Interview with the designer: Rachel Siltanen

How did you hear about and become involved at Pakaloha Bikinis? On one of my trips to the North Shore when Pakaloha first opened in Haleiwa, I was blessed to meet the beautiful Julie (owner and our Pakaloha Queen) She is a rare and beautiful woman with vibrant energy who radiates love, happiness and kindness. All of these positive qualities are reflected in the brand. I instantly fell in love with everything about Pakaloha, especially the sisterhood of love and body confidence it promotes. The bikini range was awesome, but I always hoped that one day I would be able to use my fashion design background to help create some new styles. Tell us a project that has been your greatest achievement? Designing the Big Beach Top is one of the greatest! It was an idea I had in my mind since completing my fashion degree in 2003. I get a lot of great feedback on the top from girls who usually find buying bikini tops hard. It brings me so much joy when I hear about customers who are happy to find a top that is comfy and fits big (.) (.)! I have also heard of girls wearing it all day as a sports top! Just recently, I was trying on bikini’s at Pakaloha and the girl in the change room next to me was so excited trying on the big beach top, it was a surreal moment for me to see such happiness from a top I designed. And she looked hot as hell and her boyfriend thought so too ;) I’m currently finishing the final touches on the next top in this range… so hopefully, that one will be my next greatest achievement ;) What do you love about Pakaloha? Pakaloha is so much more than just beautiful bikinis that make you feel like a sexy beach goddess (and let’s face it, who doesn’t want to feel like that!)…it’s a whole experience. The girls in store are amazing and promote a feminine essence of bikini confidence. You leave Pakaloha feeling good about yourself and confident to rock a bikini, knowing that you are a part of a world-wide sisterhood of strong beautiful women that lift each other up! Pakaloha BikinisHow do you describe your work and your influences? I love being creative and am obsessed with fashion. With my fashion design work I start with designing the concept. A lot of ideas are thrown around and research on fit, before a clear winner stands out. I draft the pattern and sew the sample piece. The best research is done at the beach in the surf, trying different styles and seeing what works. Living on the Gold Coast, Australia and spending a lot of time in Hawaii, I am very influenced by the laid back coastal beach lifestyle. I find travel to be one of the best ways to spark creativity and discover new ideas. I also think that being grounded and balanced with practices like healthy eating, yoga, meditation and mindfulness help to work from a place of service and divine inspiration. How do you stay updated on current bikini trends? The beach is the best fashion show for bikinis! A great bikini always stands out and turns heads. I also love Fashion blogs and Instagram for keeping up with the latest trends and inspirations. What is your favorite thing to do in a bikini Salty sun kissed summer days when you wear your bikini all day! It’s the best feeling to get the sun on your skin and dive into the ocean. Those hot summer days when the biggest decision is what bikini to wear! Any day in a bikini is the best day ever!