Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bikini Lover

 I have a bikini fetish! With a bikini for everyday of the week and some... I consider myself a bikini lover! So one can understand my excitement when I stumbled across the 'Bikini Lover' collection. Creating beautiful bikinis inspired by the islands, it was great to find a duo doing just that. A mutual love of all things Hawaiiana bought Heidi Bartholomew and Daniella Ciano together to create the Bikini Lover collection, both are veterans of the swimwear and surf industry trade and their lifestyles are inspired by the beach and surfing cultures.

Bikini lover
The bikini lover story began with years of travels to the islands of Polynesia... the colourful art and attire of the locals, their laidback and simple life attitude, the treasure hunting of island op shops and vintage stores all became the inspiration to create and share the spirit of Aloha through the Bikini Lover collection. So for the independent ladies out there, every Bikini Lover creation is part of strictly limited fabric print runs so you won't see your bikini walking up the beach. The bikinis are made out of 100% cotton and have the lure of the beach.

Q & A with Heidi Bartholomew...


 We have talked about that you organically found vintage Hawaiian prints in op-shops... do you recycle fabric or do you print your own fabrics?
Daniella and I have worked together for around 12 years at Billabong (I retired last year and Daniella is still there) and we connected over our Love of all things Hawaiiana. We separately have been collecting fabrics, vintage clothing and other treasures for so many years and have travelled to Hawaii over 20 times!
When we came up with the idea of bikini lover , we pulled all our beloved fabrics and clothing out (original Hawaiian mu mus as well) and realised we had the most amazing collection! To then make the decision to cut it up, turn it all into bikinis and share this was a big one but the sentiment was so in keeping with our motto of sharing the Aloha spirit.
We don’t print any of our fabrics, just too expensive at this stage and not what we are inspired by. The idea of true treasure hunting and finding fabrics is all part of the bikini lover experience!
How are the two of you connected to the Ocean and do you surf?
I personally have grown up surfing and beaching for most of my life, our family lived in every beach suburb from Rainbow Bay to Surfers Paradise so surfing and beaching went hand in hand with everyday life.
Daniella grew up in Sydney and became enchanted with the beach at a young age , while not a surfer, she has an admiration and love for the surfing lifestyle and lives her life around the beach and all that goes with it.
Any formal design experience or training?
For myself no formal fashion education but my experience and understanding of the beach culture lifestyle was my ticket to a career in the surfing industry. My experience began with media and coordination of various surfing events which led me to a position at Cheetah Swimwear followed by an 18 year career at Billabong founding the Girls business with Gordon and Rena Merchant.
Daniella has completed a Fashion Design , Patternmaking and Illustration certificate at East Sydney and Randwick Tafes, this led her to a design position at Seafolly which ultimately led her to Billabong. Daniella also had a very successful fashion label called Funky Threads which at one stage was stocked in around 50 stores nationally including SDS and general pants. Her first love is designing bikinis!
Why do you use 100% cotton?
The idea behind the 100% Cotton comes from the authenticity of first bikinis that were made from Cotton, there is just something a bit more precious about a cotton bikini. There is also that point of difference in that it feels different to wear , is a little kinder on the skin and that you are part of a whole new experience, a ‘back in the day’ retrospective , we hear stories of Mums telling their own cotton bikini stories to their daughters etc. It’s a cool sharing experience as well. There is also the way the Hawaiian prints and colours come out on cotton that you just don’t get on lycra.
I would love to hear a story that is associated with a print?
The Tiki Hut print, a massive piece of fabric collected around 16 years ago, actually in California, it is a beautiful print with rich greens and browns and very authentic Hawaiian style . Up until it was cut into teeny bikini pieces it was our family table cloth every Christmas! Sad to say goodbye to it as it is never to be found again!
In true Aloha spirit it is now being shared and loved.

Tiki Hut print Bikini's

For more Bikini Lover: website blog twitter


Words by Narani Henson
Narani Henson

Narani Henson in Byron Bay
" My love for the ocean was installed at a young age. Surfing and my art is something that I can lose myself in, what can I say its good for my soul". Narani Henson has a diploma of Fine Arts from Meadowbank TAFE and a bachelor of Fine Arts from Curtin University. Google+ redbubble facebook

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