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Tara Matthews

#French Riviera Crew

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By Katia Kulawick-Assante

Indo-British designer Tara Matthews created her brand in 2003 as an homage to Corsica, the place where this globe trotter always returns after spending time on the 5 continents. Her swimwear graces magazine covers like Vogue and all of Hollywood, from Kim Kardashian to Beyonce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Halle Berry, Charlize Theron and Gisele Bundchen. Today she is a reference on the most beautiful beaches in the world…

What's your link to Corsica ?

 

My parents bought a house in Corsica in 1973, before I was born, as my father was a United Nations diplomat we moved a lot and the only place we always went back to every year was Corsica.  My sister and I never wanted to leave and would see local school kids taking sailing classes on the beach and we would beg our parents to let us stay but sadly that did not happen. Since I started my own brand I am able to work from anywhere so I try to spend as much time as I can now in Corsica as for me this is home. I have a US and UK passport but these to me are just documents to allow me to travel- my heart and roots belong in Corsica. 

 

Your best memories there?

 

As a child I remember looking for shells on the beach in Isolella. My best memories are definitely all connected to the friends I have made in Corsica and also showing friends who come to visit my favourite spots. I feel like everyday in Corsica is magical and creates new memories, there is endless beauty on the Ile de Beaute!

I feel like everyday in Corsica is magical and creates new memories, there is endless beauty on the Ile de Beaute!

How does Corsica Inspire you for your work ?

 

Corsica is found in all my work. All my designs are named after places in Corsica. The light is incredible and what I love is the weather can be quite dramatic and change so quickly. Beaches, plants and shells are just examples of things that inspire me.

 

What are your projects in and outside Corsica?

 

I justed launched a collection exclusively with FarFetch.com and also my own website. I am concerned with planetary health, sustainability and the environment and make sure that sustainably sourced materials are used to manufacture the collection. I am producing high quality limited product runs which ensures exclusivity, while at the same time making sure that no surplus ends up in landfills.

 

I have always wanted to produce a collection on the island and I am very happy to have found an atelier in Corsica now that is currently producing my “Made in Corsica” collection. I have collaborated with my boyfriend Philippe Azara who is a Corsican photographer to create the first print in this collection, I came up with an idea and he photographed it for me and it is very Corsican and I am super excited to present it shortly.

 

I have moved my swimwear production to the South of France and working with a former “petite mains” insuring an almost couture construction and savoir-faire. I am hoping to help her with the atelier by giving her the means to employ some more women, thus promoting her savoir-faire and knowledge that is slowly dying out.

Since when do you create swimsuits?

 

It was during a trip to Brazil that I was inspired to start my line. More than a beach or sport essential, swimwear was a way of life, full of expression and confidence for Brazilian women. So in 2003 I started working with Brazil  to make my swimwear and then had all my swimwear hand embroidered by my family in India. It was very original and soon I had several high profile shops and celebrities wearing the brand. I only sold to private clients last year making custom pieces and took a break from retail last year to re-evaluate my production as I really wanted to make things locally and am now re-launching.

 

www.tara-matthews.com 

 

Photos : © Philippe Azara / © Philippe Pierangeli

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