Behind The Collection: Peony's Solis Collection

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posted by James Willmott

There is an extraordinary feeling that comes with seeing the success of a young label, regardless of the chosen industry. It’s feelings of gratitude, combined with appreciation and joy we here at SurfStitch get when we see people challenging societies expectations and following their dreams in pursuit of owning their own label, designing the perfect garment and becoming a household name.

Well, this has been the case for our favourite boutique swimwear brand, Peony, who recently released yet another simply authentic and vastly unique swim collection, known as ‘Solis’.  Experimenting with new textures, fabrics and designs, this collection is sure to sell out before summer even hits!

We had the pleasure to talk to lawyer turned fashion tycoon, owner Becky Jack. Take a look at what the young entrepreneur has been up to and what we should expect to see from the highly anticipated Solis collection.

Thanks for catching up Becky. Can you tell us a bit about what it is like to be the Director and Head Designer at Peony?
You’re very welcome! Thanks for having me. In short, my role is to oversee all aspects of the brand, from design and production to sales and marketing. The brand is growing really quickly so at the moment my role is very broad and overarching, which I love.

You’ve just wrapped up Peony’s new swim collection. Can you tell us a little about it?
Absolutely, we are so proud of this collection. The collection is titled “Solis” and was inspired by a European summer. After 3 years of getting to know our customer, we know she loves to travel, often picking three Peony pieces to throw into her suitcase and mix and match them throughout the season, so the collection was designed with her in mind.

We have invested a huge amount of time and energy into developing some incredible exclusive fabrics for this collection, including broiderie anglaise Lycra, a woven jacquard stripe and a textured honeycomb fabric. Our luxe fabrics sit alongside exclusive locally created prints, bringing a clean bohemian feel to the range, which is distinctly Peony.

Apart from yourself, who are the other people involved in bringing it all to fruition?
We are a small but nimble team of four. We’re all great friends, our design assistant Sophie is my fiancé’s cousin, so it really does feel like a little family. We always like to bring fresh ideas to the table so we also work alongside some great photographers and local artists who come on board to help us bring our vision to life. It’s a very dynamic, hardworking and supportive environment.

Where did you draw the name from for the collection?
“Solis” is a Spanish name derived from the Latin phrase “sol solis”, meaning “sun”.

What do you enjoy most about creating new swim collections?
I really enjoy shooting the campaign. Campaign day is the culmination of months of work and it is incredibly satisfying to see it all come together in the way it was intended.

Tell us the process of first putting pen to paper, to eventually seeing the finished product?
It’s a long and exhausting process, particularly for a group of perfectionists. I love it when the original vision translates perfectly into the finished product, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes the product development process becomes a series of problem solving exercises, which can be really hard work and long hours in the face of deadlines, but we always make it work. In the office, we get so excited when final samples come back. It feels like Christmas opening up the parcel to see something that you drew onto paper all of a sudden come to life. The process is extremely gratifying and I feel so lucky to call it my “job”.

What’s your favourite piece of Peony’s new swim collection? Anything in particular we’ll catch you in over summer?
Personally, I love the Dusty Rose Hi-Tri + Staple Pant. It took us months to perfect that dusty tone of pink and I love the broiderie anglaise fabric we developed for the collection, it’s so intricate and delicate yet so substantial.

Where did you shoot it?
We shot the campaign in the small town of Albufeira in Portugal. It was the perfect backdrop for the collection.

Sum up the collection in 3 words.
Holiday. Texture. Sunshine.

What do you have to take into consideration when choosing the cuts, materials and designs?
Too many things to list here, but at every stage of the process we always ask the question – is it true to the brand? If the answer is “no”, we start over.

What’s different about this new collection than others in the past?
This collection is much bigger than our past collections, with a total of 30 pieces, all sold separately and designed to mix and match. Due to customer feedback, we have more one pieces than ever before and the fabrics we developed for the collection are of a whole new calibre. Flat block coloured Lycra does not feature, our block coloured styles are a textured honeycomb fabric and our stripe is a woven jacquard rather than a printed stripe. It’s the kind of range that you need to touch and feel to truly appreciate.

If you could have one person wearing your swim collection, who would it be?
Andreea Diaconu or Sienna Miller. Both girls exude such natural beauty and embody the philosophy of the brand – effortless feminine style.