Inspiration for the Big Blue Collection
The Big Blue collection is a visual feast of bright colours and patterns reminiscent of tropical fish, coral reefs and scalloped-shaped seashells. Sweaty Betty designer Julia Ison-Stierer talks inspiration for the collection’s design, from a 1980s French film classic to a summer holiday in Thailand.
“We began the design process looking at scuba diving and sea life. Images of glowing sea anemones, intensely coloured tropical fish and vibrant coral reefs played a major role in creating the collection. The 1988 French film Le Grand Bleu, a cult classic for divers featuring the amazing Jean-Marc Barr, captures unique underwater imagery that made it onto our moodboard. The film inspired the collection’s name as well as its colour palette. Once we took the collection to land, surf culture became a major influence, and we used fabrics traditionally associated with surfing, like the neoprene used in the Oxygen Bikini.
When we started designing Big Blue, I had just returned from Thailand and I kept thinking about how I could incorporate ocean life into the collection through patterns and prints. We had stayed on Phi Phi Island, where the surrounding waters are teeming with schools of tropical fish just below the surface - I took pictures to use on my design moodboards when I returned home. We always design with a story in mind, and the story of an ocean full of vibrant, dancing fish inspired the mermaid print Capri, the Decompression Cape and the Deep Sea Vest.
The Paradise print is inspired by the same theme, as The Paradise Swimsuit summons daydreams of a summer holiday immersed in tropical island life. We found inspiration in beaches everywhere from Montauk to the Balearic Islands, where we ended up shooting the SS13 range.
In addition to swimwear, the Big Blue collection also features workout gear with fabrics that are high-stretch and sweat-wicking, perfect for a warm-weather workout. Once the pieces are designed and ready to go, each piece undergoes athlete trials and testing. Our swimwear, for example, was subjected to the Dive Into the Pool test before it even arrived at the shoot in Ibiza – ensuring all our activewear is high performance as well as high fashion.”
Shop the Big Blue Collection.