Q&A with Becky Morton, Peony Director
The Founder of Peony Swimwear, Director Becky Morton, discusses her new Narrative Collection, favourite Tuchuzy pieces, sustainable swimwear, what's in her beach bag and more!
1. When and why did you start Peony swimwear?
I have always been passionate about design. When I was at school, I would sketch garments on notepaper during class and on napkins at restaurants. Swimwear design was particularly appealing to me because we grew up in Queensland near the beach and it seemed that was all we wore for nine months of the year.
Although I had dreamed it, I never imagined that one day I would actually turn my passion it into a career.
After school I studied a double degree in Law and Business. Following graduation from university, I went on to qualify and work as a lawyer for six months. Although I loved studying law, I found legal practice personally unsatisfying. I felt a fire in my belly for something more and it didn’t take long for me to realise that it was time to pursue my dream of starting my own brand. Soon after that, I finished working at the law firm and started peony.
The brand was born out of a life long love affair with the ocean and named after my favourite flower which blooms at the beginning of summer.
2. What were some challenges?
I had always loved and followed fashion but coming from a legal background I had no experience working in the industry. It was a whole new world and very unfamiliar to me. The few years were extremely challenging - there was a lot of trial and error and some very long nights.
3. Tell us about your latest Narrative Collection
I would love to! We are so excited about this collection as it is our first step on our journey towards sustainability.
In terms of inspiration, Narrative became about telling a story, with fairy tales and a sense of whimsy in mind – the pieces have a very nostalgic feel. Narrative features shirring, scallop detailing, ruched carriageways, panelling, ruffles and contrast stitching.
As always pieces are sold separately and designed to mix and match. I love this philosophy that peony is built on, not only because of the freedom it allows, but because I believe it is important each range talks back to the previous ranges so we can encourage our girl to update last seasons go-to treasures with new season updates – this nod to slow fashion is important to us.
Most importantly, Narrative is the debut of our transition towards sustainability. We are really proud that the collection is made up of 50% recycled and sustainable swimwear styles. Beyond this, 80% of our fabrications meet Standard 100 by Oeko Tex (in short this means that the fabrics are more gentle on the environment).
We feel this is a very strong place to start from. In the long term, we aim to transition entirely to sustainable fabrications and practices.
4. Describe the Peony x Tuchuzy girl
She has her own unique sense of style, she knows what she likes and often transitions her peony pieces from beach to underneath her favourite blouse for afternoon drinks.
5. Favourite spot in Bondi when you visit from Queensland?
My best friend lives in Bondi so we spend a bit of time there in the summer. We love a sunset drink on north Bondi hill after a day at the beach.
6. What motivated you to move towards sustainable swimwear?
This conscious shift stemmed from our genuine love for the environment and our desire to create something that is as beautiful as it is sustainable.
This decision has been in the pipeline for quite some time now and is a very natural progression for our boutique Australian brand. We want to feel good about what we do every day and once we started talking to our customers we knew it was something they wanted too.