Australian swimwear with a conscience from designer Lisa Burke
View recent Lisa Blue collections on Australian Fashion Review Blog
Lisa Blue is a women’s swimwear label by Australian fashion designer Lisa Burke – founded in Australia’s favourite coastal town, Byron Bay. Her uniquely innovative swimwear, ranges from the elegant and chic, to fun and flirty, to the edgy and sporty – there is a Lisa Blue swimsuit for everyone. All pieces are produced in Australia by expert craftsmen, using the finest fabrics imported from Italy, ensuring that each collection is of the highest quality. Not only does Lisa Blue support the Australian manufacturing fashion industry, the brand also campaigns to help preserve the marine environment, with 25% of net profits, donated to the the Australian Whale Conservation Society.
Recently*, we were lucky enough to have a chat with founder Lisa Burke to find out all there is to know about her eponymous brand.
Where did it all begin for Lisa Blue? How did the swimwear label come about?
Several years ago I went to Tonga with the sole purpose to swim with humpback whales. During this time I came face to face with a mother and her baby whale. The baby approached me and looked directly into my eyes. Only a foot away from me I stared back into to those ancient looking eyes of a new born whale and made a promise that I would do what I could to help protect them. As I was a keen surfer and lived in a bikini I was often designing bikinis. Then one day whilst I was out in the ocean on my surf board it came to me to put my two passions together – ‘save the whales’ and ‘ bikini designs’. So was born my label Lisa Blue which donates a full quarter of the profits to helping protect the whales and dolphins.
Designer Lisa Burke, pictured above left, modelling her new range at the Mercedes Benz Fashion week Miami
You swimwear is so effortlessly sexy, tell us about the unique Lisa Blue Aesthetic.
It is my heartfelt passions and life experiences that inspire me to design. Instead of being ruled totally by trends I allow my creative force to guide me in my design process. This is how the Lisa Blue ‘It’ factor is manifested. I put my heart and soul in the collection.
This sets us apart from many as our product so unique. For example – An image of a dragon kept coming to me whilst meditating in Bali last year. I then looked up the Chinese astrological sign for the coming year and to my delight discovered that is was to be the year of the dragon. ‘Universal synchronicity’, and so were created the Dragon stories. The story ‘Emperor’ used delicate teal beading depicting a dragon image on black mesh and Lycra creating a sexy, glamourous range with the Lisa Blue ‘wow’ factor. ‘Water Dragon’ is fresh, bright and unique with a turquoise dragon print with white mesh and white Lycra.
Designer Lisa Burke, pictured on the right, wearing Dragon in Byron Bay her home town
What are the future hopes for the Lisa Blue brand? What is the ultimate dream?
We anticipate that Lisa Blue will become one of the most successful swimwear labels on the globe. Hence my dream to spread the message to ‘Save the whales’ will be fulfilled and so make a difference to our planet. Plus by Lisa Blue donating a quarter of the profits to help preserve the marine environment is sure to influence other businesses and so create a trend, which helps our earth and the future for our children.
Who are you favourite designers an what about them inspires you? Where else do you draw influence from?
Bettina Liano is fresh and sexy, I always look forward to buying a piece from their new range on one of my trips to Sydney. Additionally, Romance Is Born is so incredibly unique and creative and I love them.
I draw influence from my life experiences, my personal visions and my passions. My love of Flamenco dancing is the influence behind the gregarious story ‘Flamingo’. Grand Flamenco frills with bright prints depicting flamingo birds at sunset produce a very feminine, youthful story. My life of riding horses is the influence behind the story ‘Cover Girl’. The lush, bright denim with a pretty lace trim mixed with a red and white star print gives a quirky take on the cowgirl theme. I let my imagination run wild and literally follow my dreams when I design as perfectly described in the making of the Dragon stories and Enchantress story mentioned above.
Who is the Lisa Blue girl?
The Lisa Blue girl is the modern girl whom is no longer confined to one conservative identity. She can be anything she dreams to be from a rock star to a princess or simply a cool, beach babe. She is the girl of the future whom is not afraid to show her beauty to the world and cares to make a difference on our planet.
When you think of Australian fashion, what comes to mind?
Well we are the land of bikinis – endless miles of beautiful beaches, sun tanned goddesses and fun in the sun. I believe that the world is starting to turn to us for inspiration for the design of swimwear.
Complete the following sentence: Lisa Blue is unique because…
As I mentioned I am inspired by my own passions and visions more so rather than the trends. Hence my designs have a magic and life of their own with such a colorful array of varying themes. The 2012 story ‘Enchantress’ has been inspired by my love of the ancient goddesses. Using silk like, premium Italian folie fabric, loose flowing sleeves, ruching and delicate gold trims, this ultimate story of romance reflects the Greek era. Equally important – Lisa Blue is unique in that we donate 25% of the profit to the Australian Whale Conservation Society and use fashion as a medium to spread the message. Lisa Blue has soul.
*Interview was conducted in October 2012.