Amalia Spinardi, the Brazilian-based swimwear designer of Jo de Mer, a line of bikinis and maillots that are consistently snapped-up by in-the-know jetsetters from coast-to-coast, knows a thing or two about vacationing. In fact, the former fashion editor at Elle Brazil is a pro at it—she travels at least once a month, visiting posh destinations such as Paris, Aspen, Morocco, Rome, and St. Barths (a girl after our own heart!). Here, the stylish globetrotter talks packing strategies, favorite airlines, and reveals the first thing she does when she gets into her hotel room.
City you call home?
Sao Paulo, Brazil.
How often do you travel?
At least once a month. I have a house in NYC where my husband works frequently so I go with him. I take work trips but also travel a lot for pleasure, mostly during long holidays.
Favorite destinations to travel to?
Besides New York City, I like to go wherever the sun is.
Where’s your “happy place” to visit?
My happy places are undoubtedly St. Barths and Capri.
What brand of luggage do you use?
I use a large black matte Rimowa from the “Salsa” line. It holds everything! Rimowa has the best rolling-bags and they are very lightweight. I used to carry a Tumi but I bought this Rimowa a year ago and I love it.
And for your carry-on bag?
I use a black quilted nylon weekend bag that I bought while traveling at JFK! It was very cheap and my husband simply hates it.
Do you bring a camera?
No camera, just my iPhone.
Air France. The service is perfect. They are committed to making their passengers happy, which doesn’t happen on many other airlines these days.
Charles de Gaulle. They have the best stores in case you need to buy something last minute, and the Air France lounge is beyond comfortable! They serve a real dinner with a menu by chef Alain Ducasse before you board.
What are your in-flight travel essentials?
Magazines, lip balm and nasal spray. Other than that, I just use whatever comes in the airline kit—although I recently bought the cat eye-mask from Charlotte Olympia.
Aisle or window?
Preferred in-flight beverage?
What music is on your travel playlist?
I have two playlists that I listen to the most often. One is for quiet and relaxation featuring mostly Bossa Nova, and the other is more upbeat and dancey—a mix of songs ranging from Beyonce to David Guetta.
Gadget you can’t leave home without?
Do you use any travel apps?
Do you have any travel rituals or superstitions?
Yes! I say a little prayer before each flight and say ‘thanks’ when I arrive.
How do you entertain yourself at 35,000 feet?
I mostly travel at night, so I try to read before departure and go to sleep after takeoff. I try to get as many hours of sleep as I can.
What’s your go-to uniform for the plane?
Skinny jeans and a grey or striped sweater. When it is cold I bring a wool or fur coat and when it is warmer I take a Celine leather jacket.
What’s the one item you never leave town without?
My credit card.
How do you deal with jet lag?
The only way I can adjust to local time is by trying to go to sleep (with the help of drops of verbena!) and wake up at normal hours even if I am dead tired! But sometimes I don’t accomplish that.
What’s your exercise routine when you’re on the road?
I use the hotel’s gym frequently. I have an apartment in New York City so when I’m there, I take Stacey Griffith’s SoulCycle class every morning…it’s heaven.
How do you manage your health + eating routine when you’re away from home?
When I’m in New York City I buy lots of Juice Press, and when I’m staying in a hotel I also ask for a green juice. Basically I try to keep the same kind of diet that I have at home in São Paulo; fruit, juice, fish or meat, and of course lots of salads.
What’s the first thing you do when you get into your hotel room?
Place my passport and jewelry in the safe.
Are you an over-packer or under-packer?
I think I am a normal packer. I always use a large suitcase though. My rule for myself if that if it doesn’t fit, don’t buy it. I’ll admit sometimes my bag is overweight though!
Do you have a packing strategy?
Yes, I make lists. Sometimes I pack all my clothes on lightweight hangers so they can go straight into the suitcase without much folding. When I get there I just pull them out and place them directly in the closet. It’s a great, great shortcut!
One surprising thing you always pack?
A special tea from Brazil: Chá de Boldo. It’s great for the liver, for digestion, for hangovers…
What are your favorite items to travel with?
My Jo de Mer bikinis or maillots! Muzungu Sisters kaftans and Italian Independent fun sunglasses to wear at the beach. I just bought a cover-up with embroidered palm trees from Tomas Maier and a gingham skirt from Lisa Marie Fernandez. I believe that even when you go to cold places like Aspen, you should bring a bathing suit for the sauna or the spa. Aside from that, I like skinny jeans from J Brand, basic t-shirts from America Apparel, a black smoking-esque jacket from Stella McCartney, and some new pieces to wear out at night that usually I buy at Barneys or Moda Operandi. I also usually have a sweater from The Elder Statesman, a black high heel sandal from Celine, a flat from Aquazzura, and my bespoke clutch from Edie Parker (that I don’t go anywhere without!).
What beauty-essentials do you travel with?
Kérastase shampoo, Dior Bois D’Argent perfume, Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil, Sisley-Paris face cream, Sisley-Paris eye cream and L’Oreal ‘travel-size’ hair spray. I use Armani foundation, black mascara from Dior, and Rose Lip Conditioner and Illuminating Powder, which are both from Aerin. And I love the dark eye shadows from Nars—I have a black one and a dark brown one that I always have with me. I use a hairdryer, but I don’t bring one in my suitcase because everywhere I’ve stayed has one in the room. I also take a small bag with medicines like Tylenol and other Brazilian remedies. Sadly, I somehow always forget to pack a hair brush and toothbrush so I buy new ones when I get to my destination.
Favorite items to order from room service?
Eclair au chocolat when at the L’Hotel de Bristol Paris, rigattoni with lamb bolognese when at The Little Nell in Aspen, prosciutto e melone at La Scalinatella in Capri, homemade yogurt and granola at Le Sereno in St. Barths; spaghetti with tomato and basil at Hotel de Russie in Rome.
Favorite item from the hotel mini-bar?
Have you ever had a travel disaster?
Everybody has at least once! Things like missing connections or forgetting your passport at home—I admit I’ve done both before.
Favorite find/souvenir from your travels?
A silk kaftan I bought at the souvenir boutique in Jardin de Majorelle museum in Morocco. It’s a one of a kind Moroccan-style kaftan and I just adore it.
What’s your favorite childhood memory of traveling?
Going to my grandma’s farm with all my cousins to spend the winter there. We would ride horses, collect tangerines from the trees, and playing lots of outdoor games. The winter in Brazil is very mild so we could do anything!
Travel destinations on your bucket-list?
Japan. I have always wanted to go there and my husband and I love Japanese food. And of course after seeing Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation I was even more curious.
Amalia Spinardi photographed in Palma de Mallorca, Spain