If you've been following my Instagram @fashiongabbs from the beginning of 2018, you probably noticed how much my blog has developed from gabbing about just fashion to promoting local businesses with a good cause. I met a young woman named Taylor Ditty, who was manning a booth of soft bikinis at a Pa'akai Marketplace event at Salt in Kakaako. Since our encounter, I've been working with Taylor to promote her brand through my own sense of style.
Taylor graduated from UH Manoa in 2015 and during our academic careers, she was an athlete for the school’s women’s swim team and has always loved being in the water.
Although her major was in Kinesiology, Taylor always wanted to be fashion designer, and graduation she took it upon herself to be self taught when she bought a sewing machine. YouTube has been a great help for the basics, especially when she decided to recreate a bikini top that she loves but wasn’t satisfied with what she found in stores.
Combining her love for the ocean and wanting to sew more, Taylor started her own company of handmade bikinis and has now been on a #girlboss hustle for the past 3 1/2 years. On top of that she’s always been concerned about ocean waste and incorporated awareness by partnering with an international manufacturer who produces textiles with plastics picked up from the the ocean and beach (fishnets, bottles, etc.) that are refined into fibers.
When you see Sundaze Bikinis at a vendor event, you'll find Taylor with all her hand-sewn bikinis in colorful prints and solids displayed in baskets and fixtures. Also take an opportunity to feel or try them on - they're incredibly soft!
You can shop her bikinis in person at events like Honolulu Night Market, Big Wave Friday at South Shore Market, or Sunset Mele. If you’re not on Oahu, but would like to cop a bikini for yourself, you can shop online at sundazebikinis.com. For updates on what events she'll be attending as well as her beach clean-up events, follow @sundazebikinis on Instagram.
I collaborated with Taylor in creating a new collection Aloha Chic. My inspiration the designs is a combination of influences from resort life to adventuring the island. I'm more of an urban gal as I thrive in the street style and up-scale setting, but earlier this year I got into hiking and felt ignited to venture around the island more. All that has passed as I am more concerned with working on my blog and creating content for local businesses, but the beautiful mountains and waterfalls on Oahu will forever be a part of my life. The designs you see incorporate styles that can be used for different lifestyles.
One of my favorites in particular is my one piece in nude stripes; I love using this as a bodysuit for my street style looks besides wearing it to the beach or pool.
The triangle top with the Coastal bottoms (skinny strap) is perfect for anyone who wants to have simple and sexy tan lines.
For those who wants more coverage, the high-waist Swim Club bottoms can be paired with a bandeau top. And if you want to give the bandeau a little more flair, it comes with a extra piece to cinch at the center!
I'm super stoked with how the collection turned out, and was even more happy with the positive responses we got from the models at the shoot as well as my friends who saw a sneak peek on my Instagram story!
The Aloha Chic collection will be launching online at www.sundazebikinis.com. And to add a little more excitement, we are doing a special giveaway with the Isla one piece, which I'm wearing, in a choice of candy stripe (nude/white stripes) or driftwood (white) to one lucky winner! Go to @sundazebikinis for their post of me to enter for your chance to win! Contest ends on Wednesday, August 22nd.
Thank you so much Taylor for this amazing opportunity to design this collection with you! I look forward to seeing Sundaze Bikinis grow and continue to spread awareness about cleaning up our oceans with one bikinis at a time.
And thank you to Rebecca Cerrone for being our main photographer for this collaboration. Check out her beautiful work on Instagram as @rebecca.cerrone.