What inspired you to become a swimwear designer?
I was out shopping with Penny Klein, now my business partner, when we realized that department stores don’t stock much swimwear out of season. So, the idea of a one-stop beachwear shop was born. We opened our first store in Chelsea in 2002 and a second one in Notting Hill a few years later.
What makes your designs different from others?
The fit and cut make our swimwear really stand out. We listen to our customers, our most reliable focus groups, to find out exactly what works, and what doesn’t work, when choosing the perfect fitting swimwear to make your feel gorgeous on any beach.
Are there any celebrities wearing your designs and who are they?
Yes, we have had many celebrities wearing heidi klein. Recently, Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and Olivia Palermo.
Do you wear your own products?
Absolutely! I wear all my products on holiday to make sure the fit and cut are exactly right, and to find out what needs to be changed, if anything.
What’s your favourite swimwear brand (not your own!) and why?
My favourite swimwear piece is the Norma Kamali Bandeau, as worn by Grace Kelly.
Do you think there’s enough swimwear choice for plus sizes?
I think the range of swimwear for plus sizes is much more available than before. As a result of this demand, we are launching a ‘My Body’ range in June this year, which caters to those that need more support, lift and coverage to make them feel confident on the beach. The D-G halter tops, control one-pieces, ruched control bottoms have been designed with power mesh fabric to give those fuller figures more confidence yet still feel gorgeous and chic.
What advice would to give to an aspiring swimwear designer?
Know your customer well.
How do you get your inspirations for new collections?
I travel a lot get inspiration from new places. But most of my inspiration comes from our customers. They tell us what they want in a bikini, and we listen.
Do you use paper and pencil to design your first draft or is it all done on computer?
Paper and pencil, always.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a designer?
What are you working on right now?
We are looking to expand the brand to more countries worldwide, including the US. We are also launching a men’s and children’s collection.
What makes a great swimwear model?
A great body and a face that’s on brand. Also, nice to work with on a week’s photo shoot.
Check out more of Heidi’s designs on the heidi klein website.