Perfect with all your imperfections…

by marlies|dekkers

Do you feel quite vulnerable on the beach? No wonder! Just think about it: you’re laying on your back, surrounded by strangers, and you’re wearing something minuscule that, just a few hundred meters down, on the boulevard, you wouldn’t be caught dead in! Simply put: the beach has its own set of rules. So when I started designing swimwear, I felt I needed to crack that code. Off I went, on a tour of different beaches in different countries, trying out different states of undress. (And yes, that included an exciting afternoon on a nudist beach.)

First of all, I realized that the closer we are to the actual water, the less we wear. Literally! It’s as if Neptune, that handsome bearded god of the sea, whispers in your ear with each wave: “Go on, you don’t need all these clothes…” We might swim topless, but put on a bikini-top when we walk over to see a friend. Then, when we decide to get some ice cream on the boulevard, we throw on a shirt or a pareo.

Secondly, I learned that what works for lingerie, might not make us feel strong and sexy on the beach. Personally, I want to look good on the beach, but not too sexy. More than anything, I want to feel confident. A sensual lace strap or a naughty cut-out – so empowering under a suit skirt – is not going to give me that feeling when I’m strutting through the sand.

So how does this affect my designs? Well, I know most women worry about very specific areas: the breasts, belly and bottom. That’s exactly where I offer security with all my designs. But whereas I use straps in my lingerie, I prefer to fold and pleat the fabric of my swimwear, giving it the fluidity that suits the setting. I want it to feel safe like body armor, but to look like a sexy bikini. I think every woman is beautiful, stunning even. And my ultimate goal is to make you see yourself the way I see you: perfect with all your ‘imperfections’.

I like to compare women’s bodies with trees: would you say one type of tree is too tall, or too stubby? Of course not! Every tree is perfect in its own way. Just like you. To make you realize that, is my life’s mission. Every time someone tells me that because of my designs, they have the courage to wear a bikini for the first time in their lives, I feel like I’m one step closer. (And yes, I allow myself an actual fist pump.)

So when Neptune calls, go! Let that bearded hunk and his sexy triton seduce you, let him bewitch you with the electric energy of his waves. With my swimwear, you’ll be ready…

Most loved
Welcome to the garden of EARTHLY DELIGHTS

Females Forward

Welcome to the garden of EARTHLY DELIGHTS

by marlies|dekkers

You may not think of Frida Kahlo as a typical gardener – can you imagine her in rubber boots? – but together with her beloved Diego she turned the garden of their ‘Casa Azul’ into a luscious paradise of locally sourced flora.

How to keep your heels and standards HIGH

MD Friends

How to keep your heels and standards HIGH

by marlies|dekkers

Ruthie Davis is just like the amazing shoes she designs: daring, empowering and totally fabulous. After making Reebok hip again and completely revamping Uggs, she launched her own brand 10 years ago and quickly became the go-to designer for feminine feminists like Beyoncé and Lady Gaga.

Selfmade STAR maker

MD Friends

Selfmade STAR maker

by marlies|dekkers

She grew up in a town with 3 traffic lights; now Lisa Benson represents some of the top names in the industry like Chanel Iman, Chrissy Teigen and Kelly Rohrbach. I met up with the IMG model manager to talk about the art of persistence and the importance of dreaming big. “I always trust my instinct.”