I was lucky enough to quiz the incredibly glamboyant Megan Gale about her new swimwear line, Isola (meaning Island in Italian).Â Megan is someone I adore and I absolutely loved her new swimwear line launched back in June; to me Megan epitomises the true Aussie Glamour Girl next door in every way!
So on with the interview then:
Sassi: Megan, when did you first decide you wanted to bring out a swimwear range?
Megan: I first wanted to do a range back in 2003 when I was living in Italy, but to produce it for the Italian market. I never found the right company to collaborate with, which of course is an essential part of the business, finding a great manufacturer and team! So I shelved the idea and continued with the modelling.
Sassi: How did it come about that you partnered with Anthony Halas of Seafolly to bring out the range?
Megan: Anthony approached me in 2008 and was looking to start a new company, separate to Seafolly and proposed that I partner with him, start the company together and I could take on the role of Creative Director/Designer. For me it was about taking that idea from 2003 off the shelf, as I had found the perfect person to collaborate with. He has worked extensively and successfully in the swimwear industry, not to mention has great contacts in Australia and overseas, which I knew would be beneficial from a production and sales perspective. I also knew that he would ensure that I had a great team of staff to work with, that would share my vision and help create the type of range that both Anthony and I felt the Australian swimwear market needed.
Sassi: How long was the process from concept, design to in-store? Was it a big learning curve for you?
Megan: It’s a long and challenging process and there is ALWAYS something to do. For my first collection I actually started quite late. Usually you would start the design process in August and I started in October, so I was already 2 months behind! Your first collection is always the hardest as you’re trying to figure out what your style and handwriting is going to be. Also there is all the initial set up jobs to do – designing the swing tag and the little sew in labels, figuring what your coat-hangers are going to look like etc. I have already sold second summer, which is a smaller range that will come out towards the end of the year. I also have already started 2011 and am a fair way through it in terms of selecting prints and my colour palette and styles. It’s looking great!!
Sassi: How did it feel seeing your designs go down the runway at your launch event?
Megan: I didn’t see too much as I was backstage making sure all the models were dressed properly and getting out on the runway on time. I was quite nervous as I have never held a launch before and presented my own show so it was quite overwhelming. The response was great though and it was good for me to have that experience and be on the other side of things for a change.
Sassi: What do you think is different about your range to other swimwear collections?
Megan: Well I think there are a few significant points of difference. For a start, the entire range is separates, ensuring that anyone can get the perfect fit. You can buy a different size top to the pants, rather than be restricted to by a bikini in a set size. Also, I have really tried to cater to the bigger busted client. When I did my research before heading into the design process, I found that there were not a lot of styles out there for DD cup women that were not only supportive, but sexy and stylish too. I set myself the task to create some gorgeous styles for DD cup women that were not frumpy and cumbersome but chic and sophisticated while offering support. The collection also includes various styles of one – pieces, ranging from sexy cut aways to pieces with much more coverage. There are also resort apparel pieces including kaftans and maxi dresses and I hope to add to this side of things in my 2011 collection.
Sassi: Why were you inspired by Italy rather than Australia for the range?
Megan: It’s just how it happened this time around. When I looked at the trends out there and the styles that I was leaning towards for this collection, they did seem to have more of a Mediterranean feel to them and having spent so much time in Italy and with the name of the range being Isola (pronounced is- oh – la) which means island in Italian, I thought why not give the whole collection an Italian inspired feel!
Sassi: What\’s next for Megan Gale? Some beach beauty products? Fragrance?
Megan: I am open to developing all kinds of ideas but I think they all have to have a purpose or a relevance to my brand and what my passions are. I have a passion for nature, the beach and being outdoorsy so that’s why the swimwear range is a good fit. Accessories including beach towels, beach bags, sunglasses, footwear and beach apparel fit that mould nicely also, so that could definitely be a possibility as an extension to the swimwear. I adore beauty products and have a few ideas along those lines and homeware is something I have considered before but again, it’s all in the timing and whether it’s going to be financially viable for me from a business perspective. I never do something whimsically – it has to have a purpose and be extremely well developed.
Quick fun & girlie questions:
Two favourite bikini destinations including one in Australia: Tahiti and Broome.
What\’s in your summer holiday luggage? Needless to say this summer I will have a vast array of my own swimsuits, kaftans and maxi dresses. In addition to this, sunscreen, a few pair of gorgeous embellished flats and maybe high heel sandals/wedges. Lots of moisturiser to keep my skin hydrated, a good book or two, iPod and speakers – have to have tunes while I’m away!
Describe yourself in 5 words& Ambitious, adventurous, considerate, strong, playful.
What\’s your life\’s motto? “Believe in yourself and all things are possible.”
What five favourite things can\’t you live without? My loved ones, water, sleep, healthy food, ocean swims … (I know pretty basic and boring).
Your celebrity crush: I don’t think I have one. There are a lot of celebs that I think are attractive, men and women.. but I don’t have crushes on anyone.
Do you and Andy laugh all the time? Does he have an off-button for his humour? Well no one laughs ALL the time but there is definitely lightness to our relationship and he is naturally a very funny, positive happy person so that allows for a pretty harmonious relationship.
Watch Megan’s Behind the Scenes of Isola coming to life, OMG I have no idea how she managed to choose her fabrics!
Megan’s Isola Swimwear range is now available in-stores, visit her website www.isolabymegangale.com.au for more information and to find your nearest stockist. You can also follow Megan on Twitter IsolaByMeganG or MeganKGale.
Photographs courtesy of David Gubert
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- Megan Gale Launches her Isola Swimwear Range | Sassi Sam Girlie Gossip Files | 15 September , 2010