We interviewed the inspirational co-founders of Sunuva, Emily Cohen and Sabrina Naggar. Both live in St John’s Wood in north west London. Emily has Ethan, aged 8, Noa, nearly 6, and two tortoises called Norbett and Disco. Sabrina has Noah, aged 11, Rafi, aged 10, Joshua, aged 8 and Maya, aged 7.
Emily Cohen founder of cosmetics brand Pout and more recently the developer of the TOPSHOP make-up joined forces with Sabrina Naggar as they were unable to find tasteful UV protective swimwear for their own little beach bums. Together they created a swimwear and beachwear range that you will find irresistible and your kids will love dressing in too!
We’ve been following you since your launch of Sunuva. We love the idea – tell us how you came up with it?
EMILY: When my son now aged 8 was a toddler, i realised I needed to put him into a rash vest on the beach as he was so pale. I was loathed to put him in anything I could find as they were all really ugly tops in awful colours with Disney characters or TV characters on the front – not really what you want in your holiday snaps. As I couldn’t find what I wanted, I realised there must be a gap in the market for well designed cool swimwear for kids with built in UV protection. So that’s what Sabrina and I did, we designed and made a small collection to test and we were overwhelmed with the response. Harrods bought our first ever collection and we have grown significantly with them and many other stores.
Please forgive the silly question, but what’s the difference between bog standard swimwear and Sunuva swimwear. Can it be damaging for a child to wear a normal swimsuit?
EMILY: Sunuva is really well designed – between Sabrina and I we have 6 kids, small, tall, skinny and chunky so we really can design styles which fit all types of kids. All our prints are our own so you get something special, and the fact that ALL our swimwear contains sun protection is an added bonus. Kids’ skin is so sensitive so what ever measures you can take to protect them from very harmful rays is essential.
What inspired the latest collection and what’s your favourite piece from the latest lines?
The Summer 2013 collection is inspired by different things. For girls we have a lovely ‘romantic’ and ‘Vintage’ feel, pastel cupcakes, vintage carousels, pretty florals and strawberry flowers. For boys it is very inspired by under the sea, Scuba divers, Orange Octopus, Chinese Fish and block printed sea horses.
My favourite print for boys is the Buffalo and for Girls the Hot Coral Paisley.
What advice would you give to parents travelling on holiday with children?
Take lots of things with you that they can do on the beach or by the pool (books, drawing pads and pens, lego, etc) its always good to go to places where there will be other kids staying. Kids are very sociable even if the parents are not.
Tell us about your rash vests.
They are made from the best quality UV fabric available. The fabric is Italian and meets all the most stringent guidelines worldwide, the strongest being from Australia. They are very comfortable to wear, quick dry and keep your kids safe in the sun but looking super chic at the same time. They are UPF 50+.
We love your mother and daughter looks, will there be any father/son combinations in the pipeline?
Sabrina: Not at the moment – we are focusing on the baby market next, frilly nappy pants, float suits etc.
What’s your favourite family recipe?
My grandmother’s chicken soup – my kids love it.
What sun cream do you swear by for the children?
Sabrina: Any ‘invisible’ mist spray, nothing you need to rub in, and a sun stick for the face.
What’s next for Sunuva?
Sabrina: Hopefully a store, and more products like float suits, towelling robes, surf shorts, board shorts etc.
How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
Busy Busy Busy!!!!!