Forever on the hunt for the perfect bikini, we were smitten when stumbling upon Faherty Brand’s gorgeous swimwear—fun prints, perfect cuts & eco-friendly production methods, doesn’t get much better than that! Putting the spotlight of the brothers behind the brand, Mike and Alex, we wanted to find out as much as we could about the emerging line—check out our interview with the Faherty boys below!
1. As men designing bikinis and beachwear for women, how/do you feel like you bring a different perspective to the swimwear game?
The beach for us is a casual, laid back place where we have our best moments. Feeling comfortable and looking good should come naturally. As guys who love the beach and love to surf, we appreciate active women who want to look great but not worry that her top will come off. One of the things we noticed in women’s swimwear is the lack of functionality– a lot out there is purely designed for aesthetics, full of uncomfortable buckles and beading. Creating a pragmatic, yet flattering, suit was important for us.
Our fabric and prints are great. We spent more than two years perfecting a fabric blend that has the ideal hand feel and stretch. The result is a fabric that is lightweight and soft with great stretch retention and that dries quickly. It was also important to us that the fabric was eco-friendly, so we utilized innovative technology and derived the fabric from recycled plastic bottles. Our prints are inspired by our world travels; we’ve collected silk block prints from India, handmade Plangi fabrics from Sumatra, and Kikishibu indigo textiles from Japan. Our colors are deeply saturated, but still maintain a cool subtlety. We offer five prints and four solids ─ colors that look great on darker and lighter skin and can be seamlessly mixed and matched.
We also offer a great assortment of styles. We have the all-time Classic String Bikini top and bottom ─ an iconic style with just the right amount of coverage; the Convertible Bra Top ─ a classic, no-fuss bikini that captures the comfort and function of a bra; and the Cami Underwire top – a stylish and chic, yet functional top that provides underwire structure. The latter two have adjustable straps that convert to a cross back, halter, or strapless and have removable padding. In terms of bottoms, we designed the Signature Brief Bottom, which is very versatile and constructed to fit all body types; the Hipster Bottom, a suit created for all women, which can be worn completely up, down, rouched slightly above the hips, or worn as a skirt. Finally, we have a great vintage inspired One Piece, which is simple yet sexy.
The beauty of our swimwear is that all pieces are sold separate. We encourage women to buy different tops and bottoms and to experiment with what fits best. We also love the way you can mix and match our patterns and colors. It’s a fresh and stylish way to show up on the beach wearing contrast prints or color blocking.
2. Describe the kind of girl wearing Faherty creations:
Our girl is someone who is comfortable in her own skin. She’s Bohemian and classic. Active and sexy without trying. She values beautiful things and values the environment.
3. The prints on your suits are way cute! Where do you find inspiration for these patterns each season?
The concept for the brand is rooted in life’s great moments at the beach. These moments are filled with the bright colors of summer, from the reddish orange of sunrises and sunsets to the varying ocean blues. We identify summer with color, so summer suits should be colorful. Our prints are fun. Bold, but still understated, so each woman can keep her own personality, but not be overpowered.
We have an obsession for vintage textiles and are constantly collecting textiles at flea markets, antique fairs, and fabric markets from around the world; we’ve even ventured to rural places to work with artisans to discover new print techniques. The five prints that we designed for this first collection came from the indigenous textiles we discovered during our travels on our surf and work trips. Our initial collection has prints inspired from Silk Block prints from India, handmade Plangi fabrics from Sumatra, and Japanese Kikishibu indigo prints.
4. What made you want to incorporate an eco-friendly element into your business? Any particular environmental causes you both are dedicated to?
We couldn’t call ourselves a beach lifestyle brand if we didn’t care about the health of our beaches and water. Other industries are taking initiatives to make their products more eco-friendly. Our generation is buying organic food and cleaning supplies, recycling more, and expressing concern about climate change. And yet, the fashion world still has a long way to go. It’s time for the fashion world to step up. Most bathing suits are made from polyester; ours are simply derived from recycled polyester from plastic bottles which come from the same byproduct, petroleum. The oceans of this world do not need any more plastic bottle and recycled polyester requires approximately 2/3 less energy and almost 90% less water than the production of new polyester. With these facts in mind, it was an easy decision. While the creation of our fabric is more costly, we consider it a necessary investment in the environment. We’d like to create a shift in consumer culture, where people find value in premium product that lasts for years from eco/sustainable materials, as opposed to just one season.
5. As total beach boys, what are each of your favorite seaside locales?
We’re from a small beach town in New Jersey called Spring Lake, which is an awesome laid back, sleepy town. We also love Cardiff-by-the-Sea, a surf town in Southern California. And anywhere we can catch some great waves, have a bonfire, and then get good grub and cold beers will be a home away from home.
Carolyn Murphy for Vogue Germany June 2012
(Image via FGR)