Other companies may organize runway shows to showcase their brand of luxury swimwear, but not Eres. The French swimwear company prefers to keep its designs under wraps to maintain exclusivity and avoid the scourge of copycats. Moreover, rather than create new collections every season, Eres invites global buyers and journalists twice a year to view its luxury swimwear collections.
Since its launch in Paris in 1968 (although it shut the next day due to student riots), the Irene Leroux-founded Eres is one of the leaders in the luxury swimwear category. Over the decades since its inception, Eres has transformed the concept of swimwear. For instance, in the 1970s it introduced two-piece swimsuits featuring tops and bottoms in different sizes to suit different female shapes more realistically. Eres has also been instrumental in removing padding and underwire from its swimwear designs. In Eres’ case, the focus is on creating swimsuits that complement the female body shape. Fashion critic Hilary Alexander has gone so far as to label Eres as “the Coco Chanel of swimsuits”.
Eres has many distinctions to its name. At a time when swimwear was treated as a seasonal product, Eres became the first brand to sell swimwear throughout the year. Even now, rather than create swimwear for every season, Eres releases a single large collection of 80 swimsuits each year.
The company’s head designer is the very pretty Valerie Delafosse, who says that she does not follow trends, only her intuition. Delafosse has been head designer at Eres for the last five years. She compares her working style to “working on a very long story”. Every season, she gets the opportunity to develop the story a little more.
Under Delafosse’s direction, designers located at the company headquarters in Paris’ 11th Arrondisement, work on created visual impact on the swimsuit designs. This is often managed by blending unlikely colors together. Unexpected colors are often a signature of Delafosse’s swimsuit designs.
Delafosse, a student of the Studio Bercot fashion school in Paris, had worked in the lingerie departments at Dior, Cacharel and Chloe before taking up the Eres job. Women dominate her design team. This ensures that a female sensibility permeates the Eres designs. Delafosse herself tries on new designs to see what works and what does not. As she puts it, women designers are equipped to focus on “the realities of a woman’s daily life”. Being a woman-dominated team ensures that overall there is a deep understanding of the female body.
Eres primarily uses two state-of-the-art fabrics to form the base for their luxury swimwear. These are Peau Douce and Parachute, but their make-up remains an Eres secret. Additionally, the designers make use of a range of modern technologies and techniques to create contemporary swimwear. Techniques like laser cutting are frequently used as well as injecting silicon to create a padded effect. Eres designs are elegant and sophisticated, never skimpy.
Currently owned by Chanel, Eres currently has 20 stores internationally. But more store openings are lined up for 2011. However, buying an Eres swimsuit is beyond the reach of buyers. Luxury swimwear from Eres costs anywhere between about $235 and $565. Yet, many would agree that it these are reasonable prices for Eres’ perfect swimsuits.
Via: The New York Times