Acacia’s Owner and Designer Naomi Newirth on Bali, Design Inspiration, Miami Swim Week

ACACIA is more than a swimwear brand. It is a brand that offers swim and ready-to-wear and here’s a hint as to what is to come – is looking to expand beyond its women’s offering.

The owner and designer is Naomi Newirth. She grew up in Maui, and she just could not find that “perfect” bikini. After spending time in Bali and then studying fashion, one could say ACACIA was born from necessity and passion.

And, here’s a picture of Naomi in one of her first samples she had made in Bali…

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As you know, we love brands that take us from the beach to brunch and back to the beach – ACACIA does just that. Now, you’ll soon get a glimpse into the brand we need packed in our beach bags.

MalenDyer: We read you started your brand because you were having difficulty finding that “perfect” bikini. Based on this and when founding ACACIA, what were your non-negotiables for your brand?
Naomi Newirth: The most non-negotiable thing for me was the small cut of our swimsuit bottoms. I never let people sway me away from the style that has now become our signature cut.

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MD: We noticed you recently were back in Bali for work – can you share with us more about that trip?
NN: I go to Bali every year, from late January through February to perfect my designs and fits for the upcoming collection. I was just in Bali working on ACACIA 2019, as well as a new Fall ’18 curated capsule collection that we photographed while we were there.

“I’m constantly inspired by everything, from my travels and experiencing different cultures to the beautiful natural surroundings of Hawaii.”

MD: Speaking of design inspiration, what was your inspiration for your Summer 2018 collection?
NN: I’m constantly inspired by everything, from my travels and experiencing different cultures to the beautiful natural surroundings of Hawaii. I wanted the summer collection to be a colorful interpretation of one of my favorite locations, La Muralla Roja in Calpe, Spain, and it’s actually where we shot the collection lookbook.

RELATED: ACACIA’s Swimwear Lookbook for Summer 2018

MD: When it comes to shooting the campaign/lookbook, how do you go about selecting the model?
NN: I always go for models who have the ability to move beautifully. Also, I prefer models with a natural look since that’s what really fits our brand aesthetic.

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MD: You’ve shared some images of the screen printing process, what are you proudest of when it comes to your prints/designs for the brand?
NN: Our prints are original, and we work really hard on them to achieve the exact look we want. This takes the most time out of the entire design process because I’m translating my vision to the graphic artist to ultimately bring our prints to life. To make sure we perfectly encapsulate the look we’re going for takes time.

“Our prints are original, and we work really hard on them to achieve the exact look we want.”

MD: Speaking of prints, we love this “Cannon” print – any special story behind its inspiration?
NN: That print is our dragon stripe, which came to life when we decided to see how both of our favorite prints – stripes and florals – could work together as one. It’s a dragon fruit flower, which we have a lot of in Hawaii, so it’s ultimately inspired by our beautiful surroundings.

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MD: We noticed you have shown at Miami Swim Week, what do you love most about showing your collection in this way?
NN: Miami Swim Week is a crazy whirlwind, but it’s also really inspiring to be surrounded by so many talented, driven and successful women. Our most memorable show was definitely this past year. In fact, I don’t know how we will top it, but I’ve got my wheels spinning. We held the show in the 1111 Parking Garage, and it was the most amazing venue. The modern minimal architecture perfectly complimented our runway, models and collection, along with the spectacular Miami views during sunset. I think a runway truly brings a collection to life. Many brands the last few years have been doing presentations, but for me, nothing beats a classic runway.

“Miami Swim Week is a crazy whirlwind, but it’s also really inspiring to be surrounded by so many talented, driven and successful women.”

MD: We’ve seen your swimwear on those lounging at the beach to those playing beach volleyball – what is your favorite way to wear ACACIA?
NN: There are so many ways to wear ACACIA! It’s versatile in that you can dress it up or down. I would say my style is relaxed casual, even when I do dress up. That would be my preferred way to wear all things ACACIA, from swim to ready-to-wear. I enjoy surfing and swimming in my ACACIA swim!

MD: And, what can we look forward to in the next ACACIA chapter?
NN: You can expect a lot of new styles and materials in the next collection, and we’re also adding some items for the men and boys in our life.

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Shop Acacia’s latest at acacia.co and follow on Instagram @ACACIA.