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A B O U T
The Lokahi Swimwear collection founded and designed by Emily Neal is inspired by the beautiful and exotic lifestyle of the Hawaiian Islands.
Emily grew up on the Sunny Coast of Queensland, Australia. It was on those beautiful white sandy beaches that her deep love and connection with the ocean began and became the biggest inspiration in her life. Her fondest memories were the 5 am wake up calls, throwing the boards in the car, and heading to Alexandra Headlands with her “bestie” Maryam, riding waves with the rising sun.
“There is something to be said about the peace you can find in yourself and the world, watching the sun rise on your board. It is a time to be still and let the ocean calm all your worries, all your fears and release them.” The ocean has always been Emily’s sanctuary.
Hawaii had always been “the dream” whether it was watching Blue Crush one hundred times or the fantasy of living on a tropical island. The endless waves, turtles, coconuts and palm trees seemed irresistible, so it was never a question of
“if,” but “when?” To celebrate her 21st birthday, Emily’s Mum bought her ticket to Hawaii, and the Lokahi story was born.
“Home is where the heart is”
Maui immediately captured Emily’s heart. The simplicity found on these islands is like nowhere else. Your priorities shift and transform your life and perspective. The raw beauty of Hawaii is really “out of this world.” The inspirations just flow and manifest in so many ways. You spend most of your time in the water and when all you need is your board and a bikini, life all gets a lot more light and fun. Your wardrobe shrinks to drawers upon drawers filled with new bikinis. The search for the perfect bikini to surf in and that also embodies the “Aloha” of the Hawaiian Islands, has always been Emily’s aspiration.
It was in Maui that Emily began drawing her first collection, and it was “all about the flowers.” There are the most beautiful tropical, vibrant flowers at every corner on the island. It is really mind-blowing. How could a hibiscus flower be so vibrant, so pink and so stunning? The colors were too good to be true. She wanted to capture that feeling, the “Aloha” feeling, the immense beauty found here on the islands, in her swimwear, with a balance of beauty and practicality. Lokahi is a very special word meaning 'balance and harmony.' Our prints are an expression of art, a representation of Hawaii’s ALOHA and its magic.
A relocation took Emily back to Australia for a short time in 2016 where her first son Noa was born. Months later the family moved to Hong Kong where she set up Lokahi Swimwear, sourced the buttery high-end durable fabric from Italy, and launched her first collection in 2017, selling her swimwear to Australian stores and online. However, Emily’s passion and deep yearning for the Hawaiian Islands never “left her soul” and she returned with her family on a relocation to Maui in 2018. It is here that Lokahi Swimwear has begun to grow, with Emily designing amazingly beautiful Hawaiian ALOHA prints for the beach or in the surf.
In 2019, Emily launched her second collection ‘The Endless Summer' with all new designs and Aloha prints. Lokahi swimwear became available in several retail stores on the islands of Maui and Kauai, including Adventure Sports, Goin Left, The Andaz Resort, Bikini Hanalei and Maui Yoga Shala. It was a rewarding year of exciting collaborations with other inspiring creatives such as Nordic Retreats, Rebecca Amber and Bell Mozo, Nai'a Young, Alessia Marietti, Tracy Naughton, Jennica Lowell, Kristy Taylor, Robyn Penn, Carssun, Barbara Brigido, Lidia Rico, Philip Corey and many more.
The year 2020 is our most exciting yet, with the launch of 'Coconut Isle', showcasing designs of our new Aloha prints. We have a very exciting collaboration with the very talented Amber Mozo, an icon in Hawaii, known for her surf and lifestyle photography. Emily and Amber have worked together to create a Tahitian-inspired flower print available exclusively on our online store.
Our goal for the future is to spread the ALOHA through the love and passion that we put into our designs. We are constantly trying to be better in our styles and to ensure we have a suit for every experience here on these beautiful islands. Whether it be on the beach, surfing, hiking, yoga, meditation, dancing, relaxing by the pool, you name it, Lokahi Swimwear is not just a swimwear brand but a lifestyle.
“Hawaii has welcomed me with open arms showing me the true meaning of Aloha and I want to reflect that love always in Lokahi Swimwear. I hope you always feel my love for Hawaii in my designs. I embody Lokahi in my everyday life, as I balance myself between being a Mum of two young boys and my dedication to you all in designing our suits.”