AN array of jewel-toned tribal prints celebrate modern Africa, while tourmaline and tanzanite tones give a sophisticated feel that wouldn’t go amiss at Coachella or the beaches of Formentera.
Celebrated South African designer Craig Port launched his latest swimwear collection at The Glen Boutique Hotel & Spa in Sea Point to the delight of onlookers as the The “Port Squad”strutted around the hotel’s pool in skimpy briefs and thigh-hugging shorts. Port, whose Spring Summer 15 swimwear collection features design details that display thoughtful branding and eye-catching trims, giving it a refined edge, spoke to us about his work.
Five words that describe your SS15 collection? Retro, athletic, bohemian, hedonistic, carefree.
Tell us about the inspiration for your collection. I was influenced by 1970s poolside utopia, retro athletics and bohemian hedonism. I want the pieces to become essential vacation companions that take you from sun lounger to sundowner with a clink of a glass.
What type of man do you see wearing your collection? I was inspired by my #PortSquad of celebrities, friends and models, and I see the collection resonating with the modern man, someone looking for a happy and carefree summer.
What do you enjoy most about designing swimwear? I am a total beach bum and travel is an integral part of my design process. I’m
incredibly inspired by the sea and the ocean. From Mykonos to Bakoven, swimwear is a huge part of my life over summer.
What are some of your favourite swimwear trends for summer?
Square or box cut briefs and the “above the knee” swim short. I loved playing with prints and juxtaposing them with retro cuts. I had a lot of fun with this collection.
What is important when shopping for swimwear? Fit is everything. Go for a style that flatters your body shape.
When looking for models to represent your brand, what do you look for? I have a long-standing relationship with Boss Models as they have a super hot line-up of some of the world’s top male talent.
“Confidence and a bit of cheeky attitude are essential for shows.”
What are three things you feel contributed to the success of the brand?
Hard work, a clear vision and a passion for design.
What do you think about sustainability and sustainable design?
I believe that as a designer you have a responsibility to be conscious of the world around you.
Which other swimwear designers do you love right now? Orlebar Brown and Osklen.
What’s your favourite swimwear trend? Jewel tones and tribal prints have been getting a lot of exposure.
How would you describe your own personal style?
Modern, refined and relaxed.
What’s one item you can’t live without at the beach? My Lancier sunglasses.
Advice for aspiring designers? Anything is possible. If you can dream it then you can do it, but don’t forget to work hard while dreaming. Put your head down and go. Always look ahead and don’t let what others are doing affect you and your journey.
Where can we purchase the Craig Port swimwear? YDE stores nationwide. Pieces from the collection start from R450
For more information, see http://www.craigport.co.za.
Twitter handle: @craigport
Last words? Watch this space, London Fashion Week, here I come!
The feature was first published in the Cape Argus on December 2 2015. All pictures are by SDR Photo.
Follow me on Instagram: Nontando58.