Is a bodysuit your next must-have? Anais Mali certainly thinks so. The French modeling superstar steps into a new role as a designer with the launch of her label of one-pieces, Anaïs Bodysuits.. Created in collaboration with Urivaldo Lopes, a former designer at Blumarine, Mali’s body-conscious wares have all the hallmarks of an It item. Slinky, riddled with cutouts, and detailed with gold hardware, Mali’s designs have been popping up in editorials and on celebrities. And with names like Cara, Candice, Jourdan, and Karlie, Mali’s wares may draw inspiration from fashion’s finest, but she’s eager to show that you don’t have to walk a runway to pull off bold style. From sharing an Instagram of her mom wearing one of her creations to focusing on their versatility rather than their sex appeal, Mali is out to challenge perceptions. Here, she shares her thoughts on confidence, French girl style, and why she wants to see Beyoncé in a bodysuit.
Her mother inspired her foray into design.
“My passion for bodysuits started at around 14 or 15. My mom would always wear them and I was just so inspired by her. As a model, you’re always involved in the process of seeing clothing made and creating clothes. When I first got the idea of doing the line I just started to ask the other [girls around me] what they were into and surprisingly they were just as obsessed yet it’s still so hard to find them.
Each bodysuit matches up with a supermodel pal.
“The idea of naming the body suits after the girls came before I started designing. I would think of the girls and consider what would she wear, what kind of pieces would she have. That was a big help for me when it came time to design the collection. Each piece goes with the character and attitude of the girl that it is named for. I couldn’t pick a favorite, but I was wearing the Magdalena the other day, and when you walk around in it, people see you, if you know what I mean. It’s a very strong look, but also something that I felt comfortable in throughout the day.”
Confidence is the key to pulling off any look–especially bodysuits.
“I think the girl who is going to wear a bodysuit is someone with a strong personality and a strong sense of fashion. I didn’t design these to be something tied to French girl style or American—just women in general. I think the most important thing isn’t where someone is from, it’s the confidence they bring to the look. It’s not easy, but you should try every day to be confident and love yourself —it’s one of the first things that matters when it comes to pulling off any style. Having that knowledge that you look great and feel good about yourself.”
Taking on the role of designer came with challenges.
“It was really important for me to have the distinction within the brand and let people understand that I’m the designer and not the model. I chose Devon Windsor to model my first collection and she’s almost my opposite. It was very hard to step into the new role and approach things from another perspective. I was the [creative] director and I had to make sure everything was perfect, the whole day I was checking to make sure we didn't forget anything. I had all these responsibilities that I’d never had before. I think doing the lookbook with Devon was where I realized what I was doing and it became real for me. It made me grow up a lot as a result.”
Her personal take on style involves one rule: Keep it simple.
“My everyday personal style is very chill. I love wearing jeans all year round, flats for day and maybe a few accessories like a cute hat or a great bag. I keep things chic and simple. I love the bodysuits because I can take them from day to night easily. At night I just dress them up with heels and a beautiful skirt, throw a jacket on top, and you’re done. I just play with the different styles until I find what I like.”
The one celebrity she wants to see in her designs? Beyoncé.
“I have a whole list of people who I’d love to see the pieces on. I would say though that the one person I would die to see these in is Beyoncé! The whole collection is so her—empowered, strong, sexy. I hear that she’s pregnant with twins, but she could still wear a bodysuit; we’ll see!”