Photography By Dennis Vereten Model: Ivanka
Gabriela Pires, local swimwear designer, is having a Brazilian bikini fashion show in Miami Beach during Miami Music Week, showcasing her 2015 beachwear line.
I caught up with Gabriela and here’s what she had to say about her experience as a swimwear designer, her homeland’s (Brazil) influence on her line, and where she’s looking to go in the future:
How long have you been designing swimwear? Are you the sole designer?
I’ve been designing swimwear since I was a teenager and started my collection in 2011 when I was featured for the first time in Sports Illustrated. Yes, I’m the sole designer.
What is your professional/educational background? Did you have a background in fashion prior to starting the line?
I have been around the fashion industry since I was a child. My parents owned a chain of boutiques and apparel factories in Brazil. I studied fashion in Italy after completing high school and attended fashion design classes in Rio afterward.
Your upcoming fashion show is centered around Rio/Brazil and you yourself are Brazilian – how has this inspired your work? Would you say your line is more Brazilian style (I know Brazilians are famous for their eeny weeny teeny bikinis!)?
My Brazilian heritage has always been a big inspiration while designing my collections. Although I am a Rio de Janeiro native, my styles vary between Brazilian and more conservative and classic ones. For my Brazilian styles, I keep in mind the importance of a good tan line and make sure that the suits are small enough in the right places. As for my more conservative styles, I like to maintain a good balance between sexiness and elegance.
Back to your heritage and places you’ve lived- did you spend time living in Brazil and the U.S.? Or just U.S.? How long did you spend in NY and what were you doing there? Why the move to Miami?
I moved to Miami Beach at the age of 7 and three years later, moved to Capri, Italy with my family. I resided there for two years and returned to Miami Beach where I stayed until I received my high school degree from Miami Beach Senior High. I then moved back to Italy and began studying at Istituto Marangoni (fashion school) in Milan. I made my move to New York in 2004 to start my fashion career and decided to move back to Miami for the weather and beaches I missed so much!
You were featured in Sports Illustrated twice (congrats!), where do you see the line going in the future?
Thank you. I’d like to bring the line to a range of retailers, from upscale to specialty stores to fine department stores.
Who/what type of woman is the line meant for? Age? Demographic? A certain style of woman?
I don’t design for a specific type of woman; I design the collection picturing a woman wearing my suits poolside, looking elegant. Any woman can wear any type of suit depending on how she feels about herself. Whenever a woman wears my suits, I notice the difference in their confidence. They feel poised and classy.
What’s next for the line and Gabriela Pires?
Focusing on retail clients, as well as custom made orders. I also plan on participating at major fashion events.
Where is your stuff being sold?
At the showroom, by appointment only. 407 Lincoln Road, 12-K. Suits will be available online by April 1st – bygabrielapires.com.
And about the fashion show – can you tell me a bit more about that? Will there be an after party?
The fashion show is a party in itself and is hosted by singer and model, JeaneMarie! I plan on featuring around 20 pieces of my 2015 collection. For our Miami Music Week Event, there will be special samba performances, caipirinhas and our beautiful models showcasing my high-end collection. The party will have the Brazilian energy, fun, bright colors, but this is a celebration for all people to enjoy the culture, beauty and music in the sexiest city on earth: Miami. Everyone is welcome! I hope to see you all there.