Mikoh Founders Oleema and Kalani Miller on Surfing, Designing, Traveling

Kalani and Oleema Miller

As to be expected, we see a lot of swimwear. When we come across a brand that seems to know who they are and offer something we could see ourselves in, we are eager to find out more.

Mikoh is a California-based brand that not only offers swimwear, but they also offer ready-to-wear and accessories. The founders, Oleema Miller and Kalani Miller, are sisters with Oleema also the designer.

Influenced by their youth, which included lots of water, swimsuits and traveling, the sisters became inspired by these experiences and infuse these experiences into Mikoh.

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MalenDyer: You were raised in a family of surfers. What were your days like growing up?
Oleema Miller: We grew up a block from the beach in the small beach town of San Clemente, in South Orange County. Our dad has been surfing since the 60’s, so spending time at the beach is second nature for him. Our best memories as kids are being piled up into the sandy Suburban after a long day in the surf.

MD: Being sisters and growing up with each other, how have you found that to be advantageous to growing MIKOH?
Kalani Miller: I think the best thing is how open and honest we are with each other. Oleema and I both do not hold back our opinions with each other and I think having an open relationship has helped us in business. It also helps to be each other’s best friend.

“Our roots are in surf. Surfing is such a big part of the MIKOH DNA.”

MD: You have steadily expanded the brand. Share with us how MIKOH x Surf came about.
OM: Our roots are in surf, so having a neoprene line was second nature. Surfing is such a big part of the MIKOH DNA. It was fun to take on a new project of pieces that we could use in the surf that were both fashionable and functional.

MD: How do you balance fashion and function, specifically when it comes to incorporating hardwear into the suits?
OM: Having the clean lines of our suits not distracted by hardware is something that we decided on in the beginning. We didn’t want hardware to take away from the statement prints and colors that are inspired by our travels. Each bikini is seamless and designed to easily mix and match for a one-of-a-kind look.

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MD: You were recently in Tahiti, what was most memorable about this trip?
OM: We are constantly drawing inspiration from our time at home and also from our travels. Tahiti is the perfect place for an inspiration trip. The people are beautiful, the water is crystal clear and the food is second to none. It feels more like the best dream you could dream up than reality. A couple memorable moments of this trip included driving around the island of Taha’a and seeing all of the untouched, wildly overgrown islands filled with palms; also, swimming with the black tip sharks!

“Tahiti is the perfect place for an inspiration trip. The people are beautiful, the water is crystal clear and the food is second to none.”

MD: Speaking of Tahiti, you recently collaborated with Barneys. Please share any other details about this collaboration.
OM: Barneys has been so supportive of us since the beginning, and we are obviously huge fans of their brand. To us, Barneys is the dream shopping mecca. Being able to collaborate with them on our Tahiti getaway was definitely a “pinch me” moment.

MD: With so much traveling under both of your belts, where is a destination you have not yet gone but would like to?
KM: We just got back from India and that has been on our bucket list for some time. This year, we are looking forward to exploring Europe (Switzerland is on the top of our list!), the cherry blossoms in Japan, and we would love to go and see the Northern Lights.

MD: Where do you currently call home?
OM: Home is where the heart is, and I think you really have to believe this when you spend so much time on the road. We both call Hawaii our part-time home, but California will always have our heart.

MD: On a different note, we love ourselves a good cup of coffee. How do you like your coffee?
KM: Oleema is pretty religious with her coffee, having it every day, and loves a latte with almond milk topped with excessive amounts of cinnamon. I prefer a turmeric golden milk latte with almond milk or coconut milk if they have it. And, bring on the cinnamon!

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Shop the latest from Mikoh at mikoh.com and follow on Instagram @mikoh.