From babe photos for lighters to the most sexy swimsuits of the East Coast:
This week meet Solarium, a swimwear brand entirely handmade in Brooklyn.
Designer she and photographer him, Amelia and Harry are the lovely
co-founders of the brand, a gorgeous universe full of tan lines, posters, mega babes and Florida vibes.
Summer is all about making memories, just be a sexy version of yourself and enjoy the last days of our favorite season!
Federica. Ciao Amelia and Harry!
Tell us something about you and about Solarium.
Solarium. We are a swimwear brand based out of New York City producing small runs of hand made swimsuits along with lighters, posters, and photographic editorials. Amelia is the designer, Harry is the photographer.
Federica. Describe Solarium in 3 words.
Solarium. Sand, Wax, Tan lines
Federica. Seems like your main reference are the 80s. Where this love comes from? Where do you find inspiration and how do you organize it?
Harry. I was originally inspired by the cheesy postcards and lighters I would buy on trips to Florida. I wanted to make images and items that would blend in at little beach shops or in the back of an old magazine next to the x-ray glasses or a kit car.
Amelia. At first I was exploring more straight forward translations in order to get Mason the photos he wanted for his 80s babe lighters. Then once we really started Solarium, I started designing more from scratch. I am attracted to 80s visuals-prints, patterns graphic cuts and of course I love a bad 80s beach babe movie. This season I was really drawn to 80s rally car liverys and graphics.
Federica. You guys are proud of your slow fashion approach. Solarium seems a relaxed and atypical world where each suit is hand made in your studio in Brooklyn and everything is still very organic and genuine. How the process and the materials you use inform your work?
Solarium. “Seasonal” items like swimwear are often considered disposable by the industry and are manufactured and sold cheaply without much thought. Our structure came to us organically as we weren’t looking to really start a brand, but to start exploring something creatively. Once we realized people wanted to buy the swimsuits, we still didn’t want to disconnect ourselves from the product so we still make each one in house. This allows us to make more responsible decisions when it comes to materials, waste, etc. Our current collection is made from 100% recycled nylon.
Amelia. I specialize in textiles. I teach at Parsons in New York and consult for brands like Ck Collection and Yeezy doing surface development. When I’m not making swimsuits, I am usually in wash houses or another atmosphere focusing on textiles. I really love having complete control so I can learn a process and reinvent it in my own way. There was a lot of trial and error with some of our screen prints this season but understanding this new medium and seeing how it reacts only makes me more inspired to continue experimenting.
Federica. In order to be special, how a swimwear should be?
Solarium. Summer is all about making memories. It is steeped in nostalgia so making garments that not only reflect that mood but can contribute to, and memorialize these moments in time.
Federica. On your website people can not only buy your swimsuits but they can also explore Solarium’s universe through beautiful editorials. How important is the photographic vision and the styling in your aestethic?
Harry. This project began as a photographic project so our visuals have always been key to us. We first starting taking “babe photos” for lighters. We liked this idea of creating images for a fictional brand or product. Making our own imagery allows us to focus on a vision and create a cohesive collection. The photoshoot is usually considered first, swimsuits are made and the collection is edited down and put on sale after that.
Amelia. I design and make every suit with a specific photograph in mind. Mason and I work very closely. Lines, colors, vibes etc. are all important when thinking about the bigger picture.
Federica. You ask your clients to support your friend and collaborators (oh hi Dana!).
How much is important for your brand to have a creative family around?
Solarium. Since Solarium is only two people, friends and collaborators are essential! Solarium would have never happened without the support of the people around us. We have met and worked with so many amazing people over the last year (too many to list but you know who you are!) Working on a project that you love with passionate and creative people is a dream come true.
Federica. Tell us about the girl of your dreams, who are the muses in your editorials and how do you choose the girls for your e commerce? But most important, who are the women who buy your items?
Amelia. Devon Aoki has always been my dream girl, her strength and style.
Harry. Annabella Lwin of Bow Wow Wow
Solarium. Our customers come from all over the world! I think we cater to a woman who knows what she wants and cares about quality.
Federica. If Solarium were a movie, which one would be?
Solarium. True Stories meets Malibu Bikini Shop.
Federica. Have you ever been in Italy? If you have to choose an Italian beach location for one of your stories, which one would be?
Solarium. Italy has such amazing beaches and beach towns, too many to pick. We usually ask a local for the best spots! 🙂
Federica. That’s always my last question. Here at SoapOpera we like to call ourselves #busysexyeasy. If you had to choose a hashtag that represents you which would it be?
Meet Solarium here!
All the images by Harry Mason Dent IV, courtesy of Solarium.