We recently caught up with Paula Hermanny, the globetrotting designer behind hot Brazilian swimwear lines, ViX and Sofia by ViX. Check out Paula?s favorite spots in Rio and shop our favorite selections from her sexy resortwear collection.
Paula Hermanny, the globetrotting designer behind hot Brazilian swimwear lines, ViX and Sofia by ViX, posseses a sense of style that was formed early on and close to home. She grew up emulating the simple but elegant looks of her two Brazilian grandmothers -- one was a globetrotting beauty queen, the other a local seamstress that would take Paula shopping at the local markets. Now this jet-setting designer splits her time between Rio and San Diego, mining the sophisticated energy of both locales for inspiration. We recently caught up with Paula as she shared her favorite spots in Rio...then shop our favorite selections from her sexy resortwear collection.
How would you describe your style?
I?m pretty casual but I do appreciate well-cut, well-made clothes. I would describe my style as ?Classic yet Modern.? I usually gravitate towards Alexander Wang and Isabel Marant. I also have a lot of clothing and accessories from Brazilian designers like Osklen, Cris Barros and Antonio Bernardo in my closet. Overall I prefer a natural look -- nothing too studied or overdone. I like to pair simple yet elegant pieces with beautiful jewelry or wear a statement accessory that adds a surprising touch. This is the same approach I have when I design my bikinis.
Who, what or where is the inspiration behind your style?
My greatest inspirations of style were my grandmothers--one a seamstress the other a glamorous, international beauty queen with impeccable taste. Both taught me to have an appreciation for beautiful clothing with proper proportions. I have such fond memories of my grandmother in her Burberry coat and Chanel bag and the other draping fabrics into the most amazing dresses. They really shaped my design ethos and aesthetic. Today, I?m inspired by my travels, the arts and fashion.
What do you love most about the city you live in? Can you share your top favorite spots for eating, drinking and shopping?
Aprazivel (Santa Teresa)
I love to eat in the tree house table which is literally atop a tree. They have the most amazing traditional Brazilian food and great Caipirinha.
Rua Apraz?vel, 62 - Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20241-270.
This hotel is so traditionally Carioca. It is over 80 years old and full of old world glamour. It has hosted so many iconic celebrities from Madonna, Michael Jackson, Rolling Stones, to Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Gina Lollobrigida and Brigitte Bardot. I simply love sitting poolside for lunch or a drink just so I can be transported back to the glamour of the 50?s and 60?s.
Post beach snacks Bar Astor
I love the relaxed air of this restaurant and bar. Its kid friendly and a great place to go grab a late lunch or early snack after a day at the beach. The walls are lined with B&W photographs of old traditional Carioca bars and the atmosphere is very retro bohemian.
Avenida Vieira Souto, 110 ? Ipanema.
The BEST sunset in Rio over drinks and Brazilian snacks like fried manioc, ?pastel de camar?o? (filo-like pastry with shrimp filling) and an ice cold draft beer we Brazilians call ?Chopp?.
Rua Francisco Otaviano, 177 - Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22080-040.
The bordering beach and ultimate surf spot between Ipanema and Copacabana and is usually where I start and end my walks (with a coconut water from a street stand) because I have a home right there!
I love going to this boutique because they have a great selection of both national and international designers.
I always find the most amazing prints.
Garcia D??vila, 66 loja C, CEP: 22421-010.
Great for jeans and easy pieces!
Rua Visconde de Piraj?, 476 - Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22410-002.
Beautiful contemporary jewelry. The clean modern design goes really well with my style. My last purchase was a pair of long earrings 3 colors of gold - white, rose and yellow.
Rua Garcia d' ?vila, 121, Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro ? RJ.
Epitomizes Rio?s beach culture in a really unique and modern way. I love the way they innovate in terms of materials and are just as committed as I am to representing Brazilian culture in a non-literal way.
Rua Maria Quit?ria, 85 - Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro ? RJ.
A perfect translation of simple elegance to me.
Fashion Mall. Estrada Da G?vea, 899 - Piso 2
What is a typical day (if there is such a thing) like in your life on the road or at home?
I spend quite a lot of time in Brazil since our factory and our design studio is in Rio. When I?m home, I start my day off with a walk on Ipanema beach and a quick dip in the ocean. It?s the best way to energize me for the day ahead. Then I have a typical Brazilian breakfast of bread, fresh fruit and coffee. I then head to the office and spend the rest of the day reviewing designs, working on our exclusive prints, and brainstorming for the ViX collections. I end the day with a stop by my store in Leblon to say hello to the team, see how things are going, and get customer feedback. At night I usually go out to dinner with friends and family.
Name your top favorite shopping destinations anywhere in the world. These can be shops or markets and please tell us why you like them so much? And of course what you buy there.
India has some of the most amazing markets that provide excellent shopping destinations and a wealth of inspiration!
Amrapali is a must go to place for jewelry. The last time I was there I bought antique gold earrings, rings, necklaces ... I?m officially hooked!
Heru for fabric and print inspiration.
Khan Market for jewelry, tunics, saris, scarfs and also for home decoration.
Sarita Handa (One of my obligatory stops in India) for home bedding and pillows.
Where is your favorite travel destination?
Anywhere near the ocean. It?s practically impossible for me to stay off any or all beaches. If I were pressed to make a choice, I?d say that I keep returning to Santa Teresa in Costa Rica.
And your dream destination?
I would love an African safari with my family.
What is your #1 travel/packing tip?
A warm shawl, great sunglasses, comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and always a bikini!