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Travel broadens the mind and can be an opportunity to forge your future, as Clarisse de Lacharrière and Aymeric Lacape found out. While honeymooning in the Indonesian archipelago, the newlyweds had the idea to launch a men's swimwear brand. In 2014, Gili's was born, named after the tropical islands that inspired them. Having previously been trained in marketing, fashion and design at ESCÀ and IFM in Paris, Clarisse de Lacharrière began her career at Louis Vuitton, where she worked as an assistant manager in the women's ready-to-wear collection. This experience would be followed by a role at A.P.C. as the accessory's product manager. Meanwhile, Aymeric Lacape studied at a business school before launching his own production company.
Together, the couple approached a Portuguese factory, just outside of Porto, where they could create their swimsuits. Azulejos become their signature design; the iconic Portuguese cement tiles that infuse their pieces with unique and colourful finishes. This young and over-achieving brand only has two models, also named after Pacific islands. The Trawagan is distinguished by its elasticated waist, while the Air has a flat buttoned belt. Both are made in Europe, cut from chlorine- and sun-resistant fabrics.
While an expansion to women's fashion isn't for the near future, the designers have already extended their concept to a children's range. It is now possible for girls and boys to swim in Meno, Java or Octavie swimsuits (the third being a nod to their daughter's name), or to play on the beach in an anti-UV top, while still sporting the vivid azujelos colours that are tremendously loved by the brand.> View more