill. This means we can keep our swimwear manufacture local and guarantee all our sewers have safe work conditions, respectable work hours, good pay and regular breaks to play with the office cat Louis!
*keep in mind that her website lists prices in Australian dollars, to convert to US dollars multiply the price by .75!
New Bonnie & Belle Collection