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Case Studies

In The Spotlight: PRISM²

Meet PRISM²: the multifunctional clothing brand that takes you from morning pilates to afternoon swim in one outfit.

Anna Laub, former Fashion Editor turned designer, launched PRISM in 2009 with a functional selection of fashion-forward optical sunglasses. A decade on, she is changing how women dress to workout, shop and swim with PRISM².

The three-in-one garments work as shapewear, swimwear, and activewear – perfect for stowing in your luggage for your next trip…

We caught up with Anna to learn more.


You started as a Fashion Editor, how did this set you up to start your own brand?

I had a lot of experience in different areas of the industry: working on magazines, writing, and styling, as well as understanding the retail market and interviewing buyers. Consequently, I had a really good understanding of the industry from every side. When I started PRISM I was a specialist in the market. I knew there wasn’t anything that existed [already] that I was about to launch, which gave me confidence that the product was needed. My experience of all the different areas of the market helped me: I knew the stores I should be in, and understood the type of PR I needed from a journalistic perspective.

How did PRISM² develop from your initial eyewear launch?

The ethos of the brand was always about making a functional product that was also beautiful. In a way, I think of myself as a product designer and problem solver, perhaps more than a designer. PRISM² is an extension of that.

I originally launched PRISM with optical eyewear – a functional product that a third of the population need,  but pay less attention to than the things they put on their feet. I then used this concept of functionality with swimwear – at the time nothing had support or structure. After almost a decade of selling eyewear – and watching the market change with a shift towards buying online  – easy-fit shapewear for a multitude of bodies really became my focus.

What gap in the market did you see that encouraged you to launch PRISM²?

When we launched in November 2019, there was no swimwear for different types of bodies and you couldn’t even buy tops and bottoms separately. If you were a 36E cup size, but a size Small on the bottom, it was basically impossible to buy a bikini. There was no other brand offering a swimwear/sportswear/underwear piece in one, eco-produced in Italy, and also [priced at] under £100 for a set.

How would you describe the brand aesthetic and what sets it apart?

Functional products that are beautiful and minimal, and pay attention to detail. Considered pieces that you can incorporate into your daily life with ease.

What makes the perfect swim/activewear?

Combining function, aesthetics, and comfort in equal measure.

Talk us through the sizing concept?

The pieces are seamless which means they offer unparalleled super stretch and fits six sizes. Our size 1 fits a UK size 6 to 16. As we know, sizing varies according to different brands and from different markets, but no matter what your size, from 6 to 16, these pieces will fit you. This was really important to me and a founding principle of the brand, to ensure that buying PRISM² online was made extremely easy. These pieces are also brilliant for maternity, as  you can wear the same piece throughout all nine months – and of course after!

 

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Talk us through the versatility of the pieces, and how they work as activewear and swim?

I developed a 3D-knitted fabric a few years ago and then realised it could be used for both swimwear and sportswear. I started [to] understand that using certain knitting techniques meant I could create structure without using underwiring, and so the pieces would actually shape the body too and could be used as underwear as well.

The pieces are made with yarn that is chlorine resistant, heat resistant, sweat-wicking, and quick dry[ing], which means they can be worn for all sports and swimming. In a place like Sydney, where people go for a walk in the morning then a swim then walk home, and grab a coffee – you can do this in the one outfit you are wearing. The structure of them means that most of the bikini tops can be worn throughout the year as bra tops, because (using the structure of compression) it creates support.

Who is the PRISM² woman?

Anyone who loves effortless, easy, and minimal style. A woman who appreciates luxury, but is happy to have something that won’t break the bank.

Which style icon would you love to see in your designs?

I love seeing everyone in my designs: from my best friends, to Paloma Elsesser and Kate Moss. I love the multitude of different types of people and bodies.

 What inspires your designs?

From architecture and art, to travel, to friends style, to products… inspiration can strike from anywhere.

What’s next for the brand?

We have some new styles coming for summer. I’ll be continuing on a journey of creating thoughtfully made products that have a focus on functionality and a purpose in your wardrobe.

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