April
3

Va-Va-VOOM

Are you ready? You sure???

 

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Spring is slowly starting to dethaw the Northern Hemisphere and that means time to start thinking about SUMMER. Yes, S-U-M-M-E-R!! Long days, the warm sun, BBQs, and #GettingOutThere in your MI OLA bikinis!

So, what better way to kickstart the warm weather with our new 2015 MI OLA collection? New & beautiful prints, a fuller coverage ‘kini that you asked for, AND a super sexy one piece. Oh-no-we-didn’t!!!!

Are you really, really ready? Because we are taking pre-orders and will be ready to ship oh-so-soon! Click here to checkout our 2015 Lookbook.

September
11

York Surf <3 MI OLA…. and we love them right back!

Back when we were surfers disguised as City gals, York Surf was one of our go-to blogs on all things surf related in New York City and beyond. So when they reached out to us to interview our very own Chief Bikini Officer Helena Fogarty, we were beyond stoked! Check out the interview with York Surf below!

Interview – Helena Fogarty Founder of MI OLA

To say we are a little obsessed with bikinis is an understatement – especially ones that are designed to stay on when surfing. So when I ran across the stylish and fashionable bikini brand MI OLA we wanted to know more. We talked with Helena Fogarty, CEO and founder, about how the brand came to be and what sets their bikinis apart from the rest.

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You are living the dream of every NYC surfer by living in Costa Rica to surf. How difficult (or easy) of a decision was it to move away in chase of waves?

The day after Christmas in late 2008, I went into work for a big meeting.  One that I thought would end in a promotion, as everyone was telling me. Instead, I was unexpectedly laid off.   I thought I was going to run this company eventually, with one of my best buddies who worked there.   The rug got totally pulled out from me. It was a total shock and I wasn’t sure what to do. I threw my normal annual New Year’s bash, and then booked a trip to Costa Rica for 2 weeks.

I had always had a lot of reasons keeping me in NYC, though I always wanted to live abroad. I had been in a long relationship that had broken up a year earlier. My job went away. I had been learning Spanish for an eon, and even dated my Spanish instructor to get the full “immersion” but it just wasn’t taking. When I was down in Costa Rica surfing, my friend who came with me tried to convince me to stay for another month (Her live-in boyfriend had just broken up with her via email while we were there).

I wasn’t ready for that, but I did go back, tie up loose ends and decide to move for a month to CR in March.   I live in a tiny surf town, and it’s a big change from Manhattan, so I wanted to see if I’d like it.  I did, and then came back to pack up my stuff in storage and look for someone to rent my place.

When I first moved here, I surfed 4 hours a day and took Spanish 4 hours a day.  Now that I have a business and a 3-year-old named Mini, I surf a little less.

I wasn’t sure how long I’d be here in Costa Rica, and it’s turned permanent. Luckily, I get to go back and forth between NYC and Costa Rica, so I get to experience both the ying and yang of a small town in CR and coming to NYC each month for good friends, good wine and lots of meetings. If I didn’t get to come back, I don’t know if I could live in CR 100%.

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Brand Ambassador Ginger Harris

Can you tell us about the first wave you caught?

I learned to surf at a surf camp called Swell Women in Maui. It’s an all female camp that also is vegetarian and incorporates yoga, journaling, a visit to a psychic and other cool things. I was there to surf. I think the other participants were there for more of the overall experience. My first wave was such a rush, that all I wanted to do for the rest of the trip was surf. There were days when no one else wanted to surf, and I was the pain in the butt camper that made them go out so I could catch a wave. After that, I returned to a cold, flat June in Rockaway and made my buddies come sit with me in the cold rainy days looking for waves. After the flattest summer I can remember (and I’m from the Rockaways), I booked a trip on Labor Day weekend to Costa Rica – to Witch’s Rock Surf Camp, and had an amazing time!  And then I came back, and came back and came back and came back… about 17 times in 3 years until I moved here. You could say I was obsessed.

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MI OLA athlete Jules Ridley

What makes MI OLA surf bikinis unique?

We are what happened with surf function met high fashion, and fell in love and had a baby.  We focus on the four Fs:  Fashion, Function, Fit, and Fun.

My background prior to MI OLA was high fashion.  I worked for Chanel, Ferragamo, Zac Posen, and Harper’s Bazaar in the past. Through that experience I know there is a difference between luxury clothing and cheap fast fashion.  It’s hard to describe generally, but you can find clothing that fits better, is more durable and feels better when you pay more.  I remember the first time I had a pencil skirt on from Chanel.  It didn’t turn around on my waist – like every single skirt that I’ve every had does.  I can wear Christian Louboutin shoes all day – no matter how high they are and how far I need to walk – because they are well made and fit my feet perfectly.

What we do with MI OLA is create swimwear that works. It looks great and it feels great. We think about everything and we want to make bikinis that are a force of good, not evil.   We test everything in the waves – in action – to make sure we stay covered without needing to adjust.  We’ve removed extra seams.  We won’t stand for hardware that could bruise you when you surf, or which is guaranteed to give you a muffin top.  Instead, we mold our hardware (in the US) to fit the body, and we place it on the sides so it won’t bruise you when you get on your board.  We have a label that is made to be cut out and removed so it won’t rub sensitive skin or stick out.

Our fabric is fast drying Xtra Life Lycra with Chlorine resistance and UPF 50+ You won’t find our prints everywhere. We design exclusive prints and have them made in the USA. Our fit is exceptional. You would believe how many fittings go into these tiny garments!

Lastly, with MI OLA, you don’t have to worry if you’re covered.  Go out and have more fun!  – without constantly adjusting.

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MI OLA athlete Bailey Rosen

You sponsor a few team riders, can you tell us what makes them brand ambassadors?

Man – we really lucked out with our sponsored athletes, team riders and brand ambassadors.   These are all really cool women that do exceptional things… and like to wear MI OLA. First of all, I want someone who’s nice.   And then, we’re looking for women doing really cool things who are jazzed by MI OLA and want to spread the word.  We actually had too many amazing applicants for ambassadors this year. We’ve got a list of women, who’ll we be asking if they are still interested…as soon as our budget allows.

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MI OLA Brand Ambassadors #getoutthere

What’s next for MI OLA?

We’re showing our 2015 collection to buyers now from boutiques and major department stores.  We’ve unveiled a 1 piece, which is so excellent.  I’m not a 1 piece wearer, generally, but I’m putting this baby on to surf. We also launched a fuller coverage bottom and an X Back Top for a fuller bust. And we have some amazing new prints that I can’t wait to wear.  Accounting says I’m not allowed to “get high on my own supply”, but … at the same time, I’ve got to do quality control so I get a couple suits each year. muses_kristina_lying_1

December
4

New, Exclusive Mi Ola Prints for 2014!

Each season, we develop new, exciting and exclusive prints… and then spend months perfecting them. Hey – these Mi Ola prints aren’t gonna print themselves!

We’ve been mucking around with the color balance and scale of our prints since June, and I think we’re almost there! I can’t wait to see the new samples we make out of them for January’s Surf Expo…and then it’s back to the drawing board to designing new styles and prints for 2015!

LRmi-ola-shore-shots-255-2829171302-O Linda in our Blue Whirlybird print bikini

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How you like this print? I likey likey likey!

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LR mi-ola-shore-shots-320-2829396272-O Kristina ripping in our Blue Feather Print bikini!

November
19

VIDEO: Mi Ola at LA Fashion Weekend 2013

….and here it is! The video of the Mi Ola runway show!
Enjoy, Share! and Let me know what you think of our new stuff!

(your feedback is super important.)

October
21

PHOTOS: Mi Ola at LA Fashion Weekend 2013

Oh my goodness… we had such fun!

Here are a few blown out iPhone photos of the Mi Ola runway show…we’ll post the professional photos as soon as we get our sweaty little hands on them!

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Here’s our designer Helena on the red carpet.

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Lifeguards started the show.

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Gorgeous ladies in formal dresses that slightly referenced Japanese clothing…for NOBU, the evening’s sponsor.

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The start of the show!!!

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And then our phone died. DOH!

July
3

Hometown coolness: Playland Motel

1064036_497122337027218_321044677_oI spent every summer of my life in the Rockaways, a barrier island that’s part of NYC.   That’s where my parents met, fell in love, married, had babies, and lived year-round, before my dad got transferred to Chicago, right before I was born.   And that’s where Mi Ola is headquartered.

It’s a cool little area, and its fortunes and neighborhoods have had their ups and downs.   The most recent “down” was that most of the area was pretty decimated by Hurricane Sandy.    Luckily the area is slowly recovering, and some great new stuff is happening!

Enter the PLAYLAND MOTEL.  Opening as we speak, this new boutique hotel has 12 rooms, 3 bars, 2 restaurants and a huge indoor/outdoor bar and boutique.   Playland also is one of the only fully licensed outdoor areas in the Rockaways, and will be home to great summer events.

Each of the motel roms are a piece of art.  Really.   Playland asked 12 artists connected to art, design, or surfing  to design 1  room to support the Rockaway community after the devastation of hurricane Sandy.

It’s very cool!  I know I’m going there on Thursday… and hoping to arrange a Mi Ola fashion event sometime this summer!

Check it out.   

June
28

Our favorite beach magazines

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We all know the typical magazines you bring to the beach… but let’s mix it up a bit. You can get a cool indie perspective on your life and still veg out successfully! Here’s what we recommend when you’re taking a break from the waves.

These are 2 more independent magazines we LOVE.  Full disclosure: We’re superfans and are hoping they’ll love Mi Ola as much as we love them – soon!

Foam Magazine

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Foam Magazine covers surfing, fashion, music and culture and brings together how the surf culture has influenced so much in our every day world.    Foam talks to you like your the fabulous surfer girl who travels around the world, soaking up culture and saltwater from every spot.    Try it!  You’ll Like it!   And you’ll definitely learn about new brands, bands and events that you wouldn’t read about in the magazines above.

 

Salted

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WHOA… Salted Magazine covers the best female surfers in the world, with a very different viewpoint from when this was folded into a part of Surfer Magazine.  Most surf magazines are a mix of Bra culture and great photography… not so with Salted.  Headed by Janna Irons, a part of the Surfer staff, and a part of the Irons family, she covers women’s surfing with respect, and still has a lot of fun.