Fashion & Shopping

Swim ‘n’ Surf

May 10, 2018

Summer’s just around the corner—time to pinpoint our perfect suit. Luckily, lululemon’s recent collab with pro surfer Malia Manuel has yielded a line of swimwear (including tops, bottoms and long-sleeve one-pieces ranging from $74 to $138) that’s as comfortable as it is stunning (seriously). We recently sat down to chat with Malia about the collection, which aims to reflect her surf philosophy, mindful approach, and fluid and free spirit on the waves. Read to the end, where she reveals which pieces she’ll personally be rocking in the water this summer! —Noa Nichol


Hi Malia! Tell us a bit about yourself, your life(style) and your passion for surfing!

I was born and raised in Kaua’i, Hawaii, and learned to surf on my father’s shoulders, riding tandem at the age of three. Being surrounded by surf culture growing up, it was a natural progression to pursue professional surfing after I knew I had the skills to do so. Currently, I spend most of the year competitively surfing but, on my off days, I like to spend time with family and friends, snowboard, hike and cross-train. When it comes to cross-training, I like to incorporate activities like yoga, Pilates, boxing and HIIT into my routine, as these kinds of activities help me become a better athlete and a stronger surfer.

We’re guessing you wear a lot of swimwear, but have you ever experienced or been involved in actually designing it before?

This is the first time I have been involved in co-creating a swimwear line—the design team at lululemon and I have been working on this collection since early 2017 and I couldn’t be more excited with the outcome. The combination of my design aesthetic and lululemon’s deep knowledge of fabric and function created the most beautiful, functional collection I could have ever imagined!


When it comes to swimwear, what are some of your "non-negotiable" design features?

While I’m surfing there are so many natural elements I have to be conscious of, so it’s critical to have a no-distraction suit so I can focus all of my attention on these. I also wanted to incorporate subtle femininity into the collection as I find a lot of women sacrifice function for beauty or vice-versa. You’ll see these subtleties in details like scalloped edges, cross-back straps and bonded seams.

How does the end result of your collab with lululemon reflect your personal aesthetic, vision and style?

The collection is a true collaboration: lululemon involved me in every step of the process, from initial design concept to colour palette to testing to feedback meetings. The pieces are a true representation of my design aesthetic and reflective of my needs in the water.


Finally, which pieces from the lululemon X Malia Manuel collection will we be seeing you rocking on the regular?!

All of them, and what I’m most excited for is the Will the Wave Long Sleeve One Piece in Eternal Wave. The pattern is so intricate and detailed, yet not overbearing or loud. I’ve never seen anything like it on a swimsuit!


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