Swimwear Designer to Know: Wil Ariyamethe of Thapelo Paris
InStyle's senior market editor/digital correspondent Dana Avidan-Cohn is constantly keeping a pulse on the market. In this series, Avidan-Cohn identifies who's who in the swimwear arena and finds out what inspires them to create their lust-worthy designs. You've heard it here first!
With a sophisticated and minimal Parisian approach to swimwear, Thapelo is quickly making its mark in the high-end swim world. Each suit is designed and manufactured in France with an eco-luxe philosophy; remaining conscious of environmental impacts every step of the way. These suits are as ageless as they are timeless. Read on for a full Q&A with Thapelo Paris designer Wil Ariyamethe.
What is your favorite warm weather location for travel?Thailand—we love it there. The food, the people, Thai massages, the spirituality there, the contrast of the country. I crave the pace of Bangkok but then going to relax on the islands soothes the soul.
What's the inspiration behind your designs?I'm very much inspired by Madame Grès (below, left) and our color palettes for past collections have been influenced by Mark Rothko paintings (below, right). The 1950s period in design is one of my favorites—the fashion, furniture, cars, architecture. I guess I'm quite a nostalgic person, I love looking at photos of popular culture from this era. I feel like everyone looked so much more elegant then.
What are your beach bag essentials?I always have some Lucas' Pawpaw ointment ($13; buylucaspapaw.com) with me for my lips and I use the sun-care range from Avène, it's high protection sunscreen with skin moisturizers but no white marks ($22-$25; aveneusa.com). I love a hat, especially a Panama. We've made a classic Panama style and a sun cloche that I take to the beach. Also, sunglasses are a must have. I have quite a few pairs in different styles, depending on my mood or outfit I rotate them around.
For the latest Thapelo swimwear, head to thapelo-paris.com.