“Ninety percent of aging comes from the sun,” says Anne Reilly, founder and designer of Mott 50, who is a former digital marketing associate at Condé Nast. “It’s when girls start seeing the first signs of aging that they begin to think about what to do to protect themselves. You run into trouble when you think you’re covered but you’re not. And I’m not just talking about age spots — sun cancer is a disease that most people don’t get until they’re older. Then they look back and feel like they should have taken preventative measures.”
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, over the past three decades in the United States more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined. Respectively, each year in the U.S. over 5.4 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people. Although these statistics are seriously scary, Reilly, who lost an aunt to melanoma and whose mother has been living with skin cancer for years, does not want her line to be alarming. Instead, she envisions Mott 50 as a line of clothing people can incorporate into their everyday wardrobes, or easily pack in a suitcase. “Mott 50 is supposed to be fun and easy,” says Reilly. “I want people to pick up the clothes and think they’re cute and then look at the label.”
The clothing — designed in a testing facility and lab to make sure the fabric is sun protective — is made mostly from bamboo, which feels silky to the touch. The fabric is completely chemical free and has an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (which is an SPF for clothing). “The technology of the weave eliminates all the pores in the fabric so the sun can’t come through,” Reilly explains.
Sun protective features include high necks and shirts with thumb holes (hands and the left side of your face show the most signs of sun-induced aging, according to Mott). But design features like Parisian stripes and embroidered tunics make the brand comparable to Ella Moss, Ralph Lauren or James Perse.
This resort season, you can opt for a long-sleeve bathing suit to save yourself from applying (and reapplying) sunscreen every two hours. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “Sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to fully bind to the skin. Reapplication of sunscreen is just as important as putting it on in the first place, so reapply the same amount every two hours.” How many of you are doing that?
With the Mott 50 line, Reilly is revolutionizing resort wear, so people can don a sun protective cover-up (a sun pant and tunic, perhaps?) and focus on enjoying time outdoors without worrying about taking adequate care of their skin — and overall health.
Although Reilly desires her brand to draw awareness to sun protection and the dangers of not protecting yourself from skin cancer, she also wants to deliver fashion forward designs. “Because of my family history I became highly educated in creating a line people would actually wear, and the landscape was wide open,” she says.
Sold at the Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, Nordstrom, and online, Mott 50 is concept clothing on the brink of changing the way people dress for outdoor play.