July 13, 2020
Balmy, cloudless days are always sweet, and considering the strains of social-distance regulations, they now present even more of a joyous respite. Though trips to the beach may be dubious, you can still make the most of the longer days and warmer temperature by taking things poolside in style. Here are all the sartorial essentials you need to make a statement in the sun.
When it comes to summer days by the water, few things beat a brightly coloured swimsuit. Whether you’re a two-piece devotee or a full-coverage fan, this season calls for vivid hues that turn heads. Embrace the dandelion yellows, fiery oranges, and splashes of fuschia in Nigerian-Canadian designer Andrea Iyamah’s vibrant range, a collection that’s nothing if not bold. Largely inspired by the exploration of her cultural heritage, Iyamah's designs are distinctly modern, while their high-waisted fits and ultra-feminine silhouettes lend each style an understated, retro quality.
Protecting your skin from harsh UV rays is a must when unwinding outdoors, so consider adding a layer of style to the endeavor with an oversized sun hat. From classic boleros and summer visors, to eccentric shapes and unconventional patterns, South African milliner Crystal Birch’s selection of cheeky headwear has you covered. Lovingly designed and crafted in Cape Town by a studio of experienced and passionate artisans and seamstresses, Birch’s creations are structured, durable and made from the highest quality materials. Like their architect, they overflow with flair, charm, character and humour.
The ultimate in versatility and wearability, what other shoe can make the seamless transition from lazy day by the pool to elegant dinner date? A far-cry from your standard rubber flip-flops or pool slides, consider Ivorian-American designer Loza Maléombho’s Regal Sandal. Elegant, striking and rich in Ivorian cultural symbolism, these embellished slingbacks are a twist on the classic criss-cross sandal and are adorned with ornate, gold-plated, bronze buckles. Shekudo’s unfussy Tinubu Slides on the other hand are an exercise in laid-back minimalism. Made-to-order and crafted by hand in Lagos using traditional Aso Oke cloth, they’re a beautiful fusion of tradition and modernity
THE CARRY ALL
Towel? Check. Sunscreen? Check. Summer beach read? Check. Now for the perfect bag in which to lug it all. Bang on-trend and a classic summer staple, Cairo-based Reform Studio’s roomy, two-tone, Nomadic beach bag merges traditional handloom weaving with an important environmental mission, while its fringe-detailing, tropical shades, sturdy beech-wood handles, and genuine leather shoulder-strap lend it a contemporary edge. Produced from a sustainable material made out of upcycled plastic bags called Plastex, all of Reform Studio's creations mirror their unwavering commitment to sustainable luxury. Conventional raffia in bold-hues and silhouettes more your speed? Try AAKS’ large essential-friendly totes on for size instead.
THE COVER UP
Whether you’re looking to add an element of modesty or a hint of dramatic flair, elevate your poolside ensemble with a delicate cover-up. Andrea Iyamah’s floor-grazing kimono-and-palazzo set make for stunning coordinating separates and feature the same kaleidoscopic pattern seen in her swimsuits. For pieces with a unique story behind them, look to Senegalese swim label, Diarrablu. Founded by multidisciplinary designer and mathematician, Diarra Bousso, the Senegalese label’s unique, math algorithm-derived prints represent the merging of her two passions: mathematics and art. With a soft colour palette, seamless cut and billowing sleeves, the Diarrablu Sirene Kimono is precisely the piece you break out when going unnoticed isn't part of the plan. For a more glamorous sunset affair, opt for the luxurious Akwa-Ocha tunic from Nigerian brand Fruché.