Jones launches swim line
True to her Kailua and North Shore roots, surfer-turned model-turned designer Malia Jones, aka Mrs. Alex O'Loughlin, remains grounded, even after a lifetime spent courted by surf and fashion brands, and jetting around the globe.
I caught up with Jones earlier this month at the Rebecca Beach boutique at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, one of the local shops carrying her inaugural Malia Jones spring/summer 2015 collection, which brings together all her ideas of what swimwear should be, after having spent a career modeling “every swimsuit ever,” she said.
“I’ve worn it all. I’ve been ambassador to swimsuit companies and I’ve had my own collection within other swimsuit companies and been a consultant on other brands.”
Stepping out on her own takes much more effort.
“I get more picky when it’s my stuff because it has my name on it, so I’ve gotta love it,” she said. “I make everything myself, from sourcing materials, to the fit, to trying it on, adjusting the fit, finding the right factory to make it, getting the material there. It’s so much easier when you’re doing it for someone else, but it’s so much more interesting when you’re doing it yourself.
“The hardest thing is streamlining because there’s all these things you want to do but you have to make it true to the brand, and you have to make it timeless, because it’s for that timeless, classic woman who’s just chic.
“I think it’s all about changing, evolving, keeping what works and throwing out what doesn’t work. I think it’s a good thing in my personal life, and a great thing for all women.”
In spite of all the work she puts into her line, she doesn't let her design duties distract from her marriage to “Hawaii Five-0” star Alex O’Loughlin.
“He’s so supportive. When I have to go to L.A. to manufacture, he’s with the kids,” she said. “I try on the different pieces for him and he tells me which ones he likes. For the most part, he likes them all.
“I have a really good boundary between work and being a mom and a wife. I do need my creative space and when I’m in it I’m in it. But at the same time, I need my beach time, I need my surf time, I need my mommy time, I need my yoga time. I need time to chill out with my family and not think about what’s happening elsewhere.”
The Malia Jones collection can be found at The Modern Honolulu gift shop; Rebecca Beach at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel; Bubbles and DJ Number 808 at 66-165 Kamehameha Highway, Haleiwa; Seaside Luxe at Hualalai Resort on Hawaii Island; Cabana at Four Seasons Resort Maui; and www.maliajones.com
Read my full interview in Thursday's Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.