Hawaii Designer Naomi Newirth on Acacia Bikinis

Photo: Courtesy of Acacia Swimwear

When we heard a rumor that a bikini created by a local swimwear company appeared in the 2011 swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated, we had to investigate. What we found was Acacia Swimwear, created by Maui native Naomi Newirth and SoCal’s Lyndie Irons, wife of the late world-champion surfer Andy Irons.

Any girl who’s ever fallen victim to metal-ring-induced blisters or burns understands the hazards of wearing a hardware-embellished bikini. The risk of injury only increases among surfers, divers, and other active water sport players. Think the vicious wear, wound, repeat cycle is the only way? Not according to Hawaii-based Acacia Swimwear, none of the suits in their collection feature hardware or other restrictive accessories. “That’s why they’re so comfortable,” says Newirth. “There’s not any metal thing digging into your hip.”

Friends for almost ten years now, Newirth and Irons launched the Acacia line in 2010. Newirth, a surfer, recognized a need for swimsuits that fit the active lifestyle that defines Hawaii. “It’s hard to find that bikini, and we kind of wear them smaller in Hawaii,” she says. Modeling swimsuits since she was 15, Irons added fuel to the fire with her own lifelong passion to start a swimwear line. The line’s name comes from Newirth’s middle name, which means stability and purity, the perfect themes to encompass their practical designs.

Photo: Courtesy of Acacia Swimwear

Crochet suits are hot right now, but as Newirth explains, “They don’t always fit so well.” Acacia features a soft silk blend in all crochet detailing, giving the wearer a better fit. The suits are made from high-end fabrics imported from Italy, and all are seamless, which means no pinching or unflattering silhouettes. An added bonus is that the suits stay put. “I’ve totally thrown on some Acacia bottoms to go surf, and they stay on,” Newirth says.

Acacia’s teeny-tiny bottoms are a cross between the low cut Italian bikini and the attention-grabbing Brazilian fit. Newirth and Irons design all their own prints, including signature lining. “It’s just the little details that make it fun,” Newirth says

As for the line’s future, Newirth says, “I’d really like to grow the company, to see it take off. I’d just love to be around for years to come, just doing what I love to do with Lyndie being a part of it as my partner.” With a large order recently placed by revolveclothing.com, it looks like the designers are well on their way. In addition to the Sports Illustrated gig, Acacia is slated to appear in an upcoming issue of Women’s Health. The 2011 La Cantik Bohème collection is available in extra small, small, medium, large, and extra large, and prices range from $176 to $198. Current retailers include butterfliesandbikinis.com, imrieshop.com and Bikini Planet on Kauai.