Elizabeth Hurley is an actress, model, designer and businesswoman. Currently, she stars in E!’s ‘The Royals’ and owns Elizabeth Hurley Beach, a London based-luxury swim label.
Elizabeth Hurley Beach was established in 2005 and has achieved global success, selling worldwide in both independent boutiques and renowned department stores.
Thanks so much for sitting down with WeAreTheCity! Tell us, how did Elizabeth Hurley Beach come about?
I decided to venture into Beachwear not only because I’ve always been obsessed with holiday clothes, but also because it’s an area where women, regardless of shape or size, can either look amazing or really get it wrong.
I wanted to come up with some styles that make people look great and develop a resort collection which make a woman feel fabulously sexy at any age.
What type of woman is Elizabeth Hurley Beach’s customer?
It’s for the fashion-conscious woman seeking an element of luxury and excitement in her vacation wardrobe. But also for someone who wants to buy classics that she can wear season after season.
How involved are you in each aspect of the business?
I launched the collection in 2005 and am still completely hands on in every aspect. As well as designing, I visit India twice a year to manage production. I think I’ll always model the odd kaftan for my range too, although we use younger girls for the bikinis!
What makes Elizabeth Hurley Beach stand out from other swimwear and resort lines?
The collection is inspired by my love of the exotic in colour and embroidery and the Riviera for the chic and sexy styles. The range is full of rich colours and prints with flowing silk, sculpting one pieces and pretty bikinis. I love creating chic but wearable pieces, focusing on sensual fit and jet-set influences. I loathe bathing suits made from thick, heavy lycra, if you have an ounce of fat they’ll dig in and give you bulges. I use a very fine jersey-like lycra for my suits as a good quality lycra will not ‘bag’ when it’s wet and should dry quickly. Cheap lycras can take hours to dry.
What advice would you have for female entrepreneurs’ wanting to start their own business?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is that the harder you work, the luckier you get.
It’s important to watch the cash flow and not to over expand too quickly. Better to corner the market you’re aiming for and service your customers well, than spread yourself too thin and let people down with deliveries.
You’ve had a long and successful career but do you feel that there’s inequality surrounding the roles made available for women in the entertainment industry?
I’ve always been lucky as I’ve frequently starred in female heavy productions, so it’s not something by which I’ve been personally affected. In my experience, female writers create great parts for women-so we need more of them.
What needs to change in order to have gender equality in the arts?
Perhaps more women need to have the confidence to write more and strive to direct and produce more. There are plenty of actresses but less on the other side of the camera.
Women have great stories to tell and, I for one, would love to hear them.
How dominated by females has your career been?
Modelling is a very female driven industry which actually offers extreme inequality towards men-as women earn way more than them and there is a great deal more work. I don’t think this is something that worries women unduly. The majority of my agents in both acting and modelling have been women and also the heads of many of the production companies and studios at which I have worked. Also, the swim industry is very female dominated. If you go to a swim fair, like the huge one in Miami, then I would guess that 90% of the buyers and sellers there are women.
Also the beauty industry, in which I have worked with Estee Lauder for 24 years, is very female dominated and, of course, was founded by the great Estee herself, who built the multi billion dollar business up from scratch. But I’m aware that my industries may be the exceptions!
Where is the industry at with regards to various body types being represented in the modelling and fashion industry?
Frankly, with the retouching tools available to everyone, it would appear that people retouch themselves as much for their own social media sites as the big companies do for the professional pictures. It’s mind boggling.
What can we look out for from you in the future?
I’m about to shoot a British movie called Melody, where I play a glamorous actress who is being sidelined by a much younger newcomer, and then I go to Africa to shoot a movie about elephant poaching.