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Summertime Chic with DANWARD
April 5, 2016
“Summer is a state of mind,” proclaims DANWARD, the chicly retro swimwear brand dominating the market this season. With a fashionable approach to utilitarian wear, DANWARD has released a line of stellar swimsuits and accessories for spring/summer 2016.
Dan Ward founded his eponymous luxe swimwear line in 2012, after stints at a slew of fashion houses, including Hermès and Calvin Klein.
His latest collection is inspired by the motto, “It is always summer somewhere in the world,” featuring an assortment of silhouettes and designs including retro speedos and varied patterns, from geometric aesthetics to abstract florals, all evocative of a dreamy French Riviera, as exhibited in his latest campaign.
Made from the highest quality materials and techniques, DANWARD surpasses trend, with quick drying, breathable material, shape retention, and— for the health-buffs—brilliant UV protection. Along with his iconic swimwear, DANWARD’s new line also features various sandals with diverse strappings and designs, and a selection of casual polos perfect for a full day of lounging in the sand right through to the beachside party.
Ward sat down with us at Candid for a quick chat as he gears up for a busy swim season…
How have your past experiences in fashion helped you in your endeavors with your brand?
I have been fortunate to work for some great companies and over the years and have had the experience of leading design, merchandising, marketing, and product development. This 360-degree view of the business enables me to be both strategic and hands-on when needed.
With my background in design, merchandising as a swimmer and lover of summer, I felt uniquely capable of addressing that miss in the market and so I set out to design for men like myself. It was no more complicated than creating chic-cool, on-off beach products with unquestionable quality for fashion aware men.
Which experiences in particular have shaped you?
When I first moved to Europe, I landed in Paris at Hermès, where I was responsible for men’s ready-to-wear global commercial development. I then hopped across the channel and joined Alfred Dunhill.
In London, I lead the collection development for menswear and footwear. Bally of Switzerland was my next project, and there I was responsible for repositioning and redefining the brand’s products. Finally, just prior to starting my-own brand, I was the President of Design and Merchandising for Calvin Klein Europe and Asia.
What is the essential objective of DANWARD?
Our objective today is to design everything a man would need in his suitcase for a chic holiday or weekend away. We strive to design refined, unique, urban swimwear that is of the highest quality, and sophistication, and to deliver a great value to our customers. Finally for us – quality always trumps quantity.
What is the theme of your Spring/Summer 2016 collection?
Eternal summer…it is not a season, but a feeling, the pursuit of perfect sunrises and sunsets, liberty absolute. Taut, toned and tanned, we scale the cliffs, walk the pristine beaches and plunge into the deep blue where colours abound.
Defining moments, we design with ourselves in mind–precise, honed and exacting, unquestionably essential. It is always summer somewhere in the world.
Where do you find inspiration in creating your designs?
People and places are the main sources of my inspiration. The product of nomadic parents, my life has been one long voyage. I was born in the USA; grew up in Japan and have spent my adult life hopscotching around Europe from Paris, to London, Zurich and Milan. Professionally and personally I continue to travel to all corners of the globe. In the end, I guess you could say that I am an American designer that combines my vision of modern European style, with Italian craftsmanship and the paired down linear aesthetic of Japan.
Where do you see DANWARD in five years time?
My hope is that my brand will continue to deliver chic resort lifestyle solutions to our customer – the fashion aware man with an elevated sensibility. It was never my intention to create another ready-to-wear collection. I chose to focus on swim and leisure time because this is my passion. I hope the next leaders of my brand will continue with that vision. From a more practical point of view, in 10 years from now, I hope to see my brand from some beach, somewhere…
Shop the new DANWARD collection here.
Words by Jennie Neufeld