Such a beautiful yet distant land, that few know where it is, nor it’s place in world culture. Tucked away in northwestern South America and bordered by Columbia to the north, Peru to the east and south and the Pacific Ocean to the west, it is as beautiful, as it is mysterious and exotic.
Colonized by Spain in the 16th century and granted its independence in the 1800’s, Ecuador, selected in the last few years as the best place for retirement in the world, is one of the most diverse countries in the world, thanks to its mix of European, Amerindian and African culture.
It’s largest city, Guayaquil is one of the most beautiful in all of South America, and thanks to its breathtaking location on the Guayas River near the Gulf of Guayaquil, the city of nearly 2.7 million is one of South America’s best kept secrets.
Home to notable individuals such as model, social and lifestyle entrepreneur and former beauty queen in Miss Earth 2011 champion, Olga Alava, former Miss International 2011 beauty pageant winner in fashion model, Maria Fernanda Cornejo and current MLS strike Joao Plata of MLS’s Real Salt Lake.
Perhaps the next guayaquilean set to make a name for themselves in the world of fashion and modeling is Copacabana Beachwear CEO, Roxanna Faithful.
Faithful, a proud native of Guayaquil, founded the Copacabana beachwear line based on fashion trends seen in both Southern California, where she graduated with a M.B.A. in marketing and communications, and her native Ecuador.
Now living in Tampa, Florida and firmly planting Copacabana in the area, the online-based brand currently provides wholesale that is available in seven stores in California and Florida, plans on opening their first retail shop soon.
With four collections such as The Getaway Collection, Wanderlust Collection, Swimwear Collection, 50 Shades of Sunshine and a variety of choices in swimwear, cover-ups, tops, bottoms, playsuits, dresses and accessories, there is much to choose from at Copacabana!
Worn and featured by Hollywood actress, model and philanthropist Jasmine Dustin (Being Mary Jane, Rush Hour 3, Iron Man 2) and fellow guayaquilean in Ecuadorian model Maria Elisa Camargo, star of The X-Factor in Columbia, Copacabana offers a fresh, colorful and exotic look at Faithful’s home country, and the true undiscovered beauty that it openly expresses.
Born in Ecuador, raised in SoCal and bred in Florida, that is the story of both Faithful and Copacabana.
Below is my Q and A with Roxanna as we talk about Copacabana, hottest swimwear items to buy, getting into the growing athleisure market, plans for growth and expansion of her company and the best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs hoping to get into the swimwear game.
Name: Roxanna Faithful
Birthplace: Guayaquil, Ecuador
Education: Postgraduate in Marketing and Communications from University of California at Irvine
Robert D. Cobb: As the CEO of a swimwear brand, what swimwear trends and looks do you see being hot?
Roxanna Faithful: “I believe the trend is to feel the most comfortable possible in a bikini. The texture, colors and quality are very important for a swimsuit.
The trend right now is to have versatile swimwear; a bikini or one piece that you can wear as a swimsuit or casual top. Something that has been very successful as well is the reversible swimsuit. With our reversible designs you can have 3 or 4 bikinis in one!”
Robert D. Cobb: In your opinion, what exudes confidence for women in looking hot and sexy for the summer on the beach?
Roxanna Faithful: “I believe our designs are made for the confident woman that wants to express herself wearing our designs. I believe the most beautiful thing a woman can wear is her confidence and our bikinis look to compliment that confidence.”
Robert D. Cobb: What type of look do you look for in prospective models, and what trends in terms of models do you see coming up?
Roxanna Faithful: “I prefer a variety of looks, I really don’t have a specific look per say. Our models range from fitness models to the girl next door and as long as they are healthy and exude confidence is all we look for!
We have worked with many different types of models and body types from all over the world. Also, our clients basically become our models as well since they love to share their pictures with us and we love to share them as well.”
Robert D. Cobb: What tips and tricks do you recommend for looking good this summer?
Roxanna Faithful: “Well, since I am a beach lover I always recommend enjoying as much as you can from the beach but always with caution by protecting your skin and hair.
My favorite juice detox is a blend of orange juice, carrots and spinach for a nice and healthy skin tone. Tons of water is important especially if you’re active or while at the beach oh those hot summer days. And of course, wearing one of our designs for the perfect summer look!”
Robert D. Cobb: Styles and trends change quickly, what do you feel is in style down now, and what do you feel is a passing fad?
Roxanna Faithful: “I believe the boho chic styles are the latest trend. Inspired by festivals around the world the boho styles with off the shoulders tops or one-piece are IN and staying around for awhile.
Another IN style are bikinis and outfits with fruit print. They are super cute and very trendy. With fashion being subjective trends will always come and go. If I had to choose one that I feel is a fad, I would say strappy high neck swimsuits. Lets face it, no one wants bunch of visible tan lines all over.”
Robert D. Cobb: What is THE go-to look and accessory to rock this summer?
Roxanna Faithful: “Bikinis with tropical fruit prints, handmade panama hats and the cute pool floats shaped like fruits; I love them!”
Robert D. Cobb: I’m sure you’ve noticed the rise in popularity in athleisure? Do you think it’s a fad or new fashion trend that is here to stay?
Roxanna Faithful: “As a person that likes to be active, I believe athleisure wear is a MUST. I practice yoga and if I could I would wear yoga pants and bikinis all day! (Some days I do, LOL) They are just too comfortable. Yoga wear is something I definitely would like to look into designing in the near feature since I have such a deep passion for it.”
Robert D. Cobb: Any plans for Copacabana to jump into the growing athleisure market?
Roxanna Faithful: “It is something I would definitely like to do someday.”
Robert D. Cobb: In your opinion, what is the best beach to visit?
Roxanna Faithful: “That’s a tough question since there are so many beaches around the world. Two of my all-time favorite beaches are Laguna Beach in California and Clearwater Beach here in Florida.”
Robert D. Cobb: Best beach and location to shoot models at?
Roxanna Faithful: “I would have to say Laguna Beach, CA for its amazing scenery and backdrop and overall ambiance. It’s such a beautiful place!”
Robert D. Cobb: What is your dream locale and model to shoot a Copacabana promo with and at?
Roxanna Faithful: “A place I’m dying to visit is Bali. It’s my dream to shoot there one day and hopefully with my favorite Victoria Secret model Sara Sampaio.”
Robert D. Cobb: Any notable models we should be on the lookout for?
Roxanna Faithful: “I’ve worked with many amazing girls so it’s tough to pick. Most of our models are brand ambassadors that apply to our program to help promote our brand while receiving exclusive benefits. All our girls are amazing inside and out and we are lucky to be able to work with them. I recommend that everyone checkout our social media and choose their favorites!”
Robert D. Cobb: Any celebrities ready to jump onboard the Copacabana brand?
Roxanna Faithful: “We have a few celebrities that have worn our designs and have been featured. And we would definitely like to work with more in the future. Our most recent celeb we are fortunate to work with is LA model, actress and philanthropist Justine Dustin. We also work with actress Maria Elisa Camargo.”
Robert D. Cobb: Describe your personal vision and the company’s vision and brand?
Roxanna Faithful: “I would love to see my brand grow and to see our designs all over the world. I love to see my designs in any type of event, trip, or adventure. It is very fulfilling for me when our clients share their pictures wearing our designs, we love to be part of their life and it’s very satisfying to me that they enjoy them.
As a brand, we would love to expand throughout all the United States.”
Robert D. Cobb: What inspired you to create Copacabana. How did it all come about?
Roxanna Faithful: “Copacabana Beachwear was created in Ecuador where I am originally from. My passion for fashion started when I was just a little girl. When still young, I started designing my own clothing for special events such as weddings and social gatherings. Soon, I realized I could make a living while enjoying my passion.
All of my designs are inspired by the latest fashion trends that I’ve encountered in all my trips. My passion for traveling has allowed me to see many different cultures and styles around the world, which has influenced and also been incorporated into Copacabana’s latest designs.
My goal is to encourage our customers to share their experiences with us and the world, whether it is a trip to an exotic destination, a friends birthday, that special brunch with your girlfriends or a bachelorette party; the list goes on and on! I want people to see my brand not like just another clothing brand, but like a close friend that is with you sharing that special moment.
I previously lived in Newport Beach, California, where I obtained a postgraduate degree in marketing and global media communication from the University of California at Irvine. I am always following the sunshine and I am currently living in Florida.
Keep creating memories with Copacabana Beachwear!”
Robert D. Cobb: Any parting advice for those looking to start up their own business venture and get into the swimwear game?
Roxanna Faithful: “If you have a passion for something and you think you could make a living while doing it, just go for it. If you love what you do and put all your energy into it more than likely you will succeed. Things might not be perfect the whole time but the secret is to continue no matter how many times you fail or feel like giving up.
I believe that with a good attitude and perseverance everything is possible.”
Special thanks to Mrs. Roxanna Faithful for her and assistance during the Q and A interview process. All images used with permission and are the rightful property of their owners.