5 Questions for The Pret-a-Surf Designers

With Winter getaways on our minds, who better to turn to than the incredibly chic, jetsetting founders of Pret-à-Surf to talk about swimwear? Jillian Demling (who is also Entertainment Editor at Vogue) and Karen Mulligan (who is also studio Manager for the photographer, Annie Leibovitz) were inspired to create the line when they were frustrated with what they found in the market: ill-fitting rash guards that felt more girly than cool.

Enter their line, which has a cult following among the fashionable and fabulous, so we are thrilled to have it on Gilt.com in our Winter Getaways event, starting at noon ET on December 5! Find out what inspired Demling and Mulligan, while we dream about going to their favored destination of the north shore of Kauai.

Q: What inspired you to start the line?
We were inspired to start Pret-à-Surf because we could not find chic surfwear. We were preparing for a surf trip and could not find any rashguards that we liked. All the rashguards made for women were pink or purple with big flowers and logos all over them . And they did not fit well because they were basically men’s rashguards cut smaller not taking into account a woman’s curves.

Q: How do you marry function and style in the line?
We are both very active women. We love to play sports but we also love fashion and want to look good while we play . We were very focused on making our surf line fashionable while using high performance fabrics that would hold up in the water and in the washer/dryer. We made sure the fit of our rashguards was perfect. We even added a zipper in the back so it didn’t ride up in the water .

Q: What are some of the special details in your pieces that make them so unique?
Our signature detail is the red zipper we added to our rashguards, sometimes in the front and sometimes in the back. Women come in all different shapes and sizes and we wanted to make a suit for every shape. We looked to swim styles from the ’40s and ’50s for inspiration. You can be sexy without showing it all.

Q: Bikini, one-piece or wetsuit (and why)?
It depends on what you are doing? Sunbathe in a bikini, swim in a one piece and surf in a rashguard and board shorts.

Q: What should every woman pack for a beach getaway? What can’t you travel without?
A Pret-à-Surf rashguard and bathing suit, sunscreen, a great book. The rashguards can be worn in the water by day and with jeans at night so it’s a must have (and it won’t wrinkle in your carry-on).

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