Lisa Opie is a 21 year old model and swimwear designer currently living in Miami, FL. Her line is called Vizcaya Swimwear and features luxury designs inspired by the resort city of San Sebastian, Spain. The name Vizcaya originated from the street she lived on (Carrer de Vizcaya) when she lived in Barcelona, Spain.
“Vizcaya” is also Catalan (the native language spoken in Barcelona) for Biscay, the bay that borders the city of San Sebastian. Lisa, a model since the age of 14, always had an interest in sewing and designing, but never had the intention of being a designer.
A political science major at Virginia Commonwealth University, she considered modeling as a side job and a hobby. Lisa began designing her own wardrobe for some of her photoshoots and eventually started making and modeling swimwear.
These photos attracted more attention to her designing capabilities, and in April 2012, Lisa decided to partner with entrepreneur Franz Orban to launch a swimwear line. In the past 6 months, Lisa has had fashion shows in Atlanta, New York City, and Miami, and was the official swimwear sponsor for the Miss 305 pageant in Sunny Isles, FL.
Vizcaya Swimwear will launch is debut collection in May 2013 for purchase exclusively on their online store, www.vizcayaswimwear.com, and at select retailers. The swimwear is manufactured in Peru with the finest material and craftsmanship. To get the latest updates from Vizcaya Swimwear, please like the fan page on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vizcaya-Swimwear/196759783757511?fref=ts and follow them on Twitter @VizcayaSwimwear
What is the biggest misconception that people have on the modeling industry?
Most people think models are ignorant, uneducated, superficial or materialistic.
It’s not easy to transition from modeling to fashion design, what has inspired you to move forward into designing swimwear?
Luckily I built a network in not only the fashion industry through my 7 years of modeling experience, but I also found ways to apply my experience I have gained in the VCU art school, my 4 years of college, and my extracurricular involvement to help me move forward with my swimwear line. As a model, working constantly with designers inspired me to start creating my own designs. I started modeling my own designs on the side and the photos from those shoots generated interest in my designs.
What kind of training or preparation has been pivotal for designing your own line?
My mother taught me how to sew when I was about 8 years old. I used to make clothes for my dolls and even my own Halloween costumes. I have always been creative so the designing came naturally. I spent 2 years of high school in the Art Honor Society and AP Art, and a year in VCU’s art program. The combination of my sewing abilities and creativity, as well as my exposure to the fashion industry as a model at such a young age has helped me with my designs.
Aside from modeling and swimwear, what other projects are you currently working on?
I am 15 credits away from graduating with a B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in public policy and a minor in History from VCU. After I graduate I plan to earn a master’s degree in Public Policy or go to law school.
Beyond the beautiful exterior, what are three things that most guys would never know about you?
I’m scared of the dark, I’ve never been in a fight, and I am tri-lingual.
What would a man have to do to win you over?
I like sweet, romantic, traditional guys.
5, 10, 15 years down the line where do you see yourself?
5–I would still be working hard on my swimwear line, and possibly as an attorney. 10–married. 15–I hope to have a family and settle down somewhere in the suburbs
What’s your dream accomplishment?
Aside from being a model, being a designer, owning a business, and graduating from college…..hmm. I would like to run for public office one day and start working on important issues that our country faces today, by the time I am qualified, I’m sure there will be a lot to do as a representative! I also recently started doing a lot of film work and I absolutely love it. I would love to have a minor (or major!) role in a feature film sometime in the near future!
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Chris Quinn | Elite.