Designer Interviews | Jan 14, 2020

This is one kickass designer brand who are thought provoking, stunningly sexy, fun & feisty! FISCH (@fisch.swim), is turning up the volume this summer with an epic range of daring swim. Trust us when we say, any babe would kill to flaunt these styles on our Aussie shorelines in 2020.

The experience & fine talent behind this brand & all of the pieces they launch is well worth the read. Think Parsons School of Design ... the hub of emerging brilliance right out of the centre of NYC. Then take those visions & slide them into dream European settings like St Baths. Have we set the scene? We hope so. It’s Now Cool welcomes you to read on & be “wow’d” by the fierceness of FISCH.

What a range, what an ethos! The Fisch brand is thoughtful, innovative and beautifully relatable to so many female forms. It has introduced such strength & presence into the world of swim while also squeezing in a touch of loveable cheek (which we love!). Prior to Fisch, who in the world of swimwear designers were you most drawn to?

I wasn’t really drawn to anyone - I guess that’s why I started my own brand.

The Painted Leo series within your collection (currently stocked at It's Now Cool), is wild! In terms of your own personal style, walk us through your wardrobe. What tends to be your go-to fabrics, colours, styles?

It depends on where I am. In St.Barths, I really have a daytime uniform: a Painted Leo one piece with a pair of vintage denim shorts. In NYC or Europe, I usually wear jeans, a shirt, a statement jacket or coat or something from my mom's closet. My palette is mainly denim, animal prints, black and then a pop of my favorite colours: indigo or old school red. I don’t walk outside my house without my gold jewellery.

We are all so dependent on the dotcom these days. Working online, communicating, networking, shopping... For our readers who are shopping the Fisch range from the comfort of their homes can you lend any tips? i.e. any recommended styles for bigger busts, smaller frames or those who want a little help creating killer shape?

Colombier top looks great on girls who have a bigger chest - it gives cleavage a little push. The Select one piece fits most people, it’s just a great suit for any body type. My latest addition - the Sucre is a laced up one piece that fits a lot of women well since you can tie it to flatter both your body type and your height. I love the Fregate as a body suit - it’s super cool to wear with flared pants or a skirt to dinner.

Tell us about your studio/office life. You're based in NYC, the global hub of electric energy. When it comes to drawing inspiration, designing new drops and building your brand - how does an average working day unravel for you?

Wow...every day is different! I mainly work out of my apartment downtown together with my team member Heidi and our dogs. Sometimes I’m out for meetings in the city other times I'm taking calls in my PJ's. Once a month, my tech team come in for fittings when we develop new products. At the moment we are doing a lot of castings . Most of my days are just about trouble- shooting different aspects of the business as I grow and develop my strategy. I’m really the happiest when I actually have the time to design something - it’s truly the most privileged part of my work.

Agnes, you're a Parsons School of Design graduate which is a dream to so many young creatives. What was the most valuable part of the experience for you personally? There are so many ways to learn & gain experience these days (& everyone is in a rush to fast track both!), good old fashion education institutions are almost deemed "old fashioned" to the millennial age. Schools like Parsons however, bring such notoriety, edge & culture into a designer's portfolio. Would you agree?

If you want to work in the fashion industry NYC is probably the most important place to be - all the fashion brands and advertising agencies are here and there is a lot of opportunity for students to intern at prestigious companies which can later lead to employment and provide invaluable work experience in the industry.

What university really teaches you is a good work ethic and allows you to develop your personal network. I have some really cool and successful friends who graduated with me. I’m not sure if a fashion degree is completely necessary but I really think it’s important for people to get a bachelors degree. Young individuals need to have an education and understand world history and its influence on designs which puts everything into context. Design and fashion in their many forms have been around since humans started clothing themselves and it's all about semiotics, social structures, norms and cultural rebellion - which I think is important that young creators know about. A career is about more things than just uploading content and crushing algorithms on Instagram.

I’m thankful for my education at Parsons. What Parsons really pushed us to think about was sustainability and this was in 2014 when nobody really embraced the concept on a mass consumer level. Sustainability really wasn’t a trendy or a buzz word like it is now. The design classes provided hands-on experience and important tools and I really enjoyed the liberal arts classes and Art History. But it was very tough, deadlines every week combined with a full-time internship at Saint Laurent. I didn’t sleep and I cried often. But it was worth it.

Talk to us about ECONYL® , the newest technology in fabric which uses regenerated materials such as fishing nets to create intelligent & innovative apparel. From a "touch & feel" perspective, did the ECONYL®l introduce any noticeable differences or challenges during the concept/design stages?

At this point, there are so many different versions of fabrics containing ECONYL® fibre and they are produced all over the world, which is great. My fabrics are woven in Italy and they have outstanding quality. The printed styles are made from the firmest version of the fabric which is my favorite because it creates a body-hugging effect that accentuates the beauty of the female form. I was recently in Italy meeting with different people in the industry and they just said "wow you are using the most expensive fabric to print on" and I was like yes of course. With FISCH products, I really want to be able to give people the best quality at a decent price. In terms of the design process, I think it’s been easier for me because sticking to a few types of fabrics narrows down my silhouette options. This allows me to focus on the quality of my products - developing them slowly and mindfully - rather than racing to produce new shapes each season and sacrificing the integrity of the product in that process.

What is it about the subject of sustainability that pushes you the most to action change? Where & how did you become so aware of the devastating states of our oceans & coastlines?

Growing up in St.Barths I always loved being in the ocean and the thought that it is so destroyed is very upsetting to me. When I was younger in the early 90's and went snorkelling there was much more fish and aquatic life by the shore than what there is today. There is a beach there called Grand Fond where I usually hike with my dog - I always bring an Ikea bag with me and fill it with ocean plastic that I find there. That being said this plastic doesn’t necessarily come from the Carribean - it’s from all over the place which makes the ocean plastic issue a real global problem.

 In terms of your day-to-day home life, what other eco-friendly habits have you fallen into? Any words of wisdom for those who are looking to "go green?"

I always make my coffee at home to avoid single-use cups, sugar packets and other single use items. I cook often instead of ordering in and I try to never throw away food. I drink tap water. I never buy fast fashion. I usually only buy vintage and then maybe one or two designer pieces each season.

I bring a tote bag to the grocery store instead of using their plastic bags.

Lately, I’ve been more picky about what types of food I eat for environmental reasons. I don’t eat tuna anymore because the species has all but basically been eradicated due to its over- consumption. I also don’t eat shrimp due to all the bycatch of the fishing process in which many turtles and sharks die in large numbers by getting swept up in the nets used to collect the shrimp. I still eat meat - but only the best organic grass-fed type of meat once a week.

If you were asked to mentor an upcoming designer for a few months - what ideas & practises would you aim to ingrain into them?

Have a good business plan. Be organised. Be stubborn, have endurance and be goal-oriented. What a lot of people don’t understand is that fashion is a business and it’s extremely hard to make the finances work as a small brand. Expect things to take double the time and cost twice as much. If there is someone out there that you professionally admire, email them and ask if you can buy them lunch. A lot of people say yes and you can get some good advice for your career

The Fisch social platforms are relatively uncurated & completely pure and genuine. Talk about a breath of fresh air!! Apart from sales & marketing - how do you see social media as a tool?

To be honest, I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’m just following my instincts and posting things that I like. Social media is very important for discovery but I feel that a change is coming. Instagram is not as fun and spontaneous as it used to be.

The world of swimwear can be tough & competitive ... not to mention ever-evolving. How do you keep up & stay ahead? Are there any particular blogs, mags, trade fairs and/or fashion weeks you always prioritise time for?

I don’t know, I just follow my instincts when it comes to design. The main trade shows I attend are in Paris and Miami during the summer. They are very important to meet clients and connect with people.

It's Now Cool always aims to house global brands who are thought provoking, unique, celebratory of women's curves & who design HOT gear!! All of which Fisch nails! If you had an hour to shop our e-store, which other brands or styles are currently grabbing your eye?

I love Lisa Marie Fernandez. Probably because her brand and her products are so different from mine. I would feel like a totally different girl wearing them which could be fun!


Already worn by Elsa Hosk, Georgia Fowler & Mimie Lashiry - who would you love to see wear your styles?

Beyonce, Emilia Clark and Meryl Streep.

If the Fisch brand was it's own person - 5 items always present in her bag would be?

Phone Headphones/Earplugs, Lipstick
Vintage Sunglasses, Credit Cards & Cash

Their bar of choice in NYC? Specific drink order?

Mezcal or a glass of wine together with a late snack at Lucien.

 What/who inspires your (Agnes) design eye?

Diving, furniture and old-world glamour. I’m currently re-designing a house in St.Barths so I’ve been researching a lot of mid-century outdoor furniture which really inspires me especially since FISCH is all about the outdoors.

I can imagine "design block" is as real as "writers block"? If so, when the block strikes, what is your go-to remedy?

Catch up on life. See friends. Do nothing. Go out in nature. Get drunk. Anything opposite of work. Then I start my research. Walk around vintage shops. Go to galleries. Watch movies. Look at furniture. Go to my mom’s closet. Look at old photos by Guy Bourdin, Newton, Saint Laurent, Schiaparelli, everything old world really inspires me.

Your current favourite scent?

I’ve only been wearing Guerlain since I was 18. My current scent is called Musc Noble.

Your current favourite beauty products are?

Nuxe, it’s my favorite beauty brand. I always stock up when I go to France. I love their Teint Eclat Prodigieux - it’s a tinted moisturizer that I mix a few drops with my day cream because it gives a nice glow. Great products for a good price.

You do not start or end the day without ...

Cuddles with my dog.

You're best focused with background noise, tunes or in complete silence?

Complete silence.

The Fisch collection is asked to grace the cover of Vogue US ... who is the model
wrapped in your epic designs?

Someone legendary. Probably Stephanie Seymour, ideally shot by Patrick Demarchelier.

What is next for Fisch!?
It’s Now Cool!

Shop Fisch Here