We spent a fantastic and very interesting afternoon with Oliver Tomalin and his wife Rose, discussing the importance of conservation and how they are producing classic luxury swimwear made from recycled products with a much bigger purpose than fashion.
The video interview comes out on the 15th July, Subscribe to our You Tube Channel HERE to watch it first!
Fashion conscience at Carlisle Bay
With one of the most impressive settings in the region, Carlisle Bay knows the importance of safeguarding our environment and the creatures which call it home. That’s why the luxury resort teamed up with designer Oliver Tomalin, of eco-friendly resortwear label Love Brand & Co. Tomalin’s exclusive swimwear prints for men and boys don’t just look good poolside, they help raise the profile of some of Antigua’s most precious wildlife too, as Tomalin tells Luxury Locations Magazine.
How did the collaboration with Carlisle Bay come about?
My family and I stayed at the property years ago, so when the opportunity came about to work with Carlisle Bay, I was instantly excited and knew how well it would work.
How do you like to spend your time in Antigua?
When I am at Carlisle Bay, I spend the whole time transfixed by the bay – I think it’s one of the most spectacular in the Caribbean – watching the yachts come and go and the pelicans dive for fish.
Although sometimes you feel you don't want to leave the resort, I love it around English Harbour. I would recommend lunch at Catherine’s Cafe or a sundowner at Shirley Heights.
Which aspects of the resort inspired the pieces you created?
Those diving pelicans inspired my first exclusive design for Carlisle Bay. The wings of the flying birds join to create a wash of blues emulating the surf of the bay below. The second print is a geometric pattern of palm fronds that criss-cross and convey the little pineapple trees found around the property.
Do you have a favourite piece that you’ve designed?
The whole collection is inspired by nature. We highlight some of the world’s endangered species, including elephants, which are a personal favourite.
What materials and techniques did you use to suit Antigua’s climate?
All our fabrics are great for wearing in the tropics. They are soft and lightweight, and the fit is comfortable. Perfect for relaxing and enjoying life under the Antiguan sun.
Have you always been an animal lover? Tell us about your passion for elephants.
I have always loved nature but not until starting Love Brand & Co. did I become passionate about wildlife conservation. I think elephants are a lot of people’s favourite animal. For good reason. Their sheer size is incredible. They are our largest land mammal but also one of the most sensitive. They are very intelligent and emotional creatures.
You have another special creation inspired by a critically endangered species – this one found in Antigua.
One of our prints is Hawksbill turtles. It is a very subtle print. The turtle form is almost lost in the repeated pattern, which echoes the current concern that they could become lost to the world.
To what extent are ethics playing a part in contemporary fashion design and how do you anticipate this will evolve?
I think good ethics are key. People care. People are more mindful of a product’s provenance. A good functioning product is not enough anymore – it needs to tell a story.