Matthew Zink’s visionary label ‘Charlie’ has left an eminent stamp on swimwear. The New York based designer established an impressive list of credentials early on his career working with the likes of Tom Ford, Stefano Pilati and Carolina Herrera. He has since then founded Charlie, a collection, which illustrates Zink’s stunning vision of the direction swimwear should head. His collections profess a subtle sexual radiance evocative of 1970’s decadence and glamour.
In this shoot Zink hints to the retro sexual promiscuity that comes across in his collections. The chiselled male torso is celebrated and embraced by Zink with a light-hearted pointer to his brand ‘Charlie’ Printed boldly on the buttocks. All the swimwear pieces used in this shoot are from Resort 2012. The Charlie web store went live this month and this shoot celebrates its launch. We got to ask Matthew a few questions about the collection and what we can expect in the future…
Do you have a preference between male and female swimwear collections? How do they compare in terms of your creative process?
I love them both. The greatest muse of my career has always been the human body. Men and Women have such amazing different traits that make them unique. I love the ability to jump from one to the other. With each season, no matter the inspiration, I will always pay tribute to the body and try to offer a collection that celebrates the person not the clothes.
In the swim wear industry functionality and practicality has to an extent merge with pure aesthetic value. How do you approach the collision between aesthetics and practicality?
I always want to make a man to feel handsome and woman to feel beautiful. The idea for Charlie is to offer our customer iconic pieces made from the finest materials, made responsibly, with an exceptional fit. I have created a tight range of classic silhouettes that will always feel timeless. A bikini is the smallest garment we ever put on in public; because of this fabric, fit and proportion are critical. Charlie should almost disappear on the wearer’s body, allowing he/she to receive the attention and not his/her swimwear.
You have discussed that Charlie is inspired by seventies glamour what precisely is it about this era that appeals to you?
The 1970’s represent a surge of joyful sexuality. The decade was flooded with incredible personalities like Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall, Tom Selleck, Grace Jones, Joe Dallesandro (to name a few) whose personal styles were unforgettable. It was a time when Fashion was about people, not clothes. The approach to beauty was simple and perfect. Fashion photographers captured untouched moments of joy and sensuality. I want Charlie to try and illuminate some of that same freedom and shameless celebration that the 1970’s represents’ to me. I want to try and put faces back into fashion.
What can we look forwards to in Charlie 2012?
We will continue to expand our signature swimwear, but we are also growing our sport wear for both men and women. I want to offer our Charlie customer more and more timeless classics in more and more categories. Hopefully soon you will see Charlie shoes, sunglasses, accessories, fragrance, and so on. We hope to add more international retailers soon, especially for our Men’s Collection. We have received such an amazing reaction from our European fans, but we would like to offer them more places to purchase the collection overseas.
Charlie is an internationally available brand that stylishly celebrates the figure of all genders. All the styles you see in the shoot are available at www.charliebymzstore.com, for orders outside the US contact firstname.lastname@example.org.