Garwood & Grace is the up-and-coming young designer swimwear label that has until now been known to just a handful of style- and sun- loving Capetonians. With the official launch of their summer 2014/15 range this is about to change.
Their range of tailored, quality swim shorts has a distinct St. Tropez just- stepped-off-my-yacht appeal, which is not surprising given founding partner Tiphaine Alston’s credentials: a BA Hons from the UK’s Ravensbourne College, a Masters at the Royal College of Art in London and work experience and commissions from Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Roksanda Ilincic and Victoria’s Secret.
But why men’s swimwear? Alston explains: “When Simon, my husband and “the business brain behind the brand”, and I moved to Cape Town two years ago, we noticed that most men are wearing baggy, unflattering board shorts. As a result, Garwood & Grace came about because I wanted to introduce a tailored, European sensibility to South Africa’s beaches with swim shorts that will be equally at home at a beach bar or restaurant.”
Part and parcel of this is a non-negotiable focus on quality and design. This is where Calum Harvey, Alston’s partner comes in. A fellow graduate of the Royal College of Art, he designs the garments, relying on his experience as a menswear designer for the likes of Christopher Raeburn, Burberry and Paul Smith.
A pair of Garwood & Grace swim shorts offers more than making a stylish impression though. The fabric, a top quality polyamide imported from Europe, has been chosen for its ability to dry quickly, which means it does not cling long after a swim like a typical pair of board shorts. It is colour-fast too to last many South African summers.
Except for the fabric, all other components are sourced locally and the shorts are cut, sewn and finished at a factory in Cape Town.
This summer, Garwood & Grace offers shorts in two different lengths. The Clifton is the shorter of the two with a 7cm inner leg whereas the Camps Bay is slightly longer. Both styles are available in three colours and four limited-edition prints. Detailing includes a zip fastening and jet pockets that are comfortable without compromising the shorts’ sleek silhouette that has been designed not to be flashy but rather to reflect an appreciation of quality.
Alston explains the difference between the two styles: “The Clifton is best for a tan and the Camps Bay for spending the day around Cape Town, not just on the beach.”
With a view to the future, “Garwood & Grace has big plans. In time, we will introduce a range of women’s swimwear and resortwear for men and women. We are also looking into accessories for next season,” says Alston.
At the moment, Garwood & Grace is available online at Garwoodandgrace.com. The Camps Bay (9cm inner leg) printed shorts retail at R1 600 and the classic plain colours retail at R1 200. The Clifton (7cm inner leg) printed shorts retail at R1 550 and the classic plain colours retail at R1 150. Deliveries are done countrywide.
From The Desk of: Jenna McArthur PR | @jennamcarthur.com | firstname.lastname@example.org