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“You don’t really understand what goes into a brand until you have your own company,” she says.

“Design is just half of it—going through that creative cycle plus having to learn the business side—you have no idea what goes into making a bikini.

The consulting led to collaborations and before she knew it, she had caught the design bug.

“After being in everyone else’s suits for so many years, I decided that I was going to do a few bikinis that I wanted to wear,” she says.

“Everything feels really relaxed and effortless,” she says.

“They’re staples to throw in a weekend bag.” Jones O’Loughlin’s latest release, the Resort 2017 collection due out at the end of this month, marks her first foray into apparel for beyond the beach.

A move back to Hawai‘i in 2009 after the birth of her oldest son, Spike, officially began her next career chapter, and Jones O’Loughlin set about developing her label. “It’s minimal, understated and timeless,” she explains, the concept spurred by her own frustration with finding simple, chic swimwear that wouldn’t disappear after one season.

“I’ve had swimsuits that I’ve really loved, but once I went back for more I would find that everything from that brand was completely different—why does it have to be so drastic? “The idea behind my collection was that once you find a fit and shape that works for you, we’ll have it next season in our basic colors and also new colors and prints.” For the cuts, she drew from her own experiences.The glitzy appearance is the last stop on a multiweek journey we’ve taken with the Kailua native, who graciously gave us a front-row look at her daily life as a fashion talent on the rise. By 16, she had turned pro and was traversing the globe on epic photo trips with sponsors. The results secured her agents in New York and Paris, and years of commercial work to follow.Jones O’Loughlin’s comfort level comes as no surprise. It has for years, starting when she was a teenager catching waves at Rocky Point. She landed in ad campaigns for big name brands including American Express, J.“Modeling is so short-lived; it was really good I had something I loved that was grounding like surfing,” she says.Fittingly, it was a combination of the two that led to Jones O’Loughlin’s next and current job title—designer.You definitely have to have a vision and something to say, and you have to be really passionate about it because it’s just so much work.” Fast forward to 2016 and the Malia Jones swim and apparel line is not only up and running, it’s thriving.

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