DSO: How did BONDI BORN come to fruition? What inspired the range ?
KC: BONDI BORN was founded three years ago by Dale McCarthy. Dale saw a gap in the market for premium quality swimwear for a diverse range of body shapes. She also felt that a lot of the structural elements (boning, moulding & excess padding) of styles within the existing market offering were outdated and there weren’t a lot of options for a woman that favoured a minimal aesthetic.
Three years on, the BONDI BORN offering has evolved to include three swim fabrics – all with different benefit. In May this year we debuted apparel – which is designed to complement the swim offering and serve as a summer holiday uniform. The range has ‘function’ at its core – we wanted our pieces to have a season less appeal and relied on colour to keep the collection covetable. For that reason, we thought a lot about where our customer was going, and what kind of versatility we could give her with our pieces. I have come on board to help the brand better know it’s place in our market – to ensure our point of difference is strong and our aesthetic is identifiable.
DSO: How has the city of Sydney influenced Bondi Born designs and what is the background to the brands name?
KC: Bondi is of course where the brand was founded – as a place it has influenced the brand because the name is synonymous with a lifestyle, albeit one that has evolved quite significantly. Australian fashion lives its best life in the resort wear category, today our customer travels abroad but the idea of having a beach ‘look’ is inherently Australian.
DSO: Sustainability and wearability are at the cornerstone of Bondi Born designs. Can you tell us a bit about the fabrics the brand work with, particularly your signature Sculpteur fabric?
KC: All of the fabrics we use are ethically manufactured as is our Sydney based production. We have deliberately tried to keep our design offering tight and steered away from anything too ‘tricky’, instead championing our fabric selection which are are all Italian or Japanese made. Sculpteur is our signature base cloth for swim and is known for its smoothing, sculpting and supportive properties. It is firm fitting and makes customers feel secure. It has a 3D stretch technology and is UPF 50+. Our new classics story is where we frequently experiment with new styles and have selected an Italian base cloth that is a lot more malleable by way of how it is used.
DSO: Bondi Born places strong emphasis on the cut and fit of the pieces, how do you achieve this streamlined aesthetic in your swimwear range?
KC: We try really hard to incorporate all of our customer feedback – and we fit on a variety of body shapes and also ages, which is important. A woman’s body moves differently at various life stages so being aware of that and accounting for that style to style, fabric to fabric, really helps.
DSO: Who do you see the quintessential Bondi Born woman as?
KC: She travels a lot, and while she likes the idea of building the perfect holiday wardrobe, she really just doesn’t have the time. She figures she’ll be spending most of the time in her swimsuit anyway – and is looking for simple compliments that will elevate her personal style and make her look like a fashion person, instantly. She likes that BONDI BORN isn’t fussy and she appreciates the ‘how to’ tone in its brand speak and imagery. In terms of swimwear, she’s pretty well educated on what’s out there and seeks out BONDI BORN for its quality, timeless design and the way it feels on her body.
DSO: What was the inspiration behind the creative direction of the Resort 20 runway show? Which were your favourite looks and why?
KC: The collection is called SOLANUM which is the group of flowering plants that eggplants and tomatoes are from, two staple ingredients of southern Italy and not so coincidently, my favourite place to travel. But the idea of staple ingredients is key because that’s all the apparel really is. Sometimes it’s best to not make things more complicated!
DSO: How do you recommend styling the #modeedit of Bondi Born for both a day and evening look?
KC: Controversially I am going to say it doesn’t need a lot. For evening imagine everything with wet hair, moisturised skin and at most, an earring! There’s still a lot of luxury in a flat sandal and the sheen on the lyocell (fluid draw string pants, universal shirt and V neck dress) is enough to make the look special. By day, break up the separates – try the draw string pant with Veronica one piece.