Tell us a little bit about Sirensong Wetsuits...
Sirensong started out as a bit of an experiment – just for fun, just for me. I thought I would try to make a wetsuit that I would actually WANT to wear…as opposed to something that I would only grudgingly put on, out of necessity alone. I started obsessing on the idea, so I bought some neoprene, and set to work. The experiment was a success – I started wearing my wetsuits in the water, threw a few pics up on Instagram, and before I knew it, I was taking orders and launched my company.
Are wetsuits just for the surfer girls? Do you surf? He surfed 1 time in Hawaii, even has the scar to prove it...
She surfs too…and has MANY scars to prove it! I have cultivated a pretty close association between Sirensong and surf culture, since that’s the community I most associate with – but my suits lend themselves to just about any water sport imaginable. I have clients who are kite surfers, wakeboarders, open ocean swimmers, bodyboarders, wind surfers, standup paddlers, you name it… If you’re going to get wet, you might as well do it in style.
What made you want to become a swimwear/wetsuit designer?
It’s an idea I’ve toyed around with for a long, long time (at least the swimwear part). I graduated from college with a design degree, but somehow ended up 12 years deep in an environmental consulting career. It was a good job, but I wasn’t satisfied. The classic career mantra, “do what you love,” kept lingering in my mind. It’s a bit of a cliché, but really - who doesn’t want that? In 2005 I took a leave of absence from my job and went to Australia to step away from it all and “find myself”. That’s when I started designing bikinis in my free time. My drive to actually make it happen finally clicked into place when I started working with neoprene. That’s when I knew I had found what I was looking for: the perfect union of making beautiful things with a functional purpose. That’s why I love designing wetsuits so much. I love the challenge of blending function with aesthetics.
Does footwear count? I’ll have to go with slippers (flip-flops, sandals, whatever you call them in your neck of the woods).
What are your favorite bikini accessories?
Well, besides a wetsuit? I’d say a cute hat – I ALWAYS wear a hat in the sun.
You offer, cropped, sleeveless, long sleeve versions of your wetsuits. Are these just different looks and styles or does each have its own function?
The amount of coverage you want depends on climate and season (factor in temperature and sun exposure concerns), and probably your sport as well.
What is your all- time favorite piece you’ve designed for your line? Favorite piece in the current collection?
My all-time favorite is the “Summertime” Hawaiian-cut sleeveless springsuit:
I really love my “Sey-Veng” style too-->
Where does the artwork on your items come from? What inspires it?
I do a combination of hand-painting, screen-printing, and stenciling; and/or I sew on patchworks of fabric to get the looks I’m after. My biggest inspiration is the swimwear industry …I love the massive variety of prints and styles out there.
Baggy bikini bottoms! That’s the worst for me. I’m not saying everybody needs to wear skimpy cuts, but bottoms that don’t fit well make me cringe!If you could pick one person/celebrity to wear the Sirensong Wetsuit who would it be?
Oooh, what a tough one! I think I’ll go with Rihanna. Why? Because she’s a risk-taker and a lover of fashion, and she’s always being photographed in and around the water…plus, dat body!
Where do you see swimwear going in the next few years? Do you forecast any major changes in fabrication/ fit/ style? Whats next up for Sirensong?
I think the Hawaiian trend of smaller bikini bottoms will probably continue to gather traction. In the wetsuit world, I’m hoping that new construction methods like bonded seams will move to the forefront. Also, I’m looking forward to increased availability and affordability of more eco-friendly neoprene options. As for what’s next with Sirensong – I’m planning to come out with a line of wetsuits for younger girls, and will be adding full-suit and legging pieces to my line, thinking of adding men's tops at some point in the future. Design-wise, I’m going to keep what’s in store with my next collection a secret for now!Any advice for the aspiring designer?
Try not to fly blind. Talk to people, find a mentor if you can, or somebody to give you advice. I’m a bit of a loner and that was NOT the path I took…I think I could have avoided a lot of heartache if I had reached out and asked for advice along the way!
Any last words?
“wait for it”
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