Luxury swimwear brand Heidi Klein has already established a reputation in the UK for being a leading retailer and wholesaler. With two boutiques in London, and stockists including Selfridges, Harrods and Intermix, things are going swimmingly well for founders Penny Klein and Heidi Gosman.
Sabi Phagura caught up with Heidi Gosman, Creative Director Of Heidi Klein to find out about the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to produce some of the most sought-after beachwear.
LM: How did you start off in the bikini industry?
HG: My mother was an interior designer, so I was heavily influenced by design growing up; I loved helping my mother select fabrics and prints. My first job was at a new media-consulting agency where I met my business partner Penny Klein. At that time, we noticed a gap in the market for luxury swimwear available all year round and so launched Heidi Klein in 2004. As Creative Director, I look after the branding, public relations and design whilst Penny oversees the commercial side. We complement each other perfectly.
LM: What have been the best elements and the toughest challenges?
HG: The best elements are working with so many talented people. Finding the right people has been key to our growth and I have such a wonderful team. They show brilliant insight into important areas of the business and continue to inspire me every day. The toughest challenge is balancing my home and work life. With so many pressures and commitments from children, family and work, it can be easy to lose yourself. I’ve found it is all about having a balance and taking that necessary time to unwind.
LM: You started Heidi Klein as a retailer and launched your website a few years ago – how does online shopping help?
HG: Online shopping makes our beachwear more accessible. Shoppers are able to purchase from home or work rather than coming into our boutique. We have now also launched a Fit By Phone service in which customers can call from around the world to speak to our swim specialists on purchasing the right piece for them.
LM: How did the St Lucia venture come about?
HG: We partnered with Capella Hotel in St. Lucia and opened our boutique in January this year. I had visited the beautiful Marina Village in Marigot Bay with my family and thought it would be the perfect location to open our first boutique in the Caribbean. Capella is known for their world-class service and one-of-a-kind experiences so naturally it was a good fit for Heidi Klein.
LM: How do you advise women to look fab from beach to bar?
HG: I choose versatile pieces, such as a Heidi Klein jumpsuit or oversized white shirt. You can wear them casually with sandals and then dress them with heels. Both pieces are super chic and really transform from day to night. I think the most important thing is to be confident. If a woman feels great, she will look great.
LM: Which colours are best to invest in?
HG: Always have a classic black bikini or one piece in your holiday wardrobe. I also love our signature nautical pieces. It is what Heidi Klein do best.
LM: Which celeb looks the best on the beach?
HG: I love Gisele, Elle MacPherson and Blake Lively. They are all stunning women who look gorgeous on the beach. Confident and chic, they are the epitome of the Heidi Klein woman.
LM: How do you get your own body bikini ready?
HG: I look after my body thorough the year by drinking plenty of water and eating healthily. I am trying to pass good habits along to my children! At Heidi Klein our emphasis is on fit. We fit each style seven times to ensure we achieve an impeccable cut. I know my Heidi Klein swimwear will deliver a sleek silhouette.
LM: What do you choose yourself to wear on a beach holiday?
HG: For swimwear, I look to our classic textured one-pieces, such as the black Manhattan V Bar one piece. It is timeless. I adore our gorgeous silk Hollywood kaftans – the floral prints are perfect in the sun. I never travel without my beloved gold cuff. I bought it in an antique shop in Verona and it is so special to me.
LM: What advice would you give a budding fashion designer?
HG: Research, research, research! Know your market and your customer well. Also, recruit brilliant people.
LM: Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
HG: Continuing to love what I do. I love creating a beautiful product and travelling all over the world meeting interesting people. Of course, watching my children grow up with my husband and spending lots of quality time with them.
By Sabi Phagura
Heidi Klein – Where and how
257 Pavilion Road
Email – [email protected]
Telephone no – +44 (0)2072599424