Posted on March 14 2017
As we told you last week, we are so excited to begin our series of women who inspire us!
I couldn’t think of a better person to begin with than the bikini queen herself: Naomi Newirth of Acacia Swimwear. Naomi has an amazing talent for creating flattering, comfortable and unique styles. From the tiniest crochet detail to the perfect booty cut, from the little Honey’s to the mother who just wants to feel confident in a swimsuit on the beach with her kiddos, ready to wear, the perfect slipper; Acacia Swimwear has a lot of goodies to choose from. Naomi hand draws all of her bathing suit designs, creates her own patterns and prints and cultivates a story with each season’s release. And just when you think she can’t top it off next season, she blows us away time and time again.
Naomi went from Maui girl who just wanted the perfect bikini to creating a fashion line that changed the game of swimwear. That alone is enough to make you go fan-girl.
But I’ve noticed something more to Naomi that has made her all the more inspiring. The timing of creating the current 2017 line, along with the creation of their recent online exclusives fell in rhythm with a quite difficult pregnancy and the beautiful, formative experience of becoming a mother.
I, personally, gave up on shaving my legs when I was pregnant and here is this woman travelling the world to create yet another collection of best selling swimwear! And now with a kid on her arm, she continues the hustle. This is why she is our Mega-Mom-Crush and a Designer We Adore.
Designing, it seems, was a passion instilled at the foundation of her upbringing. Her mother, Melissa Newirth, of Cloth and Goods hosts a design aesthetic that mirrors Naomi’s simple and appealing style with a palette rich in neutrals.
“I was raised in a design household where aesthetics was a core principle. My mother was influenced by my grandmother who worked in the fashion industry in New York City. Her interest expanded from fashion to interior and she became a prop stylist for catalogs and editorials for magazines when I was little. I was always surrounded by the arts in some form growing up. My mother has been in the interior design field for the past 15 years. She has definitely been a huge inspiration in my drive to design and to this day always helps me.”
And while the aesthetic eye is something that one is often born with, it takes much more than that to create a successful swimwear empire with a massive retail following. Naomi received a Waldorf education at Haleakala Waldorf School, which she feels had a positive influence on her career choices. She went on to attend Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles where she studied business and design.
Becoming a mother is the ultimate transcending experience. From physical changes to an entirely different way of existing in the world. As beautiful as that sounds, it can be especially harrowing for certain women. Naomi experienced Hyperemesis gravidarum throughout her pregnancy, a complication that involves severe nausea, vomiting and dehydration.
“Oh man. I didn’t enjoy one second of it. I vomited for most of my pregnancy and had to get IVs every other day for hydration the first 5 months. I couldn’t even brush my teeth twice a day those first months as it would set me off. My mental state was very normal but anything and everything made me sick so I was miserable. I couldn’t even look or think of a baby the first half as that thought would even make me vomit. It was so weird. I was so miserable my mom was worried I wouldn’t want him when he came out. BUT, when he did he was perfection and that yucky feeling immediately lifted, thank goodness. I hated every woman that said they loved being pregnant. On top of my sickness I had literally every weird thing happen to me that comes along with pregnancy including becoming pre-eclamtic at the end. Pregnancy was sooo not sexy on me!”
I really beg to differ with that. As lousy as she felt, she looked radiant, and her baby turned out to be the cutest little man ever. She described him as “the happiest baby, always smiling and laughing, curious about everything… he has the sweetest little personality. He is just starting to crawl and cut his first tooth. He couldn’t be more perfect.”
It’s evident that Naomi is a devoted mother to both Hunter and fur-baby Bronx, who are always with her for work and play. I first met Naomi and Hunter in person at The Lucky Honey Feast. While there are always a lot of aunties to help carry baby, Naomi was ever-present and engaged with her wee one and they have a bond that’s very real.
“My babies are my #1. They come first and are both always with me. I want to be present for Hunter’s needs. I thought I would be pumping and bottle feeding him by now so I’d have more time in the day to get work done but he didn’t take to the bottle and I am more than happy to be spending my time nurturing my baby boy. They grow way too fast. I’m his on demand feeding machine but I am in love and it is our special time.”
The 2017 collection will forever be the creative product of her pregnancy with Hunter. At 6-7 months pregnancy she traveled half a day’s time to Bali to finalize the collection. Her nausea was worsened by the motorbike travel and food poisoning, but she pulled it off. The current collection, Resort 2017 is dominated by cozy Check (my personal fave), dreamy Shibori, simple Daisy Block and the ever-stunning Modern Pacific; juxtaposed the earthy hues of beach babe, clay, pineapple, and the deep, mesmerizing Blackberry, Merlot and shadow; it was a unique vibe from any other bikini designer this season. I had to wonder if pregnancy had any creative influence on this truly distinctive style.
“I personally don’t feel it had much impact on my collection. I pulled it off and meanwhile I got the best baby in the world. Some people have asked me if that is why 2017 collection is a bit darker and maybe subconsciously that is the reason but I also tend to personally love the more rich dark neutral colors!”
Motherhood has continued to transform her creative process, as she juggles the demands of motherhood and running a company.
“Nighttime has become my creative work time. After I put Hunter to sleep I can have the space to dream and experiment. It’s also a time I can do any catch up work I wasn’t able to get done during the day.”
Naomi just returned from Bali, where she travelled again with Hunter on her hip to create yet another fantastic collection to be revealed soon. This time with the extra hands of a nanny so she could get work done while always being near her baby.
“That was extremely helpful for me to meet deadlines. I only wish I had someone that amazing here. Hunter loved her! Everyone there is so helpful. I have fabulous friends from Bali as well that wanted him every chance they could get. So many aunties and uncles there helping the momma!”
Naomi hinted that there “just might” be a Hunter inspired style, just like the 2013 “Bronx” style. She is also working on something that might include some unisex aloha shirts, separate from Acacia Swimwear. We will definitely be watching for all the things she may have in store for us.
We are already swooning over the Summer styles which get a little brighter, with romantic hues of Peach, Ocean, Lychee and compelling prints like Night Palm, Batik, Python; the cheerful floral Mahalo and possibly the one ya girl, KiniMama is most excited about , striped “Forever” because I am forever a stripes girl. If you don’t know these hues and prints yet, you will soon, and trust me, Get Excited, Honeys!
Finally, Naomi shares some insight for other working-mothers: “You have to be patient; everything moves a bit slower and takes longer. Organization is a must. Though even that is hard when you have a little one wanting your attention every second.”
Motherhood is hard, and Naomi is killin’ it. We really hope she knows what a great job she is doing and what an inspiration she has been. We look forward to seeing what’s in store for Naomi and her family as well as her brand, Acacia Swimwear. And speaking of “store,” be sure to check out Acacia Swimwear’s new “SHOP” section on their website. We couldn’t’ resist the online exclusives like Vintage Aloha, Retro Stripes and a mesh Kokomo full piece!