Empowering women and challenging beauty norms are the driving forces behind Leimakani swimsuits. As a child growing up in Hilo, designer and owner Kali’a Wasson never felt confident enough to wear a bathing suit in public. Today, her line is putting her on the map: In 2021, she became the first native Hawaiian to appear at Miami Swim Week, thanks to her Hawaiian-inspired prints and flattering cuts made for a wide variety of types. of body.
Determined to create more opportunities for native Hawaiian and Polynesian talent, Wasson also co-founded the Hawai’i swim show, which debuted on O’ahu in 2022. During the September showcase this year, keep an eye out for new Leimakani accessories. , including fun plumeria print flip flops and bucket hats and matching couples bathing suits.
For Tyler King, being a native Hawaiian and caring for the environment have always gone hand in hand. Her culture instilled in her a deep respect for the natural world that shines through her. i swim thai line. As a teenager, King recycled fishing nets into swimsuits for his classmates at the ‘Iolani School.
Now, the Kailua-based designer uses sustainable fabrics like Repreve, a performance fiber made from recycled plastic bottles, and Vita Carvito, a regenerated nylon with SPF 50 or higher, as the backdrop for her beautifully drawn botanical artwork. by hand. King intentionally opts for indigenous species, such as wiliwili and kou. Created with her husband Austin, ella’s new Hilo de ella print is inspired by the city’s lush lau’ae ferns and kukui flowers.
SEE ALSO: Designs by local brand Laulima feature charming native flora and fauna
In 2020, Mahea Gambill and Kelly Pila, friends from Hilo High School, channeled their shared passion for design and sustainability into coconut avenue, your swimwear label based on eco-friendly fabrics and manufacturing practices. We’re big fans of its clean-lined silhouettes that, while wonderfully understated, feature playful details like crescent cutouts, twists, and laces.
The brand’s tropical prints are courtesy of Gambill, a graphic designer by trade, and range from dreamy shells and palaka to delicate hau florals and a mottled bronze pattern that mimics the striking fur of the Hawaiian pueo. In 2023, the duo opened a beach-chic boutique in Kona, where you’ll also find fresh new beachwear from Coconut Ave.
69-201 Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa, cocoave.com, @coconutave
SEE ALSO: 10 Hawaiian Goods We Love Right Now