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Destination: Sun, Sand & Balenciaga Beach Bags

8 of our favorite designers (Phillip Lim, Tabitha Simmons, Mary Katrantzou & more!) spill on their summer vaycays.

What a difference a little warm weather (or scorchingly hot weather, depending on where you are) makes for a girl. We mean, fresh off the long weekend, it's all sun and sand and slip dresses from here as we look ahead to summer (and man, are we thankful—our fresh-out-of-the-shoe-box, jewel-encrusted Marni sandals couldn’t have waited much longer for their debut).

If our dedicated champagne-and-tequila fridge didn't make it obvious enough, we like to celebrate here at The Cov. So in honor of the many, many days we plan on spending in close proximity to a beach (and, not going to lie, also in the interest of getting some advice on what exactly we should be bringing with us), we asked some of our designer friends (you know, as you do) about their summertime travel plans. So what exactly are Eddie Borgo, Jennifer Fisher and Mary Katrantzou bringing with them when they escape from the city for various coastal destinations? When the proverbial destination hit list includes Capri, St. Barths, Florence and Morocco, you know that, well, travelling lightly isn’t really an option. We mean, these people are designers, you guys—you wouldn’t exactly expect them to skimp when it comes to travel accoutrements. So please, consider their Balenciaga, Hermès, Tom Ford laden lists when making your own. ‘Cause, even if you don’t win this trip to Mexico (someone’s got to, right?), we’ll meet you at our local community pool, Mara Hoffman bikini and all.

On her favorite place to go in the summer...

“One of the reasons I love to travel so much is because each place is entirely different to the next, which is great inspiration-wise. But my favourite country is always Greece. I don't often get to go back for more than a fleeting visit, which is why I am looking forward to spending some time there during the summer.”

On her (extensive) summer travel itinerary...

“I have a wedding in Capri in the middle of July which I'm really looking forward to—Capri is beautiful. Later in August, my partner and I are joining our friends Nasiba [Adilova] and Thomas [Hartland Mackie] on their boat in Croatia and Montenegro. Then we will make our way back to Athens and the island of Spetses for another friend's wedding. Then it's on to Paris for the Resort campaign!

On what she just can’t live without while travelling...

1. “Tom Ford sunglasses

2. Great company

3. A scarf from my new Resort 15 collection—they're great to beat the chill of the air con on the plane and the perfect beach cover up.

4. My iPhone. I couldn't be without it, particularly when I am travelling. I love how easy social media makes it to share and document my travels, and the pictures are an amazing way to capture inspiration.

5. Starbucks iced lattes!”

On his summer travel must-haves...

1. “Our Spring 14 ‘Nightfall’ Sunglasses

2. Sodashi Rejuvenating Face Mist

3. A hold-all bag. I always use our ’31 Hour’ bag—it carries all my essentials with ease.

4. A vintage Japanese indigo scarf which is super versatile and helps me be prepared for micro climates!

5. Jewelry. Being away is me at my stripped-down self—the bare essentials. The one thing that makes me feel like me is jewelry, so I always take a small selection with me.”

On her favorite places to travel…

“Venice and Paris. Both cities hold a special place in heart and I love returning to my old haunts there.”

“I am traveling to Florence next week for the first time. I am so excited as I feel as though I already know the city because I’ve heard so much about it, but I cannot wait to see the famous sights in person.


Misha’s travel essentials

“A great pair of flats, a good book (I'm currently reading about Jeff Bezos and how he created Amazon), my Smythson diary to jot all my notes and to-do lists in and my iPhone to take great pictures.”

On his summer travel plans...

“I’m planning an August trip to Patmos, Greece. It’s such a magical place. And I get to see a favorite friend and fellow jeweler, Illeana Makri.”


On what he’ll have with him this summer…

“The super talented milliner Gigi Burris made me a black straw version of my hat. It’s nice to switch it up in the sun. I’m finishing up reading The Goldfinch now and have The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave, Holy Terror by Bob Colacello and I Dreamed I was a Very Clean Tramp by Richard Hell on the back burner. I don’t usually wear my own jewelry (I always lose it or give it away), but I can’t take off our new mini cone bracelet and have a feeling I’ll be wearing it all summer.”

On her chic summer travel necessities…

1. “The Hermès garden party basket fits all of my beach essentials.

2. Our terry cloth poncho, which doubles as a towel worn over our Genevieve bikini in black rubber neoprene.

3. Ancient Greek Sandals

4. Roche Posay for face and Lancaster for body 

5. Vintage Hermès chain ankle bracelet”

On what she’s bringing with her to St. Barths...

1. “My vacation carry-on and beach bag is always my oversized straw Balenciaga beach bag. It is a classic and never goes out of style.

2. I only wear Mikoh Bikinis. [Designers] Kalani and Olema [Miller] can cut a bottom like no other. I swear my ass looks different in their bottoms. 

3. My current beach shoe is the Givenchy rose gold Birkenstock and the Céline black slide. I just went to Miami and [one] pair [or the other] was always in my beach bag.

4. Mara Hoffman makes the most amazing printed caftans. I'm currently crushing on one for my baby girl to match me for our trip to St. Barths.

5. Of course I need plenty of Jennifer Fisher Jewelry and now wear our new body chain with my bathing suit.”

On her summertime destinations...

“My favorite warm places to travel are South of France, Antigua and Croatia. This summer I’m traveling to Morocco, Croatia and back home to the UK.”

On what she’ll be sure to pack... 

1. “Dolly in Peru. They are the perfect shoe to wear from the airport straight to the beach

2. Felicity in metallic. A great summer sandal to wear for a breezy stroll throughout town or to a seaside lunch.

3. Eres swimsuit

4. A Dolce & Gabbana printed dresses for nights out

5. Panama straw hat

6. Rose Water. I don’t wear a lot of makeup on vacation so this is the perfect way to freshen up.

7. RoC SPF sun cream

8. Beats by Dr. Dre headphones are perfect for the plane or laying on the beach.”

On her favorite places to go in the summertime... 

“Brazil (I lived in Bahia for 6 months when I was 22); Capri (I usually go with my godmother and her sons); Ibiza (I have some family who live there, my cousin the jewelry designer Natasha Collis, who has a store in St Miguel); L.A. (I go a few times a year to a detox retreat).” 

On her travel plans for the coming months...

“I would like to go to my mum’s house on Île de Ré, to London to see my dad, and perhaps to surf camp in Hawaii by myself. I love travelling by myself and explore new places.” 

On her tightly edited summer necessities…

“I love to travel with just a carry-on suitcase. It is a challenge each time to see that you can do just fine with essentials. I think it is very chic to travel light! I like to put my favorite beauty products in tiny containers, a few Eres and Lisa Marie-Fernandez bathing suits, light dresses and short jeans. No heels!!! Espadrilles and chic flats shoes. I keep my clothes very basics and simple, but I always carefully select my jewelry, even though I am so afraid of losing them. I always take a few Dezso pieces, some Natasha Collis necklaces and rings and a ring or two from Marie-Helene de Taillac. Maybe some earrings from her too. I think that jewelry gets particularly stunning with a nice tan. Especially these three brands, which are, for me, summer jewelry! I like to be very simple on holidays! It is all about getting a golden tan anyway, after which anything looks good on. [I wear] no perfume and no makeup in summer of course, but I always buy a big bottle of multi-purpose dry oil from the French brand NUXE. It smells soooo good and gives you the most beautiful skin at night. I’ve been using it every summer for years.”

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