As Ludovic de Saint Sernin unveils his debut women’s swimwear line, the designer speaks to AnOther about sun, sensuality and self-confidence
Ludovic de Saint Sernin knows how to celebrate the body. Since launching his namesake label in 2018, the Paris-based designer has cultivated an unrestrained yet elegant force of sensuality in his clothes, attracting a cult-like following of industry names, fashion fans, and celebrities alike. From his internet-breaking A/W19 Swarovski crystal “million-dollar eyelet briefs” to the label’s steamy ‘Wet’n’Wild’ S/S20 show – which saw one model wear nothing but a towel around his waist down the runway – de Saint Sernin’s creations proudly celebrate skin, sex, and self-confidence.
“When I design the first thing that I think about is the body and how I am going to dress or undress it,“ de Saint Sernin tells AnOther. “The whole secret to a perfect LdSS look is that balance between what you choose to show or not show.”
It should come as no surprise then that the designer’s favourite season is summer; a period associated with freedom and stripping off in the heat. “I am a summer baby,” he says. “I was born in August and I live for the sun, I am practically a sunflower at this point!” Launched in July, de Saint Sernin’s latest offering marks his second foray into swimwear, and his first exploring womenswear silhouettes. In it, we see a collection of bikinis that employ the label’s signature eyelet designs.
“Spring/Summer collections are where I feel the most inspired so it only made sense for me to explore swimwear really early on while developing the brand,” says the designer. “I think summer comes through the choices of materials, the textures, the silhouettes but even more so summer is always a moment of exploring what it’s like to reveal your body. It’s a moment of liberation where you get to express something more sensual and more in touch with your skin.”
Though the label has become synonymous with a form of male glamour rarely celebrated in mainstream fashion, one which speaks to the queer cultural landscape, de Saint Sernin says he makes clothes for everyone. “Growing up, the brands that I would look up to didn’t have a space where I didn’t have to think about gender, so I decided to create that for myself and celebrate it,” the designer says, adding, “I love having that for my brand but I also wanted to have specific menswear or womenswear so that everyone feels represented … It was the right time for us to finally introduce a women’s version of our iconic eyelet swim briefs because our female customer base has been growing over the last few months, and it was about time we created something especially for her.”
Crafted in a series of sultry earth-tones, the LdSS bikinis are named after sun-drenched destinations the designer has either travelled to or would like to go, including Fire Island, Mykonos, Marrakech, Lanzarote, Tulum, Positano, and Sedona in Arizona, where the collection’s ethereal campaign starring model Nyaueth Riam was shot. “It is actually the first time we’re doing a single woman’s campaign and I loved it so much,” says the designer of the coastal images, which were captured by photographer Thomas Giddings. “What was important for us was to create images that would celebrate the natural beauty and sensuality of the model, Nyaueth, in this beautiful environment. It’s a sensuality that comes from within … It’s not obvious and it’s not in your face, it’s delicate and powerful at the same time.”
Such quiet inner strength, the designer says, is at the heart of his label: “I think for me sensuality comes from within, it’s about knowing who you are, what you represent and owning it and embracing it. It’s about letting yourself go and accepting to be the best version of yourself, it’s a form of self expression that I like to celebrate at LdSS. I always say that LdSS is a celebration of love, sex and freedom and I feel like these values are universal and can apply to anyone.”
Ludovic de Saint Sernin swimwear is available to shop now via ludovicdesaintsernin.com.