Blending effortless elegance with the right amount of cheek, Wild Pony is a Sydney-based swim and resortwear label for the assertive modern woman.
Following the birth of her first child, designer and surf lifesaver Rachel Sandison struggled to find stylish yet practical one-piece bathers that flattered her new body shape. Disgruntled with what seemed like an invasion of ‘grandma-esque’ one-pieces, Sandison made it her mission to create alluring but very wearable swimwear.
The label’s fit is designed around attitude rather than age or demographic.
NSS Editor, Michelle Larin, recently interviewed Sandison about her label, passion for swimwear and the ocean.
Q: Rachel, tell me about you as the designer. What fuels your passion for swimwear?
A: I loooooove the beach. They say home is where the heart is and mine is at the beach!
I love the outdoors and greeting the day with an early morning run or exercise by the beach, on the beach or in the water in summer. Plus I want to look great on the beach.
Q: What philosophy/vision does your brand embody?
A: Beautiful swim and resortwear that inspires confidence in the woman who wear it.
Q: How do you describe your brand’s aesthetic?
A: Glamorous, elegant, fun and cheeky!
Q: Where is your swimwear made?
A: All of the design, patterns and sampling occurs in Australia, but our production takes place offshore in Bali, Indonesia.
Q: What inspires your brand's designs?
A: Inspiration comes from everything that surrounds me: the beauty of the beach in the early morning, the sun, summer, friends and even a conversation.
Essentially, each collection I create has a concept and everything grows from that idea or ideas. For example, my latest collection, 'The Wild Within', is inspired by an exotic, wild jungle and the animals that inhabit it. This cohesive collection showcases a glamorous, but very wearable range of swimwear created to make women feel comfortable and confident.
Q: Describe some of your past swim collections.
A: Our first collection was inspired by the glamour and disco sentiment of the '70s with plunge neck one-pieces and lace-up, but structured, strapless pieces created from black putty, animal prints and sparkling fabrics.
Last year's collection, 'A Dawn of A New Day', was about new beginnings, growth and embracing change. It possessed a strong nature component with soft pastel shades representing the new buds and flowers of spring, as well as snake prints.
Our current collection, 'The Wild Within', is about releasing one's wild side, with black and white tribal print, popping pinks and yellows, floaty animal print kaftans and lacey beach ponchos.
Q: What does it take to run a swimwear label in Australia?
A: It takes passion and the desire to create; I love swimwear and creating pieces for confident and sexy beach loving babes. You also need a good PR agent who can create brand visibility in the market. Finally and critically, you must possess good business sense. The reality is that only a small part is creating the dream and then there is everything else involved in a business, for example, marketing, finance, production, admin etc.
Q: Describe the essence of the woman who wears your brand?
A: She is beautiful from the inside out; as I am always telling my four year old daughter, beauty comes from the heart.
She is a beautiful person, who is elegant, confident, self assured and fun loving. She has a love for others and a kind, genuine way of being. She is not defined by age, demographic or physiology but by her attitude. She is inspiring.
Q: What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty is from within. It is about who you are, rather than what you look like. It’s healthy, vivacious, inspiring, genuine, approachable, fun loving and sexy.
Q: What do you love most about Australian summers and beach culture?
A: The energy and vitality you feel as the weather warms up. A long swim in the ocean that makes you feel refreshed. Playing in the waves with my daughter. Being outdoors. Lifesaving and giving back to our community.
Q: What role does swimwear have to play in that culture?
A: Whether you are riding a wave or catching some rays on the beach, having a BBQ with friends or watching your child frolic in the waves, swimwear of varying shapes and sizes is an integral part of beach life.
Q: End this sentence: Summer is…
A: …heaven , hot balmy days, tantalising ocean waves, ocean swimming in clear water, delicious tropical fruit and long, lazy evenings with friends basking in the warm air.
Wild Pony swimwear is available to purchase online at: http://wildpony.com.au/
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