Five on Friday: Kate Davis Steer of SunSoaked

SunSoaked is the brainchild of Brisbane-based designer Kate Davis-Steer, a former stylist, graphic designer and interior designer.

Kate’s background in styling and fitting everyday women gave her intimate insight into the woes, wherefores and whys that many women experience when trying on swimwear.

Because she could not find swimwear that she was personally happy with, Kate took a leap of faith, and SunSoaked was born in 2012 and is now stocked in SUNBURN stores nationally.

Describe yourself in 5 words: 
It seems weird to me to describe myself.  I thought that should come from someone else’s perspective so I asked a friend and she said… Optimistic, grateful, creative, persistent, driven.

Tell us a bit about the creation of SunSoaked…
I’d been working in the design field with my interior design business and then in fashion styling when I had the inspiration for SunSoaked.   I went searching for a stylish rashie for a beach holiday back in 2012 because I was tired of getting burnt and the reactions I would get to sunscreen, as I have quite sensitive skin.  On investigating I was aghast at the lack of attractive options. After a conversation with a friend it got me thinking what was this rashie I was searching for, what would it look like, what did I want to wear?  So I put my design background to use and SunSoaked was born. 

What has been your most memorable moment since starting SunSoaked? 
There have been so many memorable moments but I think overall the things I remember and cherish the most are hearing from my customers, their overwhelmingly positive feedback and congratulations.  That they take time out of their day to email or tell me in person how much they love what we are doing is really special and something I always appreciate and never take for granted.  From the woman who has melanoma or health issues to the mum at the beach with her kids to the ladies who want something with more coverage and the active women enjoying water sports.  We really are very lucky to have the most beautiful and loyal customer base and our #sunsoakedsisterhood is growing every day!

Why is sun safety so important to you?
Here in Queensland we are sitting right in the skin cancer capital of the world.  Five people each day die of melanoma in Australia and it is the most common cancer in the 15-39 age range, making up 20 per cent of all cancers diagnosed.  These are staggering stats, yet we are still a sun worshipping society and one that glorifies a tan.  Melanoma and skin cancer are largely preventable by employing sun safe habits.  So out of the estimated 1800 people who are expected to die from melanoma this year, 1728 are from sun exposure.  SunSoaked is here to show you that maximum sun safety and effortless chic can go hand in hand. We want women to love the skin they’re in, stay protected be #sunsafechic!

If you had one piece of advice for your 16-year-old self, what would it be? 
Stop obsessing over your body insecurities and concentrate on  what you want to achieve, what sort of person you want to be and how you’re going to help others.  We all have our insecurities however we need to embrace who we are and love ourselves more. That is why I with SunSoaked advertising I felt it was an opportunity for me to change the landscape and take a stand to promote body confidence and size diversity in my ad campaigns (size 8 and size 14 models) and also promote ageless & effortless style with the  #SunSoakedSisterhood movement that celebrates women of all ages, ethnicities,shapes and sizes loving the skin they’re in, being grateful and loving La Dolce Vita !

Who are your beauty and style inspirations?
Edith Head, head costume designer at Paramount, with a career spanning almost six decades, she created some of the most iconic style moments on film during the Golden Age of Hollywood, defining the look of stars such as Grace Kelly (To Catch a Thief), Audrey Hepburn (Funny Face) and Barbara Stanwyck (Double Indemnity).  Which also happen to be 3 of my all-time favourite movies.  The wardrobes of the women in these movies was so iconic that the styling carried over to become part of their image and is what we still associate each of them with today. 

What are the Top 5 things you can’t leave home without?
Sunscreen, hand cream, lipstick, water, my phone!

Follow SunSoaked on Instagram here, Facebook here or shop online here.



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