EXCLUSIVE Q & A: TOWIE’s Lucy Mecklenburgh

She is already one of the most talked about and controversial characters of ITV hit reality show The Only Way is Essex, but why stop there? TV star and Lucy’s Boutique owner Lucy Mecklenburgh talks to Kat Slowe about launching her debut swimwear collection for Bella Bamba.

Why have you chosen to launch your own collection of swimwear?
I love my bikinis and I also know it’s hard to get pieces that suit every shape and size so I wanted to create a range that lots of people would like. Looking good at the pool and on the beach has always been important to me and having my own range is a dream come true.

How did you meet Bella Bamba founders Eleise Lucraft and Becky Majeed, and why did you choose to collaborate with them on the range?
Initially, Eleise and Becky got in touch with my management and it went from there. I have been involved since the beginning and that was really important to me. I can honestly say I love every single piece in the collection. 

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What led you to launch a model competition for your fans?
A few reasons… I really wanted to give normal women a chance to model with me and enjoy wearing the bikini range. In my eyes, both of the girls I chose represent ‘normal women’. I wanted to show other women and my fans that there shouldn’t be a pressure to be perfect. Women shouldn’t feel that they have to have a golden brown tan and be size 0 to look good in a bikini. I want women of every shape and size to feel amazing in my swimwear. 
I am so glad that I was able to give two of my fans a chance to model with me for the day. I only wish I could have chosen more. I was overwhelmed with all of the entries. 

Why have you chosen a Brazilian cut for your bikinis?
The Brazilian cut to each piece ensures each style fits every figure perfectly. I want every woman that wears my bikinis to feel their best and comfortable in the swimwear. Brazilian cuts are so sexy and so flattering. Even if girls aren’t perfectly toned, it doesn’t mean they can’t look sexy.

What was your inspiration for the designs?
I have always loved going on holiday and loved the idea of wearing something on the beach and in the pool that looked as good, as if you were going out for dinner. I adore the embellished crystalized look, so it went from there, really, and we kept the colours simple.

What do you think makes your pieces stand out from others that are currently on the market?
We have created a luxury collection which not only looks sexy and stands out with sunlight reflecting crystals, but has the Brazilian cut to each piece which ensures each style fits beautifully on everybody. I didn’t want to put my name to something that I wouldn’t wear myself.
An important thing for me is to have separate bottoms and tops, because no one is the same size on their bust as they are on their bottom. The collection also has a wide range, so there is something for everyone, from Monokini one pieces, bandeau and strapless styles, padded and classic strings, all embellished with my favourite crystal adornments. It is absolutely perfect for a girl who loves to look good by the pool.

Have you any plans to introduce further collections in the future?
Yes, I have some really exciting plans ahead for further collections. I can’t wait to tell you all about them as soon as I can.

As a former fashion buyer, you must have a good idea of what women look for in a bikini What do you think it is that today’s woman wants?
Most women want swimwear that flatters their figure and they want a choice. With my range, there is lots to choose from. I also think women want to have that little bit of edge that makes them stand out on the beach or around the pool, and my bikinis have that extra sparkle.  

Do you think that your time on TOWIE is likely to have a positive or negative impact on how your brand is perceived, and why?
I feel really grateful to TOWIE for all the opportunities it has given me. There are negatives and positives to everything in life but, for me, it has helped me progress and follow my dreams, particularly within the fashion industry. And, I’ve had so much positive feedback, it’s selling really well.

Several of your TOWIE cast mates already have some involvement in the intimate apparel sector. Is the brand likely to be available through Jessica Wright’s store or through Swimwear 365?
No, we don’t have any involvement in each other’s brands or stores, but we are all really supportive of our different projects. The collection is available in my store, Lucy’s Boutique, in Brentwood.

How do your bikinis reflect your personality and lifestyle?
I’m curvy, so the Brazilian cut aspect of them is totally me and one of my favourite things to do is to relax and have fun on holiday – it doesn’t get much better than getting to wear something special in the sunshine,
Also, the crystal element of the swimwear just makes them all that much more special. Every girl deserves to feel a million dollars. 

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