Stylish swimsuits from this France-based label will take to the stage in the upcoming Fashion Fighting Famine (FFF) charity event. Afia R Fitriati chats with designer Vanessa Lourenço aka Madamme BK.
Brazilian designer Vanessa Lourenço shares the pleasant surprise she experienced when she first designed modest swimsuits for Muslim women, as well as her joy in participating at FFF 2013.
Aquila Style: In five words, how would you define the Madamme BK style?
Madamme BK: I would say: original, fashion-forward, modest, luxurious and ground-breaking.
What makes your collections special?
In every collection, we try to achieve the best performance of our swimwear. All pieces are stylish and modest at the same time. This way all women can keep her identity and confidence to express her individual style.
I can also say the fabric is an important feature, because it’s a mix of lustrous, shiny and print fabrics that offer protection against UV rays (UPF 50+) and also dry out very fast.
The Muslim community loves cheerful and fashionable clothes
Describe your involvement in this year’s FFF.
This experience is a good opportunity to bring to American women a closer view of what is happening in Europe and the Middle East. I believe FFF is a great spot to showcase my creations as its credibility is recognized worldwide. I am very glad that my first launch at this side of the ocean will be on FFF’s catwalk, presenting the printemps-ètè collection 2013. My designs have been available in the US and Canada since last year and have been distributed to both countries by the exclusive retailer Couture Swim ‘N Sport.
Tell us about the designs that you’re going to feature at FFF.
All outfits that will be featured at FFF balance comfort with luxury, modesty and practicality.
They are very feminine with beautiful prints and the hottest hues of the season in sun drenched colors of teal, turquoise blue, pinks and purples combined with sparkles and ruffles and – as always – coupled with high quality, as the productions are made exclusively in France with Italian fabric.
What misconceptions about Islam and/or Muslim women would you like to dispel?
A few years ago, when I started making modest swimwear, my first collection was almost all in black colour, because I thought that was the taste of Muslim women.
Three days before my first collection presentation, I decided to include my personal style by producing a couple of colourful pieces. At that time, I believed that they would not be the hit of the collection, but I made it anyway, because I love colors and I thought, maybe, some women could identify themselves with my true style.
To my surprise, 99% of Muslim women and Muslim men who bought for their wives wanted the colourful outfits. Some of them also placed tailored orders with very joyful colourful combinations.
After this experience, I could see that the Muslim community loves cheerful and fashionable clothes. Yes, a Muslim woman can be fashionable and modest at the same time!
I absolutely love making clothes for Muslim women.
Stay tuned for more of Madamme BK’s collection to be featured in the next issue of Aquila Style magazine!