Behind The Brand: Phoebe Simmers of Roxy
Living in Biarritz, France is never something to complain about. The pumping waves, rich culture and beautiful scenery are just some of the amazing aspects life in the southwestern region has to offer, and if you are Roxy’s Global Swimwear Designer, you get to experience it in all its glory. Introducing Pheobe Simmers, the brainchild behind the label’s mindblowing swimwear, fitness and much more.
We caught up with the Phoebe to discuss her inspiration behind the new Roxy Pop Surf Collection, take a deeper look into her role and discover what’s next to come from the brand.
What is your role in the Roxy design team?
I am the Global Swimwear Designer at Roxy. I am in charge of all swimwear, boardshorts, rashguards, cover ups and fitness water for Woman, Girl and Teen collections worldwide. I oversee the product creation, evolution and finalisation, from initial concept to fit.
What was the inspiration behind this Roxy Pop Surf Range?
Roxy Pop Surf 2016 collection is both graphic and dynamic: where the world of Roxy meets the catwalks of Fashion Week. It’s purpose-driven fashion inspired by mountain and wave, and influenced by the latest trends. The result is a collection that’s both modern and iconic in its design, while still fully functional and ready for surf. From bikini’s to surf leggings, from rashguards to one pieces, Pop surf is as cheeky as it is stylish. This season has been all about bico stripes patterns and tropical prints. We worked on real trendy looks and outfits, sporty looking, but also very feminine, underlined by black or coral and neon citrus touches, and very step out shapes as the neoprene jacket or the light neoprene legging.
What is the Roxy HQ like?
The Roxy & Quiksilver office is literally in the heart of the forest. It is an amazing workplace. Located 5 min from the most beautiful beaches of France (aka the French California). It is like going on a journey into nature. It reflects our way of life. Creating in such a workspace really helps to feel good and free. I love going to work!
How are the designs perfect for the surfing girl?
I think the Pop Surf range is perfect for the surfing girls in many different ways. Our panel of fabrics is varied, from lycra to neoprene as well as light neoprene. These fabrics have great benefits: strong, soft, flexible, and great quality. They also allows for a good balance between having feminine fits and the functional aspect, which is to be in the best conditions to surf.
What sets the range apart from others on the market?
The colours, the mix of prints but also the cross between the world of surf and the fashion catwalks. Modern & Iconic. The use of different fabrics in the same line, offering a real choice depending on the weather or activity.
What makes it different to the previous Roxy Pop Surf collections?
Roxy has always been a brand known for its iconic prints and bright full colors. And this season we decided to bring that forward. I think what makes it different from the previous pop surf, is the color palette, the mix of strong prints, the fun but functional, and the new fabrics such as the light neoprene.
How does it feel to have some of the world’s biggest female surfers wearing the range?
Amazing and crazy! A lot of pressure, these girls are the best in what they do, and my job is to help them feel good, comfortable and powerful when they’re surfing… allowing them to be 100% focused on there sport. I also feel very proud and happy to be able to design for these amazing girls and all surfing girls around the world no matter what level.
What are your favourite pieces from this range?
I have already adopted the Polynesia springsuit that I love to wear myself. The mix print of the Polynesia mix fixed tri and knotted surfer will probably be my favourite set for the summer, I love the graphic mix of prints and the easy shapes.
Describe your workspace…
I have a lovely wooden desk surrounded by thousands of bikinis, fabrics of all sorts, colors, souvenirs from amazing destinations, samples, inspiration photos, trims, trend boards…and an amazing view on the forest. I feel like I have the britted & and colourful desk in the office. As I only design summer clothing, I try to make my corner feel like summer all year round. Basically my office is like looking at a bikini & surf pinterest.
Give us 3 words to describe the Roxy France team?
Fun, dynamic & wild!
How do you unwind on Friday afternoon over in France after a full week of work?
Hmmm my favourite Friday night would be meeting up with friends, a glass of red wine, some chipirons (squid), and discussing life’s plans.
What’s your morning routine?
Hop hop hop out of bed, music, I can’t live without music, a couple of coffees to help to through the day. I have some breakfast when a get to work, generally in front of the latest surf & fashion news on the web. Mornings always fly by. I like getting to the office nice and early to have a quiet moment to myself before the office comes to life as people come in. Then probably get my third coffee of the day with my colleagues, chat for 5-10 minutes. From there it’s all go: work, meetings, fitting, drawing…100 miles an hour.
Can you talk us through the design process from first putting pen to paper to seeing the end product?
I would say that the design process starts a long time before pen touching paper. It all starts through have an open mind: always seeing to what’s out there, all kinds of inspiration, it is about feeling something new, something interesting and twisting it into Roxy DNA. I also feel that designing bikinis is about watching the woman who we are designing for, what does she want/need, how does she feels in her body… Then come the colors and prints. I always start a collection by pining photos, pictures, inspirations, trims to start creating a story around them. Ultimately the collection will be inspired by that story. Once I have established the “story”, only then do I put pen to paper and start drawing the shapes. There’s a back and forth with the development and technical teams before I send the technical sketches to the factory. I will often go directly to the factory with our pattern maker to work on the fit with our partners. The fit is probably the most important aspect in a bikini following the design. A great design is worthless without an amazing fit. The opposite is true as well. Once we have finalised the fit, the fabrics and the colors, it’s time to present the end result!
What’s your favourite destination?
Any destination, travelling is my number one passion in life : meeting new people, seeing new surroundings, colors, architecture, food nature beaches…etc…well after my job of course (my boss is going to read this!)
What’s the next exciting thing to come out of Roxy?
Well, I can give you a couple of insights, it’s going to be sporty, graphic, black and white, dynamic, and fashion mixed with functional purpose. Make sure to keep an eye open on the next fitness water collection.
Discover Phoebe’s favourites from the Pop Surf Collection: