If you are one of the nearly 20 million people that follow model Candice Swanepoel, then you certainly can tell that there’s no slowing Candice down anytime soon. The model muse, mother, and entrepreneur has been actively unveiling new projects every so often, such as fronting global fashion campaigns and magazine covers, surprise television appearances, and even dropping stunning visuals for her swimwear line, Tropic of C, it’s been a wild ride keeping up with Swanepoel as she documents her next moves for her loyal followers to catch.
Ahead of the summer season, V caught up with Candice to chat about all things fashion, parenting, and her efforts for a more sustainable approach to living.
V Magazine: You were just on an episode of Netflix’s Next in Fashion with Gigi Hadid and Tan France! What was that experience like being asked to guest judge the swimwear competition? Would you ever think about doing more television shows like that, maybe down the line?
Candice Swanepoel: Yes, I would probably enjoy being part of filming a show of some sort, I had such a great time filming, I was honored to be invited by the team, and bring my expertise to that segment of the show. Gigi [Hadid] has always been a wonderful supporter of my career and filming with her was especially fun.
(cont.) As a young girl, I was obsessed with watching American idol and talent shows that enabled new artists to have their moment in the spotlight, there is something so beautiful to me about the raw emotion of it all. I love a success story. It always touched me.
V: Now with about four years of ‘Tropic of C’ under your belt, what are some lessons and experiences that you’ve learned from now dealing with the business of swimwear? How do you think the brand has helped you flex your creative muscle?
CS: My creative muscle is something I can’t deny, even when I’m overwhelmed. It is also why I still love what I do, as creativity is one of the ways I process life or mirror it or inspire it. I think I was born with a specific vision and it pleases me to share it with people who will connect and appreciate it. Creativity and business are two very separate things and I’ve had to learn to be a fearless businesswoman but I’ve always loved a challenge.
(cont.) There are ups and downs, struggles and victories, but I do love it, and I’m mostly just proud of the community we’ve built. To see something just as a vision in my mind and then see it come to life is extremely satisfying. Starting a business helped me find other voices I never knew I had in me.
V: Why was there such a strong emphasis on sustainability and ethical production for the products?
CS: I have always been passionate about nature, and being connected to a greater consciousness, so I have a great respect for it. Anyone that has followed my journey would know that’s a huge part of my essence. I grew up understanding that we are all energy and that whatever you put out in the world comes back around. I always asked myself how we can better live as part of one big ecosystem, it’s definitely much bigger than we can comprehend but as long as I’m doing what I can do to be better or inspiring other brands to do the same, it makes me happy. It was only natural for me to find a way to be proud of what the continuation of my story would be. Having children makes you think about your impact on a much greater level too. I wanted to do something that wasn’t being done—where there is a will there is a way, and now it is becoming the norm, which is a huge leap in the right direction.
V: The fashion industry itself is ever-evolving, and the focus on models changes with it–while you’re no stranger to motherhood, how have you managed to strike a balance between giving your children your undivided attention but also keeping the flame of your career with modeling and running the swimwear business still burning as bright? Have you found the challenges of a work/life balance to be a bit overwhelming at times?
CS: Life is a constant search for balance, for me at least, and yes I do sometimes feel overwhelmed, but I’m very in tune with my children’s needs, then my own personal needs which are also important. Sometimes it’s easy to forget. I’ve realized to be a better mother, I know I need to also take care of myself, whether that be about my [physical] health or mental health, or being able to excel in my career and business because it brings me joy and so my children have begun to understand that too. I think it’s very healthy and important for them to see everything I do. One of my most vivid memories as a child was seeing my father wake up at 4 am to take care of our farm and his dedication and drive is something that is now part of me and something I hope they will learn from me.
(cont.) It’s all about intuition and gut feelings for me, everything is constantly changing, my children are growing up and that requires a different kind of attention, my business is growing up and the same goes for that. It’s not all planned, it’s purely what I feel is right and healthy for myself and my family and also both careers.
V: From walking Paris Fashion Week for Vivienne Westwood to being crowned as the new face of Anne Klein, what has been keeping you motivated lately to keep going?
CS: What keeps me motivated is my curiosity to learn and experience life and all it has to teach and offer, that in-turn fuels my need to create. The projects and brands I’m involved with always trust my vision so it’s a collaboration at the end of the day and being able to collaborate and make something I’m proud of together with a great group of people, all with their own unique experience—these are the things that continue to inspire and drive me.
V: With summer fast approaching, what are you hoping that the summer will bring for you?
CS: Summer to me is being surrounded by great people and friends. It’s about delicious fresh food, sun, sea, and rest, being able to let go of schedules and let loose in a new and exciting place, laughing, and making memories with people I love or people I am yet to love is the perfect summer in my mind.
Photography Greg Swales
Fashion Leila Bani
Interview Kevin Ponce
Hair Dimitri Giannetos using L’Oréal Paris
Makeup Barbara Moura
Digital Technician Amanda Yanez
Lighting Technician Yolanda Learney
DP Chevy Tyler
Hair Assistance Luca Pagani
Styling Assistance Michelle Ball