Inspired by 1940’s pin-ups, Lilibon is redefining the idea of sexy swimwear. The feminine line is a go-to for ultrachic sun worshippers, and is also demurely seductive enough to pass as ready-to-wear underpinnings off the beach. “I have always loved lingerie, and I aim to bring the same sense of style and unashamed femininity to women’s resort-wear” explains Lilibon designer and founder Emilie Bon. The modern-vintage 2011 Black Collection and the continued 2010 Lace Collection both reflect Bon’s modern approach to eternally sexy, vintage inspired swim silhouettes. This is not just swimwear, but beach lingerie.
Inspired by the mythological mermaid, the Afternoon Collection explores the softer side of Lilibon. Pastels and pretty prints in feminine cuts bring a lighter perspective to beach dressing for the season. It maintains Lilibon’s signatures, such lace fabrications and retro silhouettes, while integrating a water lily motif and siren style scale pattern. Along with three new one piece and three new bikini styles, the collection includes two ready-to-wear items that can be worn on the street or over swimwear.
Emilie Bon is the designer and founder of the exciting swimwear label Lilibon. She founded the label inspired by an idyllic childhood spent hunting for sand dollars on the beaches of Harbour Island in the Bahamas and a desire to invigorate and redefine the resort-wear market. Since then Lilibon has quickly grown to become the label of choice for discerning sun worshippers everywhere.
Born in Arles on the French Riviera, Emilie was raised in a creative and bohemian family spending a great deal of her early years living between her hotelier mother’s enchanting Nord Pinus hotels in Arles and Morocco. Always occupied with drawing, painting and making things her artistic talents were clearly recognized and nurtured. After her schooling in France and England, Emilie decided to embark upon a career in the arts.
She moved to Paris and won a place at the prestigious Penninghen and Atelier de Sevres universities where she studied graphics, advertising and photography.
After leaving university Emilie worked with leading Parisian floral designer Christian Tortu. Here Emilie lent her design flair to creating the designer’s popular must have vases. Inspired by her work with Christian Tortu, Emilie decided to return to the South of France where she opened a small boutique called ‘La Boutique Des Voyageurs,’ selling accessories and objet d’art to an international client base. The store amazed a loyal clientele but Emilie missed life in the big city and the freedom that came with her former traveling lifestyle, picked up a camera and went horseback riding through Rajasthan whilst she pondered on the next step. On her return to France she decided to make plans for her next big move to New York – a city she’d loved since childhood.
So in 2004 undaunted by a new start in a big city, Emilie dived right into American life, studying at the New York International Center of Photography. It wasn’t too long until she had a chance meeting with Christiane Celle, owner of the luxury fashion and lifestyle brand Calypso St. Barth.
The two bonded over similar sensibilities and shared backgrounds and Emilie was offered the opportunity to use the skills she’d accumulated managing her own store, by working as a Calypso St Barth buyer. The position proved to be a perfect fit for Emilie who could easily identify with their globe trotting, free spirited customer base. Her role at Calypso St Barth also involved lots of travelling to far-flung beach resorts and a need for bathing suits and bikinis but Emilie was uninspired by much of the resort-wear on offer so she started to formulate designs for her own swimwear range. Combining her childhood nickname and surname, Lilibon was born.
For 2010, Lilibon presents the ‘Lace Collection,’ which has been inspired by the sensuality and natural femininity of lingerie with strong usage of Lycra lace and a soft palette of light ash, lavender and black kohl. Say’s Emilie, “Over the years the lingerie market as been revolutionized with fresh, exciting and sensual design which celebrates womanhood. I have always loved lingerie and I aim to bring the same sense of style and unashamed femininity to women’s resort wear.” Lilibon is currently sold in stores throughout the US, Caribbean and Europe. Future plans for Lilibon include a range of sundresses, accessories and a men’s line.