With spring in the air, it’s the perfect time to check in with the divine Candice Swanepoel, who covers our April issue. The Lions Management superstar tells us about wearing the dress of the moment, how she’s keeping busy with her own line, and where she’s raring to go!
You’ve had a long history with the Oscar de la Renta brand.
I started working with Oscar in 2012. I was booked for his show and later the campaign, then continued working with the brand when Laura [Kim] and Fernando [Garcia] continued as creative directors. It’s always an honor and a dream to be part of his vision; the brand represents pure elegance and strong femininity to me.
Did you have a chance to work with Oscar himself? What are your memories of him?
Yes, I had the privilege of working with him. I remember going into the fitting for his show and they put me in a cute striped knitted hot pants and crop top. I was nervous to walk for him in such a revealing look, because I knew he respected elegance above all, so I did my most chic catwalk and he loved it. He was a very humble sweet man.
Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia are keeping his legacy alive. When did you first meet them?
I met them at the casting for the show, and we’ve been working together ever since. When you put on an Oscar de la Renta dress you feel like the most elegant woman in the room. They’ve designed some of the most beautiful dresses I’ve ever worn, not to mention they’re two of the sweetest people in the industry.
You summed up the floral Oscar dress you wore very well by writing on Instagram: “If spring were a dress.” What’s the dress like in person?
It’s like a piece of art, with each flower embroidered to look real. The amount of work it took to make it makes it even more special to be the one to wear it.
What was it like to shoot the collection with Cass Bird?
I love working with Cass! We always have fun on set, and the pictures were effortlessly beautiful.
When we touched base with you last summer you were loving not traveling. Are you eager to start up again?
Yes, I do miss traveling. I’ve so enjoyed this time with my children and slowing down, but I miss Europe and South Africa and Brazil. I guess it makes us appreciate being able to experience so many beautiful places.
Where would you like to go?
South Africa, Brazil, Costa Rica, or Greece.
You’re used to going to a lot of great events. Are there any specific ones you’ve found yourself missing?
It’s always incredible to be a part of the Met Ball. I miss seeing my friends at events and getting dressed up together.
Most people have learned a new skill or improved their life somehow over the past year. Did you pick up any new hobbies or skills?
I got into home workouts and running, which I never liked before. I also just took up tennis.
You have your own line, Tropic of C! It’s going to be swimsuit season soon. What’s new with the brand?
So much! I’ve been working nonstop on the brand and added movement, so I’m having a lot of fun dreaming up new designs and new beautiful ways to shoot them. I’m just grateful that we’ve continued to grow and expand, despite the pandemic.
You’ve made a point of having the line be ecologically responsible. Why is that so important to you, and do you see a shift in fashion to become more mindful?
Yes! When I started it three years ago, I wanted the line to be something I could be proud of from all angles, not just adding to the problem. I want to leave the world a better place, not worse. I feel we need to be an example for our children; everything I do I want them to be proud.
What are some of the best sellers of your line?
The Praia bikini, which is the perfect everyday bikini, and the South Pacific bikini, which is an elegant, more structured piece. People love the prints and colors as I choose color combinations that you don’t find everywhere. Our movement pieces are also doing well.
You’re in incredible shape. How have you been staying active the past year?
Zoom workouts at home. I’ve been running on the beach occasionally, which is harder than it looks, and playing with my kids keeps me in shape.