Prawno is an ocean lifestyle clothing brand inspired by the underwater photography of Creative Director Lia Barrett. Launched in 2013, the collection is known for its hand printed designs, all created from silhouettes of the people and marine life captured in her acclaimed photography.
With marine conservation at our core, Prawno clothing incorporates fabrics made from post-consumer plastic bottles and recycled fabrics, and supports projects aimed at improving the conditions of our oceans. Check out our Conservation page for more details on who we partner with and what projects we support.
Prawno’s design inspiration comes from Lia’s encounters with marine life and individuals from the far corners of West Papua New Guinea to the deep darkness of the Cayman Trench. She translates her photography into designs for clothing that convey a fascination with the landscapes and creatures of the diverse underwater world, as well as the human role in its conservation.
Lia Barrett decided to become an underwater photographer while on a snorkeling excursion with her parents at the age of 10. Reluctant to leave the fish behind, she got back home to North Carolina and painted an extensive underwater mural on the walls of her bedroom. After graduating from Parsons School of Design in 2007 with a photography degree, she moved to Roatan, Honduras. There, she completed her Divemasters and started adapting her above water photo background to underwater conditions.
Lia continued honing her underwater photography skills primarily in Southeast Asia and Australia over the next few years. During that time, she developed a fascination with the design features and functions found in the silhouettes, scales, and lines of her marine subjects, which ultimately inspired the start of Prawno.
Lia is the photo editor of Dive Photo Guide and has been inducted into the Ocean Artists Society. Her work has been published on the front page of the New York Times, CNN, BBC Travel, Men's Journal and Ocean Geographic, among others.
To see her photos, visit www.liabarrettphotography.com.
Claudia Wilcher may hold the record for the longest time taken to complete an open water scuba diving certification due solely to anxiety. For three weeks on the island of Roatan, Honduras, she wrestled with the unnatural concept of breathing underwater. Finally, she managed to stumble through the skills test and agreed to go on her first dive...on the condition she would only go to 10 feet below the surface. Within seconds of submerging, however, Claudia knew gliding weightlessly through water admiring brilliant creatures and colors in silence was a solid way to pass the time. And eventually, she relaxed enough to brave deeper than 10 feet.
Thrilled with her new passion, Claudia returned to North Carolina to pursue her old passion of social justice. She worked for a non-profit organization dedicated to women's rights and health in developing countries before getting her law degree from the University of Melbourne, Australia. With the terrifying prospect of pushing papers at a law firm on the horizon, Lia’s ocean inspired clothing idea seemed more promising to Claudia than ever when she graduated in 2012.
And so the adventure began for these two childhood friends from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. They are still figuring out whether it’s possible for a Tarheel fan (Claudia) and a Duke fan (Lia) to run a successful business together.