they could be applied to swimwear. "I couldn't believe that no one was doing neoprene, even from surf brands," she recalls. She ran up seven bikinis in fine neoprene and took them to Paris, where buyers snapped them up.
That was in 2009 and, today, Fernandez's suits appear in international magazines and on some of the world's most admired beach bodies. Her design muses are her friends, "dynamic women with their own careers and characters". There's the scoop-neck Elisa, named after actress Elisa Sednaoui; the Yasmin, in honor of fashion consultant Yasmin Sewell; and model Poppy Delevingne's front-tie bandeau bikini.
Naturally, there's a Lisa Marie, a high-neck maillot with a zip down the front. "I'm loving one-pieces at the moment," she says. "I wear a lot of bodysuits in the fall, and a one-piece suit in the summer." Plus, "men find the one-piece sexier than the bikini – it's the zipper."
Fernandez is an expert in the art of making women feel their best
when wearing the least. "It's an emotional buy, swimwear; it's connected to having a nice, relaxing time. It's not about how you look or having the most perfect body – nobody has a perfect body. It's more about confidence. Everyone has great attributes."
Fernandez's approach to beach dressing has the ease and élan of a lifelong stylist. Over her "hundreds" of bikinis, she throws on Equipment blouses, hand-painted Zandra Rhodes dresses and vintage kaftans. "Women shouldn't be
“It’s not about having the most PERFECT body – nobody has a perfect BODY. It’s more about CONFIDENCE”
afraid of doing luxury on the beach," she insists.
Her take on city chic is epitomized by her shoot-day outfit: a sweater in white cotton, a red Duro Olowu skirt and Céline
platforms. Her latest acquisition is an Hermès Kelly Picnic Bag, constructed from remnants of the wicker version of the classic design. "It looks like a beach basket you could buy in Stromboli for €20 – but it's Hermès."
Which brings us back to the beach. Make that beaches, plural. The sun-drenched summer months promise "as many trips as
possible"; along with Montenegro, Beirut and Bodrum, Fernandez wants to revisit the South of France. And she would love to go back to Bali, her spiritual home. "Something about being by the sea is so calming," she says. "[But] I can go any place, as long as the environment is authentic."
Lisa Marie’s go-to pieces
“MEN FIND the one-piece sexy – it’s the zipper.”
afraid of doing luxury at the beach.”
Ancient Greek Sandals for the beach.”
Shirt by J.W. Anderson; pumps by Gianvito Rossi; sunglasses by Valentino; bracelet by Vanessa Kandiyoti.Credits
Stylist: Sofia Catania. Art
director: Jon Wetherell.
Hair: Miki at Tim Howard Management. Makeup: Yumi.
Fashion assistant: Katy Hadwiger