With days this long, humidity this palpable, is there anything more quenching than a slip—or a cannonball—into a swimming pool? There’s a reason that all those David Hockney and Ed Ruscha photographs circulate this time of year, particularly among the sidewalk-bound. Salvation arrives with a splash.
Having a pool is the dream; having a friend with one is a close runner-up. But by all means arrive with a gift! Something that feels offhand yet spot-on, at once minimalist and exuberant. In other words, the new Poolside soap by Wary Meyers. (Devotees of the cultish brand, take note: It just launched in tandem with a Poolside T-shirt by Monogram.) Handmade in a gradient of watery blues, the glycerin-based bar soap is the work of John and Linda Meyers, a onetime Brooklyn design couple who decamped north for a life with trees and space and—this is the clincher—a pool.
“Living in New York, it was such a fantasy because I didn’t have an air conditioner for 10 years,” says Linda, explaining that her idiosyncratic apartment window couldn’t accommodate an AC unit. Come summer, it was dry-land purgatory—particularly for someone who grew up working as a summer lifeguard at her local Indiana lake. (She also remembers a stint at the poetically named Thunder Island, “an off-brand water park in the middle of nowhere.”) Fast-forward a few years, and the couple was house-shopping in Maine, where pools are more of an out-of-season nuisance than an oasis. “The real estate agent was like, ‘There’s a pool that comes with it, but that’s easily filled in,’” recalls John, still incredulous. Linda chimes in, “That’s sacrilegious!”
As with all their soaps—one is dressed in the sun-bleached pastels of 1980s Esprit, another in Frank Stella’s clashing brights—there’s an undercurrent of vintage references. In this case, John swoons for a certain set of aquamarine pools accented with bright red flowers. One is Steve McQueen’s in Los Angeles, captured with its clay pots of geraniums in the 1969 book The Hollywood Style.Veteran 007 actor Roger Moore’s ’70s-era pool in London is another (a photo of which happens to be the background on John’s phone). Meanwhile, over at the Wary Meyers HQ in Maine, the water temperature is finally transitioning from adventurously chilly to just right. You know what that means, the couple explain in unison: “Pool party!”