STIL: Melissa, how would you describe the cornerstones of your brand?
MO: Elegant, timeless and great quality.
STIL: You have been at the top of your industry since the late 90's, where do you find new inspiration season after season and year after year?
MO: Thank you. I travel around the world - I find inspiration on every trip from local markets to tiles in morocco. I take a bit from every trip.
STIL: Statistics show that female founders are more likely to become successful than men but much less likely to attract investors. Did you find it challenging finding people to invest?
MO: I never got investors when I started. I grew the business so slowly I personally went door to door- everyone wants instant success. If it happens to quick it goes too quick, just grow slowly and you can start a business with very little money and learn as you grow.
STIL: What are your thoughts on women supporting women in business - ?
MO: I am a founder of many women for women charities and on the panel for Nat West Awards for Women. I totally support women. We can do double the work in half the time with no complaints! Women can juggle a lot more than men.
STIL: How would you describe the Melissa Odabash signature style?
MO: I think people can recognize my designs. They are simple, elegant and never a trend and hopefully last for years. I’m all about the perfect fit and high quality fabric.
STIL: When designing a new piece, do you have a specific woman in mind?
MO: Sometimes but as I sell in 62 countries I need to think of all different shapes and cultures.
STIL: Can you tell us a little about the fabrics you use?
MO: I lived in Italy when I started and I use the highest quality fabrics for both the suit and the lining, this ensures that everything stays in place.
STIL: How should we approach buying new swimwear?
MO: Lol every women’s nightmare! Self tan first so you feel like you’re already on holiday then, what are you best assets - and look for something that will show them. If you don’t know a simple black swimsuit looks great on everyone.
STIL: Is there an age when women should no longer wear a bikini?
MO: Well last week Christie Brinkley wore my red bikini, she is 65 and looks insane so no. I do however think there should be an age for men to stop wearing tiny speedos!
STIL: Fake tan or real tan?
MO: I always fake tan then of course take some sun on the beach.
STIL: Painted toes or natural for poolside/ beach?
MO:I love pale pinks on toes.
STIL: Can you share with us your favourite 'go to' midweek meal?
MO: I’ve gone vegan recently and I'm loving it. I love a veggie burger.
STIL: Can you share with us anything that you take or that you do religiously every day?
MO: Take my vitamins.
STIL: Your favourite holiday destination?
MO: Florida Miami and my home in Jupiter.
STIL: What is your preferred form of exercise?
MO: I love anything outdoors so running, cycling or rollerblading.
STIL: A perfect Sunday in the Odabash household?
MO: A walk in Hyde Park, then choose a great Italian restaurant for a family lunch, maybe followed by a movie and every Sunday I get a massage at home.
STIL: Do you have a favourite city in the world?
MO: So many, I loved Copenhagen.
STIL: Who is your style icon and why?
MO: My mother, she has always been so classy. Always perfect hair, great dress sense and so elegant.
STIL: What next for Melissa Odabash the brand and for you yourself?
MO: We are launching into ready to wear. We are also opening more shops around the world and we have some collaborations coming up.
STIL: Do you have an all-time favourite book?
MO: My new favourite book is Medical Medium. I think everyone should ready it. I love anything on health.
STIL: Can you finish this sentence for us; 'I am at my happiest..........
MO: On a beach with family and friends.
STIL: A poolside style tip for STIL customers?
MO: Never wear saggy bottoms! Make sure the fabric sticks tight to the body.
Melissa Odabash. The name is synonymous with the ultimate in luxury swimwear. Reported to slink about the HQ in a bikini or swimsuit it’s easy to see why she has always been the Fit Model for the brand. Hard working, hugely successful and she is one lovely lady. The ultimate beach babe? Without a doubt.
In February we will be offering a capsule of Melissa Odabash Swimwear & Kaftans instore.