Check our interview with resortwear designer, travel enthusiast, and spiritual guru Isy B. based out of the beautiful Cayman Islands. Isy B. was recently named one of the” Caribbean brands to watch” by the Caribbean Journal and since its launch in 2015, the brand has garnered an impressive list of successes, locally in the Caribbean and internationally. Isy B was awarded ‘Lifestyle Designer of the Year’ at Phoenix Fashion Week in the USA in 2016, and in the 2017 her brand successfully launched a capsule collection for Evine, the third largest home-shopping network in the USA.
Isy B.’s aesthetic is inspired by multiple influences – the natural world, Isy’s love for travel, and artistic expression in all forms. She is a gifted natural medium and channels this intuition into her creations, receiving much of her inspiration through her connection with Spirit. She comes from a long line of creatively powerful women with fashion in their blood. Her love of fashion is was inherited from her mother who was a fashion designer, and who learned from her mother before her.
Each collection she creates is rooted in elegance and effortlessness. Weaving its story through the harmony and flow of individual elements. Her aim is to create designs that come from the heart, and in doing so connect with her wearers at the heart level.
What’s your background?
I’m the founder of Isy B., an inspirational accessories and resortwear brand from the Cayman Islands. I have a passion for design and beauty in all its forms. My start in fashion came when I was very young from learning with my mother who was also a fashion designer.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Creative. Curious. Courageous.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
I have had so many influences on my life it’s hard to point to just one. I am influenced by the people who inspire me by the using their talents to create something that makes the world a better place.
Why did you choose to work in fashion and launch your own Isy B. Resort wear line?
I love the beauty and creativity of fashion and I see clothes as one of the most accessible creative expressions of who we are . The language of clothing and dressing has always fascinated me as a way we effectively communicate with each other. I live on a beautiful tropical island in the Caribbean; swimwear and resortwear are very much a part of that lifestyle.
What was the most challenging part of creating your own company?
The most challenging part was becoming an expert in all the different aspects that are involved in running a fashion business. Designing the collection is less than 20% of the business. You have to become an expert in all areas of the business including marketing, distribution, sales, marketing, logistics, finance etc. Happily I come from an extensive business background which allowed me to hit the ground running and yet it was still a challenge.
What is different from Isy B. Swimwear from other brands?
Isy B. is an inspirational brand, which means that every piece we create is infused with an intention for the wearer. We believe luxurious fashion should be inclusive, and we believe that all women, regardless of age or size deserve to feel effortlessly fabulous, comfortable and confident. We design with this intention in mind and infuse every piece with the feel good vibes of our Caribbean home.
Where we can find your swimwear line?
You can find our swimwear online, at our showroom in the Cayman Islands, at 5 star resorts around the Caribbean, and coming soon to the best boutiques in the West Coast.
How’s your typical day?
I start my day with a meditation and a long walk in nature before I even look at my phone. I typically have breakfast with my film producer husband to talk about our day’s schedules and then I dive in. Everyday is different, I work with my team who are here in Cayman and dotted around the world on both current and future collections at the same time and so I work in the different timezones. At the end of the day, I’ll head to a happy dance fitness class. I love classes like plyojam to get me out of my head and into my body. It’s the perfect stress release.
What are your makeup bag staples when traveling?
Red lipstick! There’s something so transformative about red lipstick. It’s my favorite power boost. Of course a good moisturizer and cleanser is essential.
Best advice ever given?
“Give yourself permission to change your mind. You can always change your mind.” This was from my very wise sister. I remember this if I ever feel stuck or I’m unsure about which direction to move in or what decision to make. It helps me take that next step, no matter how small, that keeps me moving forward.
What is on your bucket list?
I don’t really have a bucketlist because I want to embrace life rather than putting things on the backburner for some future time that may or may not happen. My husband and I love to travel and our next big adventure is a hot air ballooning over the Masai Mara in Kenya to watch the annual migration of the herds across the Seregenti this Fall. I’m so excited I can hardly stand it!
What is your favorite healthy food?
Avocado. It’s my weakness. I’m likely to order anything on a menu as long as it comes with avocado.
And your favorite cheat food?
It’s a cliche I know, but I love chocolate and I eat a lot of it. I make myself feel better about it by only buying the most expensive and interesting fair trade chocolate I can afford and appreciating every morsel.
What quote do you live by?
We are Spirit having a human experience.
Do you support any charity?
I love kids and support charities that try to ensure their wellbeing. In Cayman I use my runway shows as a platform to raise awareness and funds for the NCVO which is a local charity that operates a residential care home for babies and children, and provides subsidized daycare facilities and a nursery for lower income working families.
Your idea of a perfect Sunday?
A lazy day of daydreaming and reading inspirational books while lying on in the grass, under the shade of a palm tree in my garden. It’s idyllic.
Where we can follow you?
Music: Aretha Franklin
Restaurant: Test Kitchen in Cape Town, South Africa
Book: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Drink: Tea. The more exotic, the better!
Travel destination: For Culture: Europe. For Food: Asia. For Adventure: Africa
Movie: Depends on my mood, but I love French cinema and period dramas.
Actor/Actress: Nicole Kidman
Sports team: Favorite sport is tennis. I’m not really much into sports teams.