Designer Diana Auria and illustrator Margot Bowman are at the helm of sustainable and stylish swimwear brand Auria. Designed and developed in London, and manufactured in England, their swimwear is made us using 100% recycled polyamide made from discarded products like fishing nets and carpet. The result is a highly creative yet ethically aware product line tipped for greatness by the industry and loved by celebrity fans such as Eliza Doolittle, Daisy Lowe and Jessie Ware.
The girls recently went to Coachella festival with Black Butter Records and while they were there they took over the Hunger Instagram to document what they got up to. Now, on this (hopefully) sunny Bank Holiday Monday we take a look back at their time at the festival with an exclusive fashion film, photo shoot and mix, channeling summer vibes and demonstrating what this exciting label is all about.
We also grabbed a few words with Diana to find out more about their trip, the brand’s beginnings and her favourite swimming pool experience…
HOW DID YOU MEET?
We met through mutual friends and ended up living together whilst we were studying at university. Margot was at Central St Martins and I was at London College of Fashion.
WHAT IS THE CREATIVE PROCESS LIKE BETWEEN THE TWO OF YOU?
I predominantly design the swimwear and Margot does the illustrations for the digital print. But we both over see and have input in all creative aspects of the brand.
THIS IS YOUR SECOND SEASON WORKING TOGETHER. DO YOU THINK IT COULD BECOME A LONG TERM THING?
We never set out for this to be a long term thing. We started working together when I asked Margot to help me with the print design for my graduate collection. Moving on from that, the graduate collection was accepted to be shown at London Fashion Week where we ended up gaining stockists. It was amazing how everything progressed so quickly. We are now on a roll and will be sticking together until the end.
WHAT IS IT THAT YOU LIKE ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
We are both on the same wave length in terms of how we wanted to make a change in the fashion industry and make sustainability the new norm. We both respect each other’s vision and ambition. Also we balance each other out like yin and yang. Margots the Yin and I’m the Yang!
WHERE DO YOU BOTH FIND INSPIRATION?
Travelling and the people we meet along our journey. Being part of Estethica at London Fashion Week has been one of our main inspirations. The people we have met through that who are trying to make a positive impact for the future. One of our friends Carry Sommers has an amazing sustainable brand called Pachacuti. She launched Fashion Revolution which is a worldwide awareness day to make people think twice as to where their clothes are made and how brands treat their workers. The Fashion Revolution was launched on 24th April 2014, a year after 1,133 people were killed after a clothing factory complex collapsed in Bangladesh.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PIECE FROM THE COLLECTION?
My personal favourite is the airmail bikini from our SS14 ‘Wish You Were Here’ collection. You can go on holiday and be the letter. You can buy it here…
WHAT DREW YOU TO DESIGNING SWIMWEAR INITIALLY?
I studied Fashion Contour at London College of Fashion. It is a course that specialises in lingerie and swimwear design. I did a really interesting industry project with Speedo which I loved which ended up influencing me a lot in my graduate collection. Margot is also a keen swimmer and goes swimming most days in the London Fields lido.
HOW DIFFICULT IS BEING A SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS? WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO INCORPORATE THIS ELEMENT INTO THE BRAND FROM THE BEGINNING?
We both had very strong mutual interest in sustainability. When I approached Margot to work on the swimwear with me it was a no brainer for the both of us. The costs of manufacturing in the UK are higher and it takes a lot of research to source sustainable fabrics, but if we can do it, then there is no reason why other fashion brands can’t follow suit.
YOU RECENTLY WENT TO COACHELLA – WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE OR CRAZY MOMENT FROM THE FESTIVAL?
Low point was: Getting my rented car towed and having to pick it up from a super dodgy/ scary car pound in the middle of the desert! Also the sandstorms were pretty insane. High point was: Watching Rudimental play from the side of stage. Hands down the best and most energetic performance of the weekend.
YOU DID A PARTY WITH BLACK BUTTER WHILE YOU WERE IN LA. HOW WAS IT?
It was an amazing night. Black Butter are one of the best UK record labels out at the moment and it seems everything they touch turns into gold. Plus they are all such amazing people. We had Rudimental, Kidnap Kid and Henry Krinkle DJ on the night. But Disclosure and Roy Davis Jr came down to party and ended up jumping on the decks. They all ended up playing back to back! Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora and Calvin Harris all came down to party also. It was good vibes. I would love to put on more parties with Black Butter. A pool party would be the dream.
WHAT, IN YOUR OPINION, IS THE BIGGEST SWIMWEAR FAUX PAS?
I have a love/hate relationship with speedos.
IF YOU COULD BE IN A BEACH OR BY A POOL ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD IT BE?
It would be at the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore. It has the most amazing skypark with an infinity pool on the 55th floor. It has incredible views but is slightly scary when you swim up to the edge of the pool and it is a 200m drop!
To find out more about Auria visit their website, follow them on Twitter or Instagram.
And for more on Black Butter Records on their website, follow them on Twitter or Instagram.