Tell us a little about your family’s background in luxury swimwear.
For over 30 years my family’s business has specialised in making high quality swim and resort-wear in our factory in Portugal. Every piece is hand finished by specially trained seamstresses.
We care deeply about European craftsmanship and work closely with Italy’s best silk printers, France’s best jacquard fabric mills, and a Spanish supplier of hardware for swimwear, which has exceptional galvanisation that doesn’t heat up or lose colour.
What are the key things to look for when investing in swimwear?
Fit and quality. High quality swimwear with subtle technical support — such as invisible boning, padding and wires — brings out the best in every woman’s body. It will last for years, as the lycra will keep its resilience and hence good fit. I strongly believe that it is worth the investment for every woman.
Where do you find most women go wrong when buying swimming costumes?
Shape and size. Many women after winter are conscious of their bodies and feel they need more coverage. Bigger coverage in bottoms adds weight rather than slimming, it is one of the most common misconceptions. I also like to encourage women to buy something that makes them feel confident and sexy, that fits well.
What triggered your interest in mineral stones and mythological symbols?
I find inspiration constantly in different places. It can be a colour, a texture, shapes, a reflection or any small detail that inspires me. I then attempt to translate these inspirations into a design or an accessory for the swimwear. Mythological symbols, signs and deities are often fascinating in shape and meaning, whether from Egypt, Greece, or West African countries such as Nigeria and Ghana. There are so many wise and beautiful variations.
What’s the importance of reinterpreting the snake in each collection?
The snake is one of my personal favourite animals in terms of aesthetics. I love snakeskin, the colours and variations of the pattern, and the shape of the snake.
The collection is made up of such vivid colours – how is this achieved?
We take the inspiration for colours and then source these colours or dye them; it often takes many months to achieve the specific tone we are looking for.
You split your time between London and Ibiza, why is this?
I’ve lived in London for 16 years now. I studied fashion in London and never left as the city has so much to offer and in my eyes is still the most international place in the world. I like variety and London has that, from quirky markets and a progressive creative scene for art, fashion and music, to old-world charm and tradition, as well as glitter and luxury.
Ibiza is my spiritual home. I have a strong need for nature, light, sea and sun. Preferably raw and unrestrained nature, which Ibiza provides in abundance. The island has a special energy that is in its own league. The clocks tick differently and time is not of the essence. All these attributes make Ibiza a magical place where everyone can create their own happiness.
Are you a one-piece or two-piece kind of gal?
Two-piece for sure… even though I am very tempted to wear some of our plunge line pieces such as the Phoenix one-piece.
What item in your wardrobe is irreplaceable to you?
Anything silk. I love silk and the playful and soft way it enhances natural movements so gracefully. If I had to decide on one piece for the rest of my life, it would be a silk kaftan. So elegant and versatile. It can be worn with flats in town, barefoot for a beach lunch, with heels and jewellery for dinner. If you want to add something special, wear a turban with it.
Any west London hotspots perfect for finding the best summer gear?
For the best high-end selection of brands I would suggest Harrods and Selfridges. Biondi Couture in Chelsea is great for a smaller selection.
Best book for poolside lounging?
I just finished Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, the author of Half of a Yellow Sun. Terrific book!
What’s to come for LAZUL? Ever thought of opening your own store?
Definitely! Lazul stores are definitely something I’ve been thinking about as well as more concessions in luxury department stores. For this year and next we plan to increase the countries in which LAZUL is available, we are currently in the UK, Europe, Middle East, Russia, and are expanding in the US. We are stocked in Neiman Marcus already, and will meet SAKS in June so fingers crossed the US ladies can find us soon coast to coast!