Many years ago, The New York Times magazine profiled some young stylists. Lisa Marie Fernandez was one of the stylists featured in this editorial spread. For her portrait, Miss Fernandez opted to be photographed soaking wet, in a bathtub. And in her interview, she talked about her obsessive love of swimwear and her vast collection of bikinis (more than 150 of them). Now Fernandez has turned a somewhat unusual obsession into a full-fledged business venture. Along with her partner Kristi Zoldi, a childhood friend who presumably shares this peccadillo, Fernandez has launched an eponymous swimwear line.
The small collection features scuba and surf inspired suits which harken back to the 1980’s and the once ubiquitous neoprene swimwear line made by the super surf brand Body Glove. Body Glove suits were the first fashion swimsuits to be made of neoprene, the same fabric that real wetsuits are made from and featured thick zippers that are also common to surf and dive gear.
It’s ingenious really. Using scuba suits as inspiration for swimwear. It’s one of those things that makes you think, ‘Why hasn’t someone thought of this before?’ They held you in, looked great when wet, and never got stretched out. These suits were revolutionary in their time and inevitably made you think of the painfully sexy siren, Ursula Andress, rising from the sea, in true Bond-girl fashion (Dr. No).
Presumably, Miss Fernandez owns one or more of these suits, since no self-respecting swimwear fanatic would be without at least one item from this cult-like brand, and it would appear that she has put them to good use. She has developed modern, updated versions of the brand’s famously successful styles. The fabric is updated, the cuts are more spare and sexy, the colours more subdued and, of course, the Body Glove logo is no longer there, but the reference cannot be denied. Neoprene fabric, thick zips and the same colour blocking. (Hey, she’s a stylist, not a designer, right?)
As is the trend these days, all the suits have been given names, including one named Leigh, after Leigh Lezark of the Mishapes.
But all of this does beg the question…
Why hasn’t Body Glove grabbed a clue and done this themselves already?!?
LMF swimwear is available at Netaporter.com, Barney’s NY and Kirna Zabete.
Prices range from $275- $425.
You can still find variations of the original suit on the Body Glove website (for considerably less money).