Charlie by Matthew Zink is a new swim lifestyle brand dedicated to the seduction of the perfect bikini. A tribute to the decadence of the 1970’s, Charlie is rich with hedonism and glamour. Inspired by the iconic sirens of the decade, Charlie looks to offer a fresh take on what is provocative.

Charlie is the vision of New York based designer, Matthew Zink. Early in his career, Matthew was fortunate enough to work with such fashion titans as Tom Ford, Stefano Pilati, and Carolina Herrera. The recent Design Director for Victoria’s Secret Swim and Shoes has created Charlie to indulge women who desire an elite swimwear experience. The 29 year old designer says, « I want to make provocative swimwear, and the timeless style icons of the 70’s are my inspiration »

Following an unbelievable first year, Charlie by Matthew Zink has expanded the collection with even more of its acclaimed swimwear and complimentary resortwear pieces. For Resort 2012, Charlie celebrates a few of its favorite muses: Stephanie Seymour, Maxwell Caulfield, 1970’s denim, and « the scarf ».

Thanks to Matthew
Photo Greg Vaughan
Interview by Ben Taylor

I understand that you’ve worked with some of the world’s hottest designers and, in 2011, you finally stepped out on your own. Between then and now, what have you learned about yourself?
Charlie is the most truthful representation I’ve been able to express as a designer. I have learned a great deal of creative discipline that allows me to concentrate and perfect my ideas. The more sincerely inspired I am, the more impacting the collection becomes.

Your designs have been worn by the some of the leading ladies from the world of celebrity, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry and Rihanna (to name but a few). Which contemporary female would you love to see wear Charlie by Matthew Zink next?
This is an impossible question…..I have an endless lists of men and women that I would love to see in Charlie. (I hate to choose one!!) However, Rihanna continues to inspire me as a designer. Although she as already worn Charlie pieces, there is so much more I would love to collaborate with her on. I am so naturally drawn to her sensual energy and unapologetic sincerity. She has style and soul and that is completely exceptional today. She has become a very real muse.

Let’s not beat around the bush, you have had some of THE hottest males slipping on your wears with wonderful results. Who has been your favourite male model to work with so far and who would be your top guy to see doing it Baywatch style in your designs?
We have been very lucky to work with very special men, but my favorite experience has been with for our Resort 2013 shoot. Ryan has a natural beauty and honest disposition that is intoxicating to be around. And those lips! Dream Charlie Boys: Ricky Martin, John Hamm, Sean O’Pry…

What is a big swimwear no no?
I don’t care for complicated swimwear. I think simple, classic, and sexy is always the best approach to beachwear. Let yourself receive the attention….not your swimwear.

You use social media to great effect, celebrating and sharing those who have worn your work both famous and fan. Why is it important for you to do this? What else do you use social media for?
The soul of Charlie is the men and women who step into brand. My creations come to life once our fans put them on, and nothing is more inspiring to me than seeing so real people, real fans share the energy they feel in their Charlie. Social media allows me to celebrate this interaction with my fan base. I have also made countless connections to so many talented individuals that include photographers, stylists, makeup artists, and models that have helped build Charlie’s momentum.

Your muses are both past and present. What makes someone the perfect muse for Charlie by Matthew Zink?
The perfect muse is a man or woman that loves feeling good about themselves. I’m always inspired by an individual who enjoys the pleasure of style and wears it with a smile. I have no mind for grumpy fashion. I’m a sucker for simple, sensual, and refined taste. Always remember, clothes aren’t sexy…people are.

I understand that you are drawn to the 70s and 80s in your work. What are you seduced by when you are away from your workplace?
(I’m never away from work)…but when I’m a bit more off the clock, I’m seduced by a smile, a wild fit of laughter, a good kiss, a new favorite song, and tan lines.

Fan or famous, everyone looks pretty damn good in Charlie by Matthew Zink. The body beautiful aside, what are three important factors to looking and feeling good for you?
Celebrate what you love about yourself, accept what you don’t.
Make an effort every day, self respect is very attractive.
You always look twice as beautiful when you smile.

When you are working on new projects or designs, what are we likely to hear you listening to?
I really do love all sorts of music. When I create new ideas, I love a playlist that I can boogie with. I think that energy is somehow absorbed into the designs and the customer can feel it in the pieces.

What message do you want your work to convey?
I want the each person that experiences Charlie to feel how passionately committed I am to my vision of paying tribute to the great muses and mentors that have inspired me as a designer and person. That celebration is Charlie by Matthew Zink. I love Charlie, and I hope you will too.