Naomi Newirth, founder, inventive director and designer of Acacia, Photograph Credit score: Maui Maka … [+]
Photograph Credit score: Maui Maka Pictures
Whereas the idea of swimsuits for each physique appears like a newer inclusion within the swimwear area, world model Acacia has been making a splash on this realm for over ten years now.
As a Maui-based woman, founder Naomi Newirth needed her bikinis to be small and type becoming, however could not discover them anyplace. So she created them herself, by mixing low Italian cuts with minimal Brazilian protection, for girls of all shapes.
“I launched Acacia out of necessity on the time. I’ve lived most of my life in a bikini, and till then, hadn’t discovered a swimsuit that made me really feel most female and complex, with out compromising operate. In order that’s what I created.”
Greater than a decade out the gate, Acacia has since expanded its product class to incorporate attire, elevated ready-to-wear collections, and youngsters’ garments. With regards to swimsuits, its signature type is the small reduce of its swimsuit bottoms. Acacia has additionally change into recognized for its unique prints (a time-consuming, but worthwhile a part of the design course of).
Acacia relies in Hawaii, however hit the worldwide stage after headlining Miami Swim Week. “The primary yr I attended Miami I used to be younger, naïve and nervous. I used to be all the time very conscious of spending enterprise cash and this present was costly for us on the time. Nevertheless, it was this primary present that basically put us on the map.” (For its fourth present, the model was sponsored by Mini Cooper, “who wrapped one in all their vehicles in our vintage-inspired aloha prints, which felt so surreal.”)
Whereas Acacia’s footprint spans worldwide shops and retailers like Revolve and Free Folks), the model opened its flagship retailer in Hawaii on the finish of 2019 — simply weeks after the delivery of Newirth’s second little one, and shortly earlier than Covid-19 hit.
Hawaii has been on lockdown since March, with strict necessities to quarantine, which has deterred the majority of the tourism on the island. The city of Paia, through which Acacia is positioned, is 90% tourism-based.
“I’ve all the time aspired to open a flagship retailer on the island I grew up on and presently reside, however couldn’t appear to search out the proper area.”
They are saying life is what occurs whenever you’re busy planning — and whereas Newirth certainly discovered the proper spot, the remained closed for many of 2020, however lastly reopened in time for the vacations.
“With retailers being closed worldwide on account of Covid-19 lockdowns, we’ve had a surge of curiosity inside our buyer base, on our e-commerce web site. We switched gears to adapt our attain in hopes to supply some type of normalcy. We’re pushing user-generated content material to encourage a way of group. Whereas it’s vital for us to be delicate to the results of the pandemic particularly being in Hawaii, we nonetheless attempt to extend our attain by means of digital platforms and social media content material that resonates,” Newirth shares.
A designer by commerce, Newirth is a pressure of nature in terms of juggling motherhood (she has two sons), designing all the pieces from swim, ready-to-wear, children’ collections, and opening a flagship retailer — all whereas managing her enterprise. Between the challenges of opening a brick and mortar area whereas coping with a pregnancy-related sickness, to lastly opening the shop proper earlier than the pandemic hit, Newirth proves to have resiliency as a founder.
I spoke to Newirth about her mission of making timeless items that make every lady really feel most stunning and assured in their very own pores and skin, and the teachings she’s realized whereas driving Acacia’s wave of success for over a decade.
Karin Eldor: Are you able to share extra about the way you recognized the whitespace and alternative available in the market, for classy swimwear and wearable silhouettes designed for actual ladies, at each stage of life?
Naomi Newirth: Vogue’s all the time been one thing that’s fascinated me. All of us select to place sure clothes on our our bodies each day, however it’s the best way through which we put on them that offers us every our personal inventive outlet.
As a young person I used to be typically altering my clothes to raised complement my aesthetic or my physique, which then segued into altering my swimwear — naturally so, dwelling on an island. After I was 16, I had taken a course to study to stitch my very own fits and in that second had basically began designing for myself. I used to be searching for a really particular type that simply wasn’t obtainable to the lots on the time. I had traveled fairly a bit in my late teenagers and early twenties, primarily to coastal cities, and began to note the silhouettes that basically labored for many physique sorts.
On the time it was the hybrid of the cheeky Brazilian backside and the low-rise Italian swim that I used to be drawn to – a silhouette that has since change into our best-selling Ho‘okipa backside. It was a extremely natural begin for me, I believe primarily as a result of swim was such a big a part of my on a regular basis life on the time.
Eldor: Acacia is a time-tested swimwear model that’s already made its mark, after a decade. Are you able to share three classes you’ve realized, now that you simply’re presently in your 11th yr?
Newirth: Lesson #1: I began by designing for myself and my closest girlfriends, and that’s one thing that has helped me by way of my design course of all through the years. I believe it’s so vital to dwell and breathe your product, whatever the trade you’re in, and I really feel like sustaining that intimacy has been helpful to Acacia. I really feel fortunate to have the ability to create what I really feel finest in, and provide designs that resonate with different ladies.
Lesson #2: I’m all the time interested by future collections and finding out designs that transcend the take a look at of time. I personally am drawn to silhouettes which are easy and timeless, and that’s one thing I’ve all the time stored on the forefront of my very own inventive course of. As a designer, I believe it may be straightforward to get caught up in monitoring the developments and striving to create for a bigger viewers, however on the finish of the day it’s about realizing the wants of your buyer and creating items which are wearable and improve their life-style. It’s that one shirt in your closet that you simply attain for, day after day. We’ve carried out sustainable practices in additional apparent and tangible methods, however it really begins with the design. It’s my responsibility as a designer to create timeless items that may be styled season to season, yr after yr — that’s sustainability at its core.
Lesson #three: Prioritizing time for my household and myself has been considerably of a studying curve for me. After I had first began Acacia in 2008, I used to be 22 and in such a distinct season of life. I dove in headfirst and was 100% dedicated to the success of the model. It was my solely accountability on the time. I did all the pieces myself, from creating samples with my producer, fittings, advertising and marketing, gross sales, and so forth. After a couple of years I noticed that with the ability to step away from work and find time for myself was helpful not just for me, however for the corporate as effectively. Now in my early thirties with slightly household, it’s so vital to be current and permit myself to respect these boundaries.
Eldor: You’re dedicated to working and partnering with ladies, whereas implementing adjustments to extra sustainable practices. Are you able to share extra in regards to the methods you’re working to get rid of the gender hole and help ladies within the office?
Newirth: I’m so pleased with our women-run enterprise! All in all, we create for girls, so having a staff of ladies to soundboard concepts and supply trustworthy suggestions is big. Our producers that we’ve been working with since day one are ladies as effectively.
Eldor: How do you handle all of it?
Newirth: Having a staff that I belief wholeheartedly is vital! My staff is so gifted and really cares in regards to the model, and which means the world to me. I couldn’t do it with out them. I’m very fortunate that I’ve assist with my sons whereas I am operating to the workplace to test in with my staff. My mom additionally lives a stone’s throw away and is tremendously useful with all the pieces from my children to work and all the pieces in between. I’m so lucky to have so many individuals who contribute to the success of Acacia and likewise enable me to prioritize time with my boys.
Eldor: Your Instagram group is so spectacular with over 430Ok followers. How did the model domesticate and develop its IG following?
Newirth: We began an Acacia Instagram quickly after the app had hit the market. I believe timing had lots to do with it, as we acquired the majority of our followers fairly shortly. We had been endorsed by a handful of celebrities that posted early on, which additionally helped draw consideration to our model. I dealt with all social media myself till a few years in the past once we expanded and introduced on a member to deal with all facets of promoting. I believe now the main focus is on adaptability and sustaining a closeness and relatability to your following. Having the ability to “learn the room” in a local weather that adjustments so quickly and supply inspiring content material that resonates along with your group.
Eldor: What’s developing for Acacia in 2021?
Newirth: We’re increasing our providing of fabrications, not solely with our eco-swim material, but additionally clothes! Additionally sourcing high quality material that may enable us to execute silhouettes in the best way I’ve all the time envisioned. I’m head in 2022 proper now, presently working with a Japanese provider to supply various kinds of stunning cotton textiles dyed with indigo or different numerous pure dyes.
On the shorter time period, I’m additionally trying ahead to welcoming guests to our flagship location. In a time the place we’re experiencing fixed digital overload with social media, Acacia’s brick and mortar location appears like a refreshing area to retreat to.