Exploring Savannah with COSSIE+CO Founder Isobel Elphinstone

Exploring Savannah with COSSIE+CO Founder Isobel Elphinstone

Meet COSSIE+CO founder Isobel Elphinstone, who gives us the low-down on where to eat, stay and dance like a local when in Savannah.

swapped her fashion executive role for bringing a
swimwear empire to life, Isobel Elphinstone is the brains behind
The concept is simple: swimwear that both empowers and celebrates
the modern woman. Recognising beauty in simplicity, colourful
designs come in a flattering honeycomb stretch fabric.

When Elphinstone isn’t drawing up designs for her next
collection, you’ll find her recharging and seeking inspiration in
Savannah, Georgia. We caught up with her to get the
inside scoop on the city’s coolest lunch locations, the best places
for catching up on some R&R and where to go when you’re in the
mood for dancing.

Rooftop terraces and cocktails-to-go: in conversation with
Isobel Elphinstone

COSSIE+CO black swimsuit
COSSIE+CO brown swimsuit

Describe COSSIE+CO’s aesthetic.

COSSIE+CO is an embodiment of simplicity and femininity, while
also being a celebration of quality, colour and fun.

What was the inspiration behind starting COSSIE+CO?

It started with an infatuation with swimwear. I’m a
self-confessed thalassophile – obsessed with being in or near
water. It was after having children that I realised there was a gap
in the market for feminine, luxurious and fun swimwear that didn’t
break the bank. Taking care of active little ones meant I had a
need for a pared-back aesthetic – no time for rearranging. I set
out to create a COSSIE that looked and felt good but also stood up
to the realities of life as a woman and mother.

What sets you apart from other swimwear brands?

We create swimwear for the modern woman. Let’s be real: prancing
down the beach in your swimsuit can come with its anxieties and
insecurities. This is something we’re proud to be mindful of.
Through feminine silhouettes and sophisticated but fun use of
colour, we create collections that allow women to feel their best

All our swimwear is double lined with our signature honeycomb
fabrication, allowing for extra support where needed. We want women
to feel chic when chucking a pair of shorts over their COSSIE and
heading to the bar, but also know that they can feel comfortable
when paddleboarding, sunbathing or water-skiing.

How does your environment impact your designs?

In short, massively. I’m attracted to colour, and am constantly
looking to nature and my surroundings to create our next season’s
palette. When travelling, I relish seeing how other cultures and
countries use colour.

COSSIE+CO women in swimsuits

Describe Savannah’s style…

Savannah is a catalyst of culture and style. Rich in history,
the many different areas of the city generally have a laid-back
aesthetic. With that said, you’ll always find gentlemen sporting
tailored suits, even in the summer heat – anything goes in

The best day to arrive in Savannah is…

Any day. Any time of year. The beauty of Savannah is that the
temperature remains moderate year-round. There’s always an
abundance of sunshine, so sunnies are forever on standby.

Where should we wake up?

Drayton Hotel
. This stylish boutique property sits pretty in
the historic district.

Where should we head for breakfast?

Collins Quarter
is hands down my favourite place to grab
breakfast – solo or with friends and family. Think cafés serving
brunch, artisan coffee and tables positioned in prime
sun-worshipping territory.

And for a long, lazy lunch?

For a true taste of Savannah, without doubt, Mrs Wilkes Dining Room.
Head here for an early lunch. It offers a low-key vibe and
traditional Southern food. It’s the sort of place where, once
you’re finished eating, you take your plate to the kitchen. My key
to not rolling out the door? Try a spoonful of everything.

What about somewhere romantic?

Stroll the cobbled streets with a cocktail-to-go in hand. You’re
bound to come across a couple of weddings. There’s nothing more

And for dinner with a view?

The rooftop terrace at Myrtle & Rose at the JW Marriott.
Overlooking the Savannah River, the restaurant’s menu features
small plates and cocktails, best enjoyed while watching the sky
turn a flamingo-pink colour at sunset. If a view is not essential,
then The
is a must-visit for foodies.

Share your favourite stores in Savannah…

Edition Shop
, located downtown, carries some great names.
Though, after living in London, I find that it’s not clothes I shop
for when in Savannah. Instead, I prefer to peruse the galleries and
pick up pieces from City Market.

The best place for a night out in Savannah is…

A big hit among locals is the Red
Velvet Burlesque Show
. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by a
doorman in 1930s attire, before being ushered through the grand
entrance to take your seat by the bar. If you’re more into dancing,
check out Club One on Jefferson. If, and when, you need a break
from dancing, one of its floors is dedicated to the town’s best
drag show.

Tell us a secret spot only locals know about…

People often flock to Savannah’s downtown, but the picturesque
Moon River District is where I love to escape to. Skidaway
Island State Park
is a well-kept secret. Expect hiking trails
weaving along intracoastal waterways and marshlands. Sundowners are
a big tradition in our family and Skidaway Island is the perfect
spot for sitting on the dock and watching the wildlife. Nowhere

Where can we go in Savannah to feel inspired?

There is an abundance of artistic inspiration. The Southern
gothic architecture of Bonaventure Cemetery, 18th- and 19th-century
monuments and buildings, the SCAD Museum of Art, Plant Riverside and City
Market. Not forgetting Chippewa Square, where the famous bench from
the opening scene of Forrest Gump lives. Ultimately, wherever you
go here, you can’t help but feel inspired.

How about somewhere to relax?

If you’re in need of a few hours’ respite from the city’s pace,
escape to Back River Beach on Tybee Island. It’s uncrowded, quiet
and has a relaxing vibe.

What should we bring back as a souvenir?

You can’t leave Savannah without adding Midnight in the Garden
of Good and Evil to your bookshelf. A crime drama with vivid
depictions of Savannah, it instantly transports you to what life
would’ve looked like in the 1970s. When it was published in the
late Nineties, the book is said to have reinvigorated Savannah’s
tourist industry.

What’s next for COSSIE+CO?

There’s a lot going on in 2022 at COSSIE HQ. Firstly, we’ve
expanded from one to three collections a year, introducing new
styles, colours and fits. We’ve also developed a capsule
collection, which is set to land later this year.

Finally, what should we pack in our SUITCASE?

Sunglasses are essential for any trip to Savannah. In the
winter, it’s all about layers. My go-to is a light knit layered
over a shirt or tank top. In the warmer months, your get-up should
look like light linens paired with a COSSIE, obviously.

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