With adventure and style in mind, British designer Melissa Odabash makes livin’ easy with her latest addition to her chic children’s luxury swimwear line, the Mommy and Me collection. Featuring her signature patterns, fabrics, quality and style, Mini Maven got to sit down with the swimsuit guru, former model and world traveller for an inside look at her luxury lifestyle brand. It’s that time to think about your next travel destination! What will you be throwing in your jet set bag for the kiddos?
KYMBERLY MARCIANO: You are extremely passionate about swimwear! What initially triggered your idea for a brand?
MELISSA ODABASH: I was a swimwear model working in Italy and modeling a lot of swimwear lines which I didn’t personally like, so I decided to design my own collection in neutral tones that are very chic with great fabric. I felt there was nothing simple at the time and luxury swimwear was such a niche market back then.
KM: What is it that sparks your creativity? Can you walk us through your design process?
MO: I’m always looking for new prints and inspirations for my next collection. This usually starts with my travels. When I visit a new destination, I am inspired by their beaches, architecture, outdoor markets etc…I love places like Morocco and the Mediterranean with rich cultures. I usually snap pictures of anything I find interesting, then bring them back to work with fabric companies on creating original designs. I also love shopping vintage as you will see many bespoke animal prints in my collections.
KM: What is the most important thing you think about when designing a suit?
MO: How will this look on the average woman and all different body types? I design a collection with different silhouettes to enhance all body shapes to make women feel their best.
KM: Your collections take us on a luxury holiday! What destination would you say inspires you the most, and why?
MO: I don’t think you can just limit yourself to one destination, there is so much out there to see and learn from. Each time I travel to different places I find myself getting inspired by new things.
KM: Does your collection have matching suits for moms and their minis?
MO: Yes! My favorite “Mummy & Me” match-up this year would be the Sharize Kaftan with the Baby New York both in the color Fluro for the Mini, and the Jackie Kaftan in the Cream/Peach with theBali Triangle bikini for the Mummy.
KM: What’s your absolute favorite suit from your upcoming collection, and why?
MO: For me personally, I love a simple white triangle top with tie side bikini bottoms, you will usually see me in the Miami or Key West bikinis. However I have started wearing a lot more whole pieces, in particular my sports luxe as I love doing watersports on holiday, the Zuma and the Honolua are a couple of my favorites!
KM: What do you love most about designing within the swimwear space?
MO: I love challenging myself to improve my collection year after year. I read all the emails and comments that customers send to me and listen to their concerns and needs. It’s all about keeping what works – so I have basics that stay in the line year after year and I change them up with new hardware and prints. Then I add new silhouettes that will compliment different body types. It’s fun to create lifestyle looks – so I merchandise a line of beach to street resort-wear and accessories such as beach bags, hats and accessories.
KM: What has been your favorite suit of all time?
MO: The Miami triangle tie side bikini has been a basic in my collection for years and it is also my favorite as well as that of many celebs such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Elle Macpherson and Cindy Crawford.
KM: Any tips for choosing the right suit?
MO: I would always say go for a smaller cut – the illusion of a smaller bikini will give the illusion of a smaller silhouette as you are drawing attention to a smaller piece of fabric.
KM: Describe for us your personal “swim” style!
MO: Relaxed Chic. I love a classic white bikini and a boho cover up like my Naomi kaftan.
KM: What are your beach bag essentials?
MO: Sun cream, sunglasses, and my Elle Cowboy hat.
KM: What’s next for Melissa Odabash?
MO: I just launched cell phone cases with Gooey. They are iPhone cases that adhere to surfaces to talk hands-free, or take fully-body selfies and videos. They come in my bespoke prints, and we are the first swimwear company to get into the cell phone accessory market!