Internationally acclaimed swim and resort wear brand MIKOH debuted their 2016 collection, ALOHA, at the 1 Hotel South Beach in Miami Beach, Florida, during Miami Swim Week. Inspired by the culture and landscape of the Hawaiian Islands, the collection is sister duo and brand co-founders Oleema and Kalani Miller’s love letter to Hawaii.
The collection pays homage to the retro Hawaiian beach culture of the ‘70s, a radical time in the history of surf that epitomized this aloha spirit. This pivotal decade in surfing history provided the backdrop for the boom in surf culture, encapsulated by a feeling of relaxed, effortless cool. Girls wore itty-bitty bikinis and also broke out of prior stereotypes, and sat as equals to the men out in the surf line up. This surfing revolution saw groovy surfers and groovy bikini babes hit the shores, and this explosion of surf culture was felt worldwide. Inspiration was found in sun-drenched days and balmy breezes, lush colors and towering palms, and the quintessential freedom of a day spent by and in the ocean. The presentation at Miami Swim Week highlighted the variety of the ALOHA collection and diversity of the MIKOH woman; one who is strong, confident, and sexy. The brand stayed true to its roots by delivering a collection of pieces with flawless fits, unique colors and prints, and luxurious fabrics, while elevating its overall vibe. The collection includes their wildly popular swimwear, ready-to-wear apparel and resort wear, and their cult favorite MIKOH X SURF neoprene surf suits.
Colors include an array of earth tones playing up the ‘70s vibe, from neutrals in shades of blush, sand, and stone, to vibrant pops of color in orange, pink, and turquoise, and a range of cool ocean blue hues. Prints are fresh and include a Hawaiian floral print, a modern take on tie dye, a cowry shell print, and a bold palm frond print. Ready-to-wear apparel pieces are heightened this season, with luxe offerings including effortless cover-ups and separates that translate seamlessly from the beach to the street.
Oleema Miller, Creative Director and Designer of MIKOH was able to sit down and answer a few questions about the new collection.
What was the inspiration for the new line?
The 2016 collection titled “ALOHA” is my sister (MIKOH co-founder Kalani Miller) and I’s love letter to Hawaii, which we consider to be our second home. The collection is an ode to Hawaii during the 1970’s, a time when groovy surf culture was encapsulated by a feeling of relaxed, effortless cool.
There’s a lot more t-shirts for the upcoming season are you looking to dive more into expanding your ready-to-wear?
Ready-to-wear is definitely something we’re looking to fully branch into, and for now we’re elevating our cover ups and separates. For this collection, we’re making pieces from high-end materials such as silk, linen and French terry. The modern MIKOH woman loves the diversity of the line, and instead of our pieces being beach specific, women can wear our pieces and enjoy the versatility of going from the beach to the street.
What made you decide to do more of a presentation as oppose to a runway show?
We wanted to convey the quintessential laid-back vibe of the 1970’s surf culture in Hawaii. So, we decided to switch it up from a runway show to a presentation this year to enhance the ambiance of the collection and to mirror the collection’s easygoing nature.
Which pieces are you favorite pieces?
I am obsessed with the printed silk silhouettes and the t-shirt dress with pockets. When it comes to swim, I love our Floripa Top and Tamarindo Bottom – the beautiful back detail makes this a statement piece. The Banzai Pipeline Wetsuit in blue is the perfect way to incorporate color into my surf wardrobe.
When can we look forward to seeing the collection I’m stores and/or online?
The collection’s first drop date is 10/30.