Karen Mulligan and Jill Demling are longtime friends, designers and co-founders of Pret-a-Surf, a women's surf line for the stylish surfer. As athletes who love fashion, they decided to launch a collection that's both fashionable and functional, which was definitely missing from the surfwear scene. What we found especially impressive is that Karen, studio manager for photographer Annie Leibovitz, and Jill, Entertainment Editor at Vogue, launched their line on top of their full-time jobs. We got a sneak peek of their newest collection (arriving in stores in November) and talked to the stylish ladies about their line, surfing and juggling it all.
Tell us a little bit about Pret-a-Surf. How are your collections different from other surfwear?
Pret-a-surf marries fashion, form and function. Ready to surf, ready to wear. Unlike other female surf brands on the market, we wanted to create rashguards specifically cut for a woman's body. Most brands just offer a smaller version of their men's rashguard, not taking into account a woman's curves.
Were you at all hesitant or fearful about launching a line, especially while holding down your full-time jobs?
We were too naive to know what we were getting ourselves into, but we love a challenge and needed an outlet for our creativity, love for sports and love for fashion. We are very motivated women and knew we could succeed at anything we put our minds to.
Was there a specific incident or moment that you decided to just go for it? So many people can't get from the idea stage to the actual execution stage.
We had so many ideas of pieces we wanted to make. We had hundreds of pages of inspiration. We knew we had to give this idea a life, and once we had our first sketches, we knew there was no turning back.
What do you love most about surfing?
The freedom you feel.
"One is not born a woman, one becomes one." Very powerful quote by Simone de Beauvoir. What about this came to be Pret-a-Surf's motto?
We are inspired by strong women and have worked for strong women for years. Pret-a-Surf is a women's surf line for women who are powerful, inspiring and have an opinion. This is one of many famous women's quotes that inspire us.
How do you want women to feel when wearing a piece from your line?
We want women to feel sexy and confident and beautiful and inspired to do anything. We want women to look feminine while playing with the boys. We all know when you look good, you feel good!
When I am out on the water riding a wave, I feel _________.
What is your favorite late-night bite?
Pizza and popcorn
What are your favorite late-night pairings?
Champagne and chocolates
Where do you like to hangout nightlife-wise in NY and LA?
The Windsor in NYC and the Spare Room in LA
What is your favorite thing between two buns?
A hot dog, of course!
Tune in to the "SoCal Surf" episode of 1st Look this Saturday on NBC after Saturday Night Live.
Check out Karen and Jill introducing us to Pret-a-Surf earlier this year!