SUNROOM Q+A with Simone Fan
Welcoming Sunroom friend and Malibu designer Simone Fan, whose namesake line of spring caftans, tunics, pants, and bucket hats in super soft terry cloth strike the perfect beach-to-dinner balance we need.
We're thrilled to have Simone in the Sunroom family — and to share this Q+A to learn more her sources of inspiration, design process, and the ocean as a guiding force.
Can you share a bit more about yourself and what inspired you initially to begin your clothing line? What were the ideas behind your signature shapes and fabrics?
I always had a connection to the water. I grew up in Germany, far away from the sea, but my favorite show was Jacques Cousteau and I loved learning everything I could about the ocean. I remember when I was growing up I would have a recurring dream that I could breathe underwater — it made me so happy. As soon as my family could travel we went to Formentera, an island off Ibiza, and I felt a feeling like never before. Everything stopped when I was floating in the water and staring into the sky.
I moved to Los Angeles when I had my first baby, and soon after that I moved to Malibu. On my 40th birthday a friend pushed me into a wave… and that was it; I was addicted to surfing and the lifestyle that surrounded it.
With my clothing, I have always been looking for pieces I can wear that are comfortable yet chic — and I’ve always loved the practicality of a changing towel but they aren’t very flattering. I came across a picture of Pablo Picasso in his studio wearing a ruby-colored, terry cloth polo shirt and thought: I wish I had that. Shortly after that, a friend came over wearing a vintage 60s zip-up terry cloth jacket. At that moment I knew I had to reinterpret these pieces.
It took another year and some spiritual lessons and letting go of those voices that tell you not to do anything in case you fail before I started Simone Fan. Once I let that go, it all flew into place; working with a patternmaker friend I launched a line of the pieces I want to wear (and now do wear) every day.
What part of the design process do you love the most?
I love designing things that make me feel chic, but more importantly—cozy. It’s what you want to wear from morning ‘til night, from the beach or out for a coffee, to out for a fancy party or to a restaurant.
What’s one impactful piece of creative advice that's stayed with you?
Do it for yourself and if others like it…great. (Aka: don’t worry about failure.)
What has been a constant source – or approach to – inspiration for you?
To surround yourself with kind thoughts and kind people, so that when the clothing is made, this emotion is part of its DNA.
Thorne Family Farm — their Saturday farm stand sells the best home-grown produce and baked goods by a small company called Varsity Bakers.
I love my smoothie and sandwiches from Vitamin Barn.
No matter where you are in Malibu, I recommend the sunrise and sunset.
+ Quick Fire!
What are some small things you're doing right now to take care of yourself (mentally, physically, and/or emotionally)?
I always make sure to take care of myself so I can take good care of others in return. I meditate every day, do something physical (like yoga or surfing). I also spend a lot of time in the sauna and in ice baths, which are just good for everything. I love having family and friends come over and cooking big dinners. I always have an open kitchen — not just for sharing food but for tears and laughter and anything that is needed.
My creative/design ethos: Design what feels good to you and hopefully others will experience that same feeling.
A mantra I live by: I don’t mind what happens.
I always start my day with: a meditation.
Secret talent: I have no secret talent. I would be too proud of it so I would share it right away!
My ultimate escape – real or imagined: Anywhere there is a warm sea.