Q&A With: Swimwear King Matthew Zink of Charlie by Matthew Zink
July 06, 2012 | Style & Beauty
Given that he’s the former design director for Victoria’s Secret, it’s little surprise that Charlie by Matthew Zink designer Matthew Zink is a pro at making women look and feel fabulous with minimal fabric. In fact, the designer’s recently launched swim lifestyle brand was almost immediately picked up by influential retailers including Intermix and net-a-porter and, with the recent addition of sportswear to the women's swim collection and a men's collection, the line shows no signs of slowing down.
We spoke with the 29-year-old designer about his designs, what he’s learned from the likes of Tom Ford, his favorite pieces stocked at Intermix in the Hamptons, and more.
You've worked with some amazing designers. Can you tell us what you learned from your work with people like Tom Ford and Stefano Pilati?
MATTHEW ZINK: My time with Tom Ford and Stefano Pilati was regretfully very brief, but that short time gave me a glimpse into a level of unwavering devotion to the fantasy. It was an incredible lesson in keeping one's commitment to a vision.
Your swimwear tends to be very sexy. Any tips for styling your designs for a day in the Hamptons?
MZ: Take a simple yet sexy approach to your swimwear. By keeping it simple, you can always feel confident and timeless in your pieces. I love to pair a perfectly bare bikini with a breezy silk cover-up like our Charlie resort dress or resort maxi. I'm also a slave for a great white or gray cotton sweatshirt and we’re introducing ones for Resort 2013.
What's your take on bikini versus one-piece? Is there an ideal swimsuit style for each body type?
MZ: I really believe it's about enjoying the experience of swimwear. Sometimes, it depends on the event, the company, or the location. Regardless of bikini or one piece, you should always try to choose a suit that you feel sexy in. When in doubt, choose a perfectly fit black suit and make sure the fabric is beautiful and the proportions are balanced. Also remember—every piece of swimwear is best worn with confidence and a smile.
What's your biggest pet peeve when it comes to swimwear?
MZ: Poor fit.
What are some of your favorite Charlie by Matthew Zink pieces stocked out in the Hamptons?
MZ: Both our Jerry bikini and our Charlie resort dress are perfect pieces that you can wear season after season and always feel fantastic!
What are some of your favorite spots out in the Hamptons?
MZ: I love the beach. The beach is the great equalizer—and doesn't everything seem better on the beach? Intermix, 64 Main St., Southampton, 283-8510; 87 Main St., East Hampton, 907-8025