Lauren Holehouse is the creator of Malola Swim, a swimwear label with the tagline:made and designed with love in New Zealand. Lauren grew up in our beautiful region, and it was the beautiful beaches and summers spent on the beach that inspired her to launch her own swimwear label after graduating from AUT. We caught up with the enterprising 21-year-old water baby, surf bunny and fashion graduate to ask about her home grown swimwear range.
Are you from the Matakana Coast?
Yes. I moved up from Auckland when I was about five years old so I’ve grown up here by the beach and I love it. Living in the Auckland city for three years to attend University has made me really appreciate how lucky we are to live up here, and how lucky I am to have the lifestyle I do.
How did you become a swimwear designer?
My Gran, Aunty and Mum were in the rag trade. I grew up picking out my favouriterolls of fabric or buttons from the collection Gran kept in an old milk chocolate tray, and learning to sew. It’s how I was brought up so I guess that was a big influence on my interest in the fashion Industry. I’ve always been creative and during my school years I did a lot of art and design subjects, but fashion was definitely the path I wanted to go down. Swimwear is my passion and a huge part of my lifestyle - I saw a gap in the market for a young, fresh label that was fun and also a little daring in cuts and styles.
Did you always have a love of swimwear?
(Laughs). Yes definitely! I think every girl has an item of clothing they own a lot more of, whether it be shoes, dresses or tees, and mine is bikinis. I have so many that I have collected from all over the place. I love finding flattering suits in cool prints and looking into the quality of the construction and fabrics that are used. My collection also has a huge influence when I am designing for Malola Swim.
What inspires your designs?
There are so many things that shape my design process. To be honest a major one is just my personal experience in swimwear and what shapes and styles I love compared to the ones I don’t. For example, I personally don’t like halter styles because I don’t like ties around my neck as they dig in and make my neck ache, but I love a good triangle top and it’s hard to find one that isn’t a halter neck. This is what caused me to design my Tri top with over the shoulder straps that can be adjusted at the back. Other than that I love bold prints and collaborating with talented people to come up with a unique range of custom prints exclusive to Malola Swim.
Where do you see your future?
Currently I’m enjoying concentrating on my swimwear and getting known for it here in New Zealand and, hopefully, worldwide. In the future I would love to branch out with other products including jewellery, which I currently do on the side. Ultimately I’d love to end up having a beach lifestyle brand. Being known for my line of swimwear, but also specialising in unique fun quality beach products. Finally, what do you love most about where we live? I love having close access to so many beautiful surf beaches, I feel so lucky to call this place home and to be completely surrounded by coastline and nature. It’s so relaxing. It’s also the perfect place to be based for designing as, I find, it’s impossible not to be inspired by your surroundings.