Interview with Makara Swimwear Founder Gerda Mi

Photo: gerda mi

We obviously have a thing for the beach. And, if you haven’t noticed, we are also fans of fashion.

Trying to combine the two may seem simple, but as we discovered – and one reason why we founded MD – it isn’t as easy as it seems.

Hence, when we find a brand that does combine the art of fashion with beach living, we must find out more.

Photo: Makara wear
Photo: Makara wear

Cue this week’s Otter Ten Interview, which is with Makara founder Gerda Mi.

1. How did you first get into surfing, which seems to be a cornerstone to the brand?
“The first time I have tried to surf was in California at Venice Beach. It was love at first sight.”

“I spent three hours in the water trying to surf. In the end, I crawled on my knees onto the beach, exhausted and saying, ‘I WANT MORE!'”

“I am all about board sports, like snowboarding, skating, long boarding… And surfing was the only one left that I never tried – ’til I visited California.”

2. How has your time in London influenced your designs, your brand?
“During my time studying in London, I had worked for many fashion brands, magazines and PR agencies, which helped me to understand how fashion businesses were running.”

“I learned a lot.”

Photo: Makara wear
Photo: Makara wear

Shop the Above: Makara Turtle Neck Swimsuit for €80.

3. What has surprised you most about starting and running your own company?
“I don’t think anything really surprised me. [Instead,] I understand more – how hard it is to start something new from zero, how time consuming it is and that it is a 24-hour job.”

4. The fact your swimwear is designed to stay in place is a great differentiator. Did you have any push back or had to overcome any obstacles in order to make this feature a reality?
“Before I started my own company, I was traveling and basically just surfing everyday. I understood a lot about what was important for a good surf bikini – TO STAY on your body after a massive wipe out and especially big waves.”

“All Makara designs are created to allow the mermaids to move freely and comfortably in the water. Every time I make a new sample, I test it with my friends in the water, swimming and surfing, to see how it feels on the body and how it stays.”

Photo: Makara wear
Photo: Makara wear

RELATED: Shop Otter Picks – Makara Swimwear

5. The brand draws references to mermaids, where did the passion for mermaids come from?
“I feel that I have a very strong connection to water – days without swimming, surfing or just getting wet, gets me crazy sometimes. So, I like to call myself a mermaid with legs, and I know I am not the only one who can’t live without the ocean.”

“I connect that with Modern mermaids – women who can’t live without water and activities.”

Photo: Makara wear
Photo: Makara wear

Shop the Above: (similar style) Makara Long Sleeve Cosmic Swimwear for €90.

Now, for some light-hearted questions:

6. What do we find in your beach bag?
“A sunscreen stick for face and lips, a hairbrush, notebook, sunglasses, face mask and a fin key.”

7. Who/What inspires you, drives you?
“People, traveling, culture, art and nature. Many times my eyes get caught in local people’s clothing (fashion) during my trips.”

8. As you can often be spotted on a motorbike, we must ask, how would you rate your motorbike skills?
“Some people have told me I am a talented driver of motorbikes. I learned very quickly how to drive motorbikes in Sumbawa (an Indonesian island).”

“Recently, after three years of driving, I fell for the first time off of my motorbike – very lightly, but still, it’s very dry and dusty now in Bali. Anyway it’s a lesson – so girls who drive motorbikes, always wear a helmet!”

9. How often do you practice yoga? Do you have a favorite type?
“At least three times a week, and I always do some stretches before surfing as well. Hatha and Ashtanga, as well High Fly Yoga are so good!!”

10. If we were to head to Bali today, where you are currently calling home, what is one spot we must visit?
“There are a lot of secret spots in Bali that I can’t tell because then they are not secret. But, my favorite part is SOUTH! And islands around Bali, especially Lombok, Gili, are so beautiful!”

Bonus Question: Finish this sentence. When I catch that perfect wave, I feel…
“…that time slows down, and I am dancing together with a wave.”


Shop the Above: Makara Turtle Neck Swimsuit for €80 | Makara Polaroid Long Sleeve Swimsuit for €105
(similar style) Makara Long Sleeve Chromis Swimwear for €90.

Gerda has inspired us to do two things…

1. Try our hand at surfing again.

2. Find the nearest motorbike.

Oh wait. There is a third…

3. To find us some Makara!

Until next time…

P.S. Hope you enjoyed the little Holiday touch in these photos! A big thanks to the Makara Team for making that possible.