Leo Joseph: Swimwear with a difference

What’s the story of Leo Joseph? 

I decided to launch Leo Joseph when I was living in Cape Town in 2006. I saw a need for swimshorts which offer a great fit and quality without ignoring the importance of colour or character, which swimwear rightly deserves. After all, a pair of swimmers are the only thing a guy wears on the beach and therefore they become a real statement about his style and personality.

I’m really mindful that there is a fine balance between being fun and ensuring we offer a stylish short - a balance which I think we’ve achieved with our first collection. We aren’t stopping with swimwear either, there’s more to come.

Where did the inspiration come from? 

From the age of five I have visited South Africa every year with family and friends. It’s a phenomenal country with infinite soul, colour, sunshine, beaches, mountains and open space. The African landscape is of course home to some of the most incredible species on earth – rhinos and elephants, featured in my designs, are especially breath-taking in their natural environment.

South Africa is an easy place to fall in love with and I draw endless inspiration from the time I spend there. When it comes to the Leo Joseph collections, it's a case of taking that inspiration from S.A and blending it into a very much European led style and fit.

Did you always want to run your own business or was it a case of seeing a gap in the market?

I have always known that one day, I had to have my own business. I have from a young age always wanted to run and build my own business but knew that it was critical to find something that I was passionate about and of course good at.

Where are your products sold? 

Our shorts are sold exclusively online for this season but we're actively going down the wholesale route as of now with spring summer 2015. With a resort wear brand, we've got a lot of places to target and some big goals to reach and continue to set!

And what’s the plan for the future?

There is a lot going on behind the scenes with Leo Joseph, the showroom houses a lot more than just the shorts. We're a new brand  who've started with a targeted collection online and we're very content with our current position.

We do however have huge plans for the future and if things go our way, we'll be excited to show you a lot more soon. 

What’s the USP?

For us it's a blend of things and not just one simple fact or element. Everything about our shorts evolved from a blank canvas. The pattern, shape, details, prints, colours were all developed in house. We've produced a short that whilst maintains a elastic waistband, lends itself towards the 'tailored' style short but without sacrificing at all on comfort.

It's a short that allows you to go from beach to bar without question and our prints are all designed to offer a blend of character and sophistication that swimwear should always have... 

What entrepreneurial skill has been most valuable to you in your business journey so far?

I'm not sure it's a skill but the most valuable trait I think I've got is the trait to stick at it, worry less & believe.   

You’re part of the WWF-UK Business Club, what does this involve?

We're proud to be a part of the WWF business club and have been for a while now. It simply involves providing financial support and raising awareness for them in any capacity. We're a small company at the moment but will continue to support and step up that support as and when we are able too.

We've got some exciting projects ahead of us with the WWF and we'll be able to tell more on that later… 

How important is it to you to own a brand that makes a social difference?

All companies should find a balance that's right for them but it's very important to us. We've started small and as mentioned above, will increase our efforts as we grow. It's something that excites us...

To find out more about Leo Joseph you can visit their website, follow them on Twitter or like their Facebook page 

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