We recently caught up with the gorgeous mom of two, surfer and swimwear designer, Malia Jones on an exclusive interview with Island Fever Sisters! It’s no surprise she started her own swimwear brand that defines her effortless style where she was inspired by her island upbringing and travels around the world. Read our special interview with Malia Jones on how this surfer-turned model is making waves in the swim world:
What made you want to create your own swimwear brand? Tell us how it all started, including the first steps in starting up your own line.
Being a surfer and swimsuit model for so long, I’ve always been in a swimsuit! It’s just always been a part of my wardrobe : ) Throughout that time, I’ve consulted for and even designed for other brands but since I was traveling so much, having my own company really wasn’t an option…
After living all over the world, I moved back to Hawaii about 7 years ago to have my son, I was again in a swimsuit everyday. I found it really hard to just find a simple swim suit that was comfortable, flattering and fit just right. There wasn’t really a go to brand that just had basic great fitting suits that I wanted to wear. So I decided to just put together a few styles of classic go to bikinis with great fits, soft material and basic colors that were timeless and effortless.
Describe a typical day. How do you manage to juggle being a wife, a mother and run a brand new swim brand that just launched last year? (Wonder Woman status!)
To be honest, I have no idea! Being a mom & a wife is already a full-time job. I’ve definitely had to compartmentalize my life and separate when it’s time to work and play. My family is definitely my first priority, and then once everyone is off to school I’m working on the business. My typical day is wake-up, get the kids off to school, go for a run or a surf, and then work on the collection. Most of it is business stuff though, and since I manufacture everything in LA, I’m on that time schedule. By the time my kids get home from school, everything in LA has closed and I’m off to the beach with the kids!
What was the most challenging and accomplished thing from creating Malia Jones Swimwear?
Learning the business as I go has kept everything interesting. I had no idea when I started that so much work goes into one little swimsuit! I’m proud that I’ve been able to keep high standards with the quality. All the fabric comes from Italy and it’s made it in the USA. We’ve placed the brand in great boutiques around the country and now the world, and for Spring 16 we launched in Barneys, which I highly regard. Its exciting going through the process and setting goals and meeting them. But to be honest, I get the most satisfaction when I see all my friends in the suits because they are the ultimate chic beach girls.
Who is the Malia Jones Swim woman?
The Malia Jones swim Women is confident, individual & effortless. I see her as being an adventurer, a traveler, a trendsetter, healthy, beautiful, chic, classic and timeless. She’s got that cross of city to beach vibe and fits in well in both places.
Where do you find your inspiration to design your line?
My inspiration comes from styles that I see as being timeless basics, and also the places that the Malia Jones Women would wear them. From the beaches of Hawaii to a summer in Montauk, to pool parties in LA, to surf treks through Costa Rica, to beaches on the South of France… I try to figure out what styles you can take everywhere with you.
What’s your go to bikini and why?
I love the low-rider bottom and knot top in noire. I wear it everyday! It’s just so flattering and easy to wear.Super basic but a little bit different. I feel really comfortable and I like myself in that suit.I forgot it at home once when we went away for the weekend and I just wanted to cry the whole time. We also have a new dark grey color this season and so now I have that suit in two colors that I love.
What are your favorite and not so favorite swimwear trends right now?
Trends are hard in swimwear because they’re made to make you stand-out which is antithetical to the whole concept behind my brand which is effortless. I don’t want to stand out because I have a million strings hanging from me, or bright crazy colors or I’m wearing a g-string. I think subtle is sexy and it keeps a little mystery.
How would you define your personal style? What do you typically wear during the day?
I live in Hawaii so I’m pretty easy-going. Since I work from home, I’m in a swimsuit everyday and either ripped up jean shorts or sarong and my husbands t-shirt : )
If I’m in the city working and going to meetings I’m usually in skinny jeans and heels or a long silk tunic with high-heeled boots and a leather jacket.
I think my style is pretty casual classic. I like everything really simple and effortless and then maybe a great accessory or a bright lip for night. I’m either barefoot or in high heels. I don’t really own anything in between.
Can you give us some insider information on what’s in store for your next collection?
Resort starts showing today! I’m really excited about it because besides our classic swim basics, there’s some new styles and in metallic fabrics as well as sexy surf shirts. Also, we’ve gone into more ready to wear for a modern surf/chic lifestyle direction which we’re calling après surf. We still have our kaftans and cover-ups but also some tunics in jersey, silk and cashmere. My favorite is our over-sized cashmere hoodie which is perfect for apres surf or for travel.
We want to get a little personal- give us the scoop!
Favorite date night spot (with her handsome husband, Alex O’Loughlin from Hawaii Five-O star): morimotos!
Favorite indulgence: shopping on net-a-porter
Favorite cocktail: bitters and pelligrino on ice
Favorite beauty products: everything from natura bisse
Favorite accessory: oversized black sunglasses
Favorite beach/vacations spots: Biarritz, France/ Palm Beach, Sydney/ Everywhere in Italy/ North Shore, Oahu
Thank Malia for giving this special interview! We love your style! Be sure to check out our new post about the best urban city stroller.