July/August’s – ‘The Summer Escape Issue’ – Download Now

Guia Cleps, Founder of Italian swimwear brand Reina Olga on what inspired her to create form-fitting designs that champion every body shape.

What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?

My son usually wakes me up around 8 am and brings me a gift which he places on my pillow every morning. The gifts range from flip-flops, a roller-skate and a toothbrush. We then all have breakfast together and if I’m lucky enough, I get a 30-second window to put on my contact lenses, change outfits two to three times depending on how many times I manage to stain my shirt, then brush my teeth and eventually head out for a coffee and a walk with our dog, Alice.

Reina Olga Swimwear

What lies at the heart of Reina Olga’s brand DNA?

Fun! Our DNA is to be lighthearted and never take ourselves too seriously. We want to laugh as much as possible each and every day and have a blast. This is what our team is made of and all we can hope for is that our branding portrays that to our clients.

Have you had any mentors to guide you on the right path since launching the brand?

Not really, I started Reina Olga in 2014 when the rules of the game had been turned sideways – social media and the democratization of e-commerce turned a new page for the fashion industry, so I just had to get on with it and trust my gut.

You design with all body shapes in mind, tell us more?

I think it’s normal for women to have variations in weight and body perception over the years. This is what happened to me, I started Reina Olga when I was at my slimmest. Eventually, when I was pregnant and postpartum, I ended up changing so many body types, which made me aware of the importance to not just think of one body type.

Guia Cleps

Which Reina Olga piece suits everyone?

There are a lot, but the first one that comes to mind is the ‘For a Rainy Day’ one piece, I have been wearing the same prototype for around seven years and I love it more and more every time I wear it, despite the changes that my body went through over the years.

What is your approach to scaling the business?

I think at a certain point, you have to look around and ask yourself, would I be happy if my life looked like this, like today and for the rest of my life? I’ve reached that point where my team is my family, we go on all sorts of adventures together, as it’s still small enough to do this kind of thing and be really close. In terms of business, we are stocked in the most luxurious boutiques worldwide, we have a great e-commerce and have just opened a stunning little shop in Sardegna. We all work hard but still have time to dedicate to other things we are passionate about. It’s fun to grow but it’s also super important to be happy with what you have already achieved, without feeling the urge to move on to the next thing.

What has been the biggest challenge since launching and how did you overcome this?

Building a great team has literally been the single most difficult part without a doubt. I’m not sure how it all happened, but it’s now the six of us and it’s pure magic.

Reina Olga

How has social media supported the growth of the brand and which platform has been most valuable?

If it weren’t for social media we wouldn’t be sitting here having this conversation today. Instagram is by far the most valuable platform, as it gives everyone a voice and the possibility to share something tangible, without needing to pay for the air time.

When travelling – what do you always pack?

My hair conditioner. I’m dead without it. Anything else, I can find wherever I go.

This is ‘The Summer Escape Issue’ – where would you like to escape to?

Porto Rotondo, Sardegna.

July/August’s – ‘The Summer Escape Issue’ – Download Now

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Images: Supplied