Never Too Late for Swimwear: Lisa Marie Fernandez




Lisa Marie Fernandez is a swimsuit fanatic. The former Elle Market Editor-turned-stylist-turned designer made a proverbial “splash” with the 2009 launch of her eponymous scuba-inspired swimwear line. Taking cues from the sporty swim styles of the early ’90s, Fernandez’s color-blocked neoprene bikinis can be spotted by their chunky, exposed zippers and Bond-girl sex appeal. “I love a strong, sexy bathing suit,” declares the designer. But considering that Fernandez boasts a personal collection of over 380 swimsuits, and has spent the last seven years traveling from Bali to Africa to Vietnam to Indonesia to explore the world’s beaches (and beach looks), “love” might be considered an understatement.

On top of her beachwear obsession, Fernandez has taken her designs to the next level. This fall, she will launch a capsule collection of ready to wear pieces. Without a swimsuit in sight, the line features structured, second skin neoprene dresses, skirts, and skinny pants, all of which maintain that signature Fernandez look via zippers, geometric seams and sleek, sophisticated silhouettes. “It’s really simple dressing. You literally just throw it on and you go. And you can wash everything in the sink!” says the designer of her capsule looks.
Fernandez explains that she’s toned down the color-blocking for the fall collection, showing mostly solid blacks, grays and eggplants. But she adds another dimension by exploring a new range of textures. A piqued neoprene is introduced into the mix, as well as a something the designer calls “tuxedo” and describes as a mix between sharkskin and velvet. “You’d never even know it’s neoprene!”
The designer also tells us that she has a series of yet-to-be-revealed collaborations in the mix, but until then, you can look forward to browsing her fall looks Kirna and Zabete, Barneys, and Net-a-Porter come mid-September. LEFT: THE JULIA DRESS