She dreams of genies. The images crept into her dreams like a sunrise way back in 2017. Then it took Ashley-Victoria Smith nearly four years to research and develop the Voglia Swimwear brand. Last year, she launched it.
Before founding Voglia, Smith had spent more than a decade producing swimwear and lingerie shows. During that time, an idea slowly formed in her subconscious–a vision of creating a cleaner, healthier, better world through fashion. “I dreamed of cleaning up our oceans, beaches, waterways and saving marine life,” Smith says. “Our capsule collection, Spaced Out, is made from regenerated materials, like discarded fishing nets, that have been pulled from the ocean. Surprisingly, these materials create a softer, nylon-like material–but even better.”
The collection is made in Bali; “voglia” means “wish” in Italian. “A better, sustainable world is our wish,” says Smith.
In order to spread the message of zero-waste, sustainable fashion, Voglia has been scouting “voglia babes” aka “genies” to represent the brand worldwide. These confident men and women will be ambassadors of the brand’s messaging:
Reducing & Reusing
Slow & Recycled Fashion
Ocean, Beach and Street Clean Ups
“We’re looking for babes who fancy bikinis over clothes,” Smith says, with a knowing laugh. “We’re looking for people who share our passion for living and promoting the eco-friendly/sustainable lifestyle. A great social media presence is obviously a huge plus.” Voglia’s “genies” will magically appear in fashion shoots and populate the brand’s social media accounts. They’ll even walk the runway at Miami Swim Week. In return, genies will receive discounts as well as Voglia products.
Last month Voglia brought both its men and women genies to New York Fashion Week, where they rocked the runway in sunset pink and purple bikinis, board shorts and briefs while taking selfies and dancing to the brand’s music of choice, “Man on the Moon.” The show, which benefited the Angel Orensanz Foundation, underlined Smith’s belief that swimwear is not seasonal but global. The genies brought a diversity of colors, ages and body styles, united under a singular attitude that Smith half-jokingly describes as, “It’s Britney, bitch!”
In addition to swimwear, Voglia has rolled out a line of loungewear, including yoga pants, hoodies, cropped sweatshirts and more. These feature a unique butterfly print that reflects the colors and the lifestyle of the beach–and, naturally, Voglia’s vision of a zero-waste, sustainable lifestyle. Smith wants to educate pretty much everyone on the “tons” of waste created by the fashion industry year after year.
And it’s not just Voglia’s genies who walk the walk. Proceeds from all of the brand’s swimwear sales are donated to The Role Foundation, a non-profit organization working towards a sustainable future for Bali’s communities through women’s empowerment and healthy environmental practices.
The Voglia brand and Genie applications can both be found on the Internet at www.vogliaswim.com and on Instagram @vogliaswimwear.
Ashley Victoria-Smith, Founder: “I didn’t want to just be another swim brand. This had to mean something to me. Our prints are exclusive to us; you can’t just walk into a fabric store and find this.” Victoria-Smith was awarded Charlotte’s Future Leaders Top 30 Under 30 Award in 2013. Ten years earlier, she was awarded ‘Most Likely to be President of a Nudist Colony’ at her Girl Scout Camp Counselor Award Ceremony. She is a member of her local Surf Rider Foundation.