When it comes to swimwear, at least, we all know: women want something that’s not only pretty but also comfortable and, need it be said, that makes them look good. They’re after the right balance between beauty, ease and confidence. Call it sexy. And who better than a woman to actually deliver the goods?
But then again, Valérie Delafosse, Artistic Director at Eres, is not just any woman and Eres is not exactly your average brand. It all began in Paris in 1968 with Irène Leroux’s bold move to sell swimwear year round and the tops and bottoms separately. The big gamble paid off and Eres developed into a chic global brand now owned by Chanel with shops all over the world. Besides St. Barth’s and Moscow, recent openings also include the shop in Antwerp, which is where Together Magazine met Ms Delafosse.
Valérie is not petite as the French cliché would have it and she has beautiful curves, an asset in most circumstances and a blessing in her trade. “You actually have to wear a design to see if it works or not,” she says. “So my team, which consists mainly of women, and myself try everything on.” In the late 90s, Eres also started producing lingerie, which just like the swimwear, is known for its sleek and feminine style.
Both lingerie and swimwear are worked out according to a Corps Libre philosophy that allows women to look their best without feeling constricted, so a lot of research goes into cuts and fabrics. There are no fussy details but always something that will stand out like the precision of laser cutting, some sophisticated embroidery or an original combination of elements. “This summer, for instance, I combined zippers with satin. And on some models, I worked with silicone to reproduce the effect of vinyl. It’s hard work but a lot of fun too. I get my inspiration from all sorts of places and like to work with mood boards,” says Delafosse, who’s fond of developing new techniques yet respects traditional know-how.
We stray off and start discussing antique jewelry and… lamps. Maybe some of that will be translated into a future collection but for now one may indulge in the latest chapter of the French success story: sunwear. Neither beachwear nor ready-to-wear, this new line of clothes can be worn with a bikini for a lunch by the pool as well as for a dinner under the stars as Bond girl Bérénice Marlohe – who stars in the campaign shot by Karl Lagerfeld – perfectly illustrates. It’s the one tunic, dress or kimono you want for a sunny getaway without excess luggage. Eres at its best.