Interview: Carly and Simone Wilkins of Eau Paix Vie Swimwear
Keely Greinke | On 13, Aug 2015
As the hype for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane continues to build, we speak to Carly and Simone Wilkins, owners and designers of emerging swimwear label Eau Paix Vie, who will be showcasing at this years 10th anniversary event.
Working in a duo, let alone with your sister, can sometimes lead to heated arguments. However, sisters Carly and Simone Wilkins have managed to use their sisterly bond to create a swimwear label which embodies a carefree spirit and evokes fun and happiness. Known for their colourful and bright cheeky bikini bottoms, the young Wilkins sisters have built an emerging brand which began at the Gold Coast. Having a deep love and passion for travel, the sisterly duo now have the luxury of encapsulating the inspiration that they find on their travels into their swimwear. We speak to the girls about their adventures and what prospects the future holds for Eau Paix Vie.
TCI: How important is travelling for your brand?
Carly and Simone Wilkins: Imperative. Travelling the world is what initially gave us the inspiration to start our label, and it is what continues to motivate and inspire us today, both design and business wise. We feel that travel gives you a unique perspective on things, and can’t speak highly enough of the value we place on the experiences we have had meeting new people, exploring new places, and seeing new things.
TCI: There is a never-ending debate over where the best beaches in the world are located – which would you say is your favourite?Â
Carly and Simone Wilkins:Â When we are in Australia we are based on the Gold Coast, which has some pretty amazing beaches! The blue waters of the Yucutan Peninsula on the east coast of Mexico are incredible, as are some of the beaches we have visited in Hawaii.
TCI: How well do you work together as sisters? Does someone hold more authority?Â
Carly and Simone Wilkins:Â Like most siblings, we do have our fair share of disagreements, but we always end up pulling together in the end. Carly is in charge of the business decisions so has more authority from that perspective.
TCI: Do you find that having separate roles in the company makes your process easier and allows things to operate better?Â
Carly and Simone Wilkins:Â Simone looks after the design aspect whilst I’m behind the business side. This generally works well for us.
TCI: Do you ever want to step in and help design, Carly?Â
Carly and Simone Wilkins:Â More recently I have begun to have more of an input into the designing and have become more involved with that process, which I enjoy also.
TCI: Is there ever any sister rivalry?Â
Carly and Simone Wilkins:Â No, not really – we do have disagreements on things that we end up working out, but no rivalry as such- we both just want the best for EPV.
TCI: How important is it to have ambassadors that are well known/established now that social media is a leading marketing platform?Â
Carly and Simone Wilkins:Â We acknowledge the power and rapid growth of social media, it’s crazy. In saying that, more recently I think it’s really apparent the amount of accounts that are used for promotional purposes primarily, and I think that takes away a bit from the genuine appreciation of products. Whilst no doubt it is beneficial to have someone with a huge account to post your product, for us we would rather have support and posts from someone with a smaller account who genuinely loves and supports our label, as opposed to someone with a massive following that posts lots and lost of labels each day, I think it loses it authenticity.
TCI: Acknowledging that you ship worldwide, where do you find is your biggest market?Â
Carly Wilkins:Â Our biggest market is Australia followed by the U.S.
TCI: How should girls wearing your swimwear feel?
Carly Wilkins:Â Free, happy, themselves. We really promote that people should be themselves and we like to try and represent that through our label- which we feel embodies being carefree, happy and fun. The girls should also feel inspired by travel and the spirit of adventure.
TCI: MBFF Brisbane is just around the corner. How important are festivals such as these to you?
Carly Wilkins:Â This is our first festival, we aren’t too sure what to expect but we are very excited to be part of the 10th anniversary show and look forward to working with everyone involved as well as showing our next collection.
TCI: What will we be seeing from your collection at MBFF Brisbane this year?Â
Carly Wilkins:Â A lot of mix and match so that girls can choose what is right for them, and more of the bright pop colours and cheeky bottoms that we are known for.
TCI:Â Any designers that you’re excited to see?Â
Carly Wilkins:Â We are excited to see all of the emerging designers in our show as well as Aje for their classic looks.
TCI: What advice would you give to any young designers?Â
Carly Wilkins:Â I think it’s really important to stay true to yourself and come up with designs that represent you and your label. Also have fun with it, don’t be too serious and don’t forget the reasons you started in the first place.