As we celebrate our 3rd anniversary this month, we want to give a BIG hug to all for loving and supporting us! Designing functional swimwear has always been a dream of ours, and in the months leading up to this moment, we wanted to share this process with you. 

While we do seek inspiration in nature and ocean scapes (like many others), our biggest inspiration is you– our Haikini Seasterhood. What kind of prints & colours do YOU like? How can we create something that make you feel like you are part of something bigger? 

Back in August, we decided that ONE LUCKY SEASTER will have the chance to design her own collection! We held a design contest over IG and totally did not expect that so many of you to participate– THANK YOU!

Today, we'd like to finally introduce the winner, Julia Pacleb from the Philippines. 

Julia Pacleb swimming in the sea

Her design, “Las Chicas de Isla” was shared over 1400 times, and won with 1769 votes! Finally, after 2 months of sampling and production, we are nearing the launch of our anniversary collection– Bond By Sea.

Hi Julia! First of all, thank you for taking the time to participate in our design contest, and a HUGE congratulations to you for taking the win. Could you tell us more about yourself? 

Massive thank you for the opportunity to make my bikini dreams come true! In a nutshell, i’m 25 years old, born and raised in Manila, graduated sports science, worked in the real estate industry, moved to siargao to be a hostel manager, and now a freelance digital illustrator. Craaaazy i know! HAHA!

Can you describe your design in more detail?

My design features different girls in surfboards— you have the longboard girls looking beautiful and graceful as they dance and move on the board, you have the shortboard girls shredding on the waves, and between the two, you have the one casually chilling on her surfboard

How did you come up with this design?

I’m not gonna lie it took me a lot of drafts before i ended up with that one. I wanted to do so many designs that i just kept making different ones, but was never truly satisfied with any of it. So i really had to take a second and think about it.

I wanted to make a design that would represent Haikini well, but also one the i, and many other girls can completely identify with. It wasn’t a big lightbulb moment but i was like, “okay keep it simple but also make it symbolic”. I love how the brand shows so much happiness and sisterhood in surfing. It was something that i found and treasured in Siargao. So i decided to illustrate different girls who surf and scribbled lines all around them to represent the water and the waves. It was an easy decision to choose that design once i was done with it. I chose a two toned color cause i wanted it to look nice as a reversible piece.

Do you have any background in art and design?

If filling up notebooks with doodles when i was little counts then that would have to be it! Ahahaha kidding aside, i would say yes a little, although not in digital illustrations.

I just always dabbled in different hobbies and creating things like macrame, embroidery, tapestry making, watercolor, etc. In all honesty i just started doing digital illustrations in the beginning of the year. The silver lining of the pandemic is making me focus on it and work on my skills and ideas.

When we briefly spoke on IG, you mentioned that you surf in Siargao and shuffle your time between the island and the city (Manila), how did you find yourself in Siargao in the beginning?

Yes that’s right! It’s funny because before I even went to Siargao i was so sure i didn’t want to go. I was like “nah dude it can’t be THAT good. Totally overhyped”. But eventually i did go and damn, i’ve never been more wrong in my life! It’s not THAT good, it’s BETTER.

Once i experienced the island i just kept wanting to come back. Until i was lucky enough to get hired as a hostel manager, and luckier to be stuck there during the lockdown.

Could you tell us a little bit about your surf journey? (When you started, what are your goals, who’s your favourite surfer?)

I tried surfing for the very first time when i was just a freshman in uni back in 2013. My friends and i went to LiwLiwa in Zambales and got our first surf lessons. Sucks to say it took me 7 years before i went out and tried it again, but very glad that i did.

My first and second time were totally different experiences. Surfing in Siargao with all the local people made the difference. I’m still learning, still getting wiped out, but now there’s no stopping me anymore from getting better (except stupid covid). Ahhh i just want to be able to glide and walk across my longboard! And one day be able to seriously surf in Hawaii and all the best spots in the world really.

Favorite surfer? Damn if we talkin bout cute surf boys i’d have to say Eli Olson HAHAHAHAHA (sorry Brennan). But okay real talk, i have A LOT of favorite female surfers (because everyone just looks so beautiful and badass) but recently i’ve been getting a lot of inspiration from Hawaii’s Kelia Moniz and Keani Canullo, and our very own Josie Prendergast.

Finally, what are you looking forward to right now?

Ahhh the ‘future’ question. I’m happy and very grateful to say that there are a lot of things i’m looking forward to. Top on my list is for this pandemic to finally exit the world stage!

Besides that, i’m looking forward to getting more design projects and print illustrations. I’ve been working on a small retail business project right now with my own designs and the plan of donating majority of the proceeds to the island kids in need in Siargao.

It’s very exciting and i can’t wait to see the outcome! Honestly this entire experience has been a massive boost to my confidence and my work. I couldn’t be more grateful to the entire Haikini team for making this happen! ♥️

Seasters! Our "Bond By Sea" anniversary collection launches on 10th October, 8 pm GMT+8. Follow our IG and turn on notifications to snag Julia's design and other goodies that will be on sale!

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