It would be hard for Sydney-based Victoria’s Secret model Elyse Knowles to not look sensational in any swimsuit, but there is something particularly special about her in this stunning set of images by photographer Lorenz Schmidl and it’s mostly what she’s wearing, rather than how much she’s not.

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Elyse Knowles in the #YOOXlovestheReef campaign
Credit: Lorenz Schmidl

Much-loved local Aussie swim and sports luxe brand We Are Handsome has created a capsule range for online retail giant YOOX, specifically to be sold on YOOXYGEN, the socially and environmentally responsible initiative it launched back in 2009. Like every piece created by married couple Jeremy and Katinka Somers for their celebrity-endorsed We Are Handsome brand over the years, these are luxe, cheeky and attention-grabbing, but more importantly, this very special set was created to raise awareness and funds for the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and its vital research and preservation work.

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Elyse Knowles in the #YOOXlovestheReef campaign
Credit: Lorenz Schmidl

The YOOX Loves the Reef collection comprises six collector buys: two one-piece swimsuits, two bikinis, a T-shirt and leggings, all sporting a new print prompted by the couple’s love for the ocean and coral areas. “Having explored the Great Barrier Reef several times, we know its value, significance and beauty inside and out,” said Jeremy.

We spoke to the husband half of the design duo on World Earth Day 2017 about the YOOXYGEN collection, what drives him, and how charity and environmental consciousness are both changing the fashion industry and our style choices.

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Elyse Knowles in the #YOOXlovestheReef campaign
Credit: Lorenz Schmidl

HOW DID THIS special range COME ABOUT? YOOX initiated the idea and came to us (we’ve worked together for years) and asked us about our previous efforts in the Save the Reef campaign, and we loved their idea of creating the capsule collection to really bring the reef right into people’s homes and lives. We jumped at the chance and are super thrilled with the outcome.  

 

WHAT WAS THE THOUGHT PROCESS BEHIND THIS PATTERN AND COLOUR PALETTE? We started with ocean colours and looked back to photos of our trips to the reef, and really wanted it to feel like the ocean, not just be a straight visual representation of it. The colours came out as we progressed through the print design and the blues and oranges just worked so well together. 

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The six-piece collection by We Are Handsome is limited edition
Credit: Supplied

HAVE YOU BEEN TO THE REEF AND IF SO, WHAT WAS YOUR IMPRESSION? We’ve been quite a few times both for work and play, exploring different areas and it’s ecosystems. It truly is one of the most amazing places on earth, and you really get that feeling both when in the water and flying above to see its ridiculous scale.

 

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT ITS CURRENT STATE? Having worked closely on the reef and with the Save The Reef campaigns, we’re well versed with its follies and problems. It needs quick and massive action to be taken now, but the whole country to save what’s left of it. The government is doing some things but they won’t be enough to keep it alive and well for the long term.

Read more below…



 

What is we are handsome doing to be sustainable and ethical? Ethical is something we’ve always concentrated on… both in terms of our immediate staff and company as well as how, where and who makes our goods. Sustainable is a lot harder to achieve, especially in fashion. We’re paper free, and use as little packaging as possible, which is tough as government requirements and health regulations require a lot of us and packing materials for our product to be export ready. We are in the testing phase with an agency in Sydney looking at a brand new form of packaging made completely from Australian Sand. Very exciting. 

 

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Elyse Knowles in the #YOOXlovestheReef campaign
Credit: Lorenz Schmidl

 

Why should fashion lovers look to initiatives like YOOXYGEN for sustainable fashion buys now? Sustainable will be the way forward for fashion. Most of us are very familiar with sustainability in our daily lives, and it’ll take a mindset shift from consumers and brands alike to really make the fashion industry progress at scale… This is a huge step forward to bring fashion sustainability to the forefront of people’s minds and hopefully many other outlets and brands will follow.

The collection is now available worldwide exclusively on YOOX.

Photographer: Lorenz Schmidl
Photographer: Lorenz Schmidl
Photographer: Lorenz Schmidl
Photographer: Lorenz Schmidl
Photographer: Lorenz Schmidl
Photographer: Lorenz Schmidl
Photographer: Lorenz Schmidl
thoughts?