It’s no secret that we at CH lean toward minimalist swimwear (and lingerie) with bold cuts and colors—the pieces that instill confidence, rather than stripping it away. One such label that caught our eye is the year-old Bower, founded by Fiona Ryn and Rupert Tapper, whose sexy, functional pieces ooze with power and poise. The two are hands-on with every part of the process beyond just design, thanks to their backgrounds in fashion, especially branding and development.
“We both grew up by the sea in Sydney’s northern beaches and so really felt we had an understanding for swimwear—especially Fiona—and what was missing in the market,” Tapper tells CH. (The brand’s name in fact alludes to Sydney’s Fairy Bower beach, where the two spent most of their childhood.) “The learning curve was at first steep though now we feel we know exactly who we are. We love the ’90s supermodels and the womanly yet sporty lines inspired by vintage styles [all] with contemporary details and color palette. With Fiona styling and editing the direction and myself shooting we feel we can really deliver an unobstructed or uncontrived collection.”
And the lookbooks don’t deceive: the swimsuits are actually as good as they look, with each piece made to order from luxury Italian and French fabrics. Some styles can only be made in limited quantities and, due to the brand’s small size and dedication against over-saturation, sell out. “It is our first time designing swimwear, but my background working with brands like We Are Handsome and Athena Procopiou helped us to understand the market,” says Ryn. “Plus spending almost every day in a bikini growing up means I know exactly what I do and don’t like and what is actually functional.”
Bower—who are based between London and Biarritz—only has two collections under its belt, the latest named “Jane” (after Jane Birkin) for the Resort 2016 season. “Every collection is named after a muse,” says Ryn. “We focus on women who have both style and substance. This sets the tone for the collection, from color palette through to cut.” Ryn names the 1969 Italian-French film “La Piscine” starring Birkin as one of the many references. “All the images of her and Serge on holiday with their young family created a playful sense to the season,” she adds. “In fact the main reason we chose Birkin was an incredible image of her sat in a pool in the Alps during winter.” Giving all the more reason for us in the northern hemisphere to budget some money aside for a Bower swimsuit this ski season.
The Resort 2016 collection is available on Bower’s webshop and select stockists around the world.
Images courtesy of Bower