Published on August 28th, 2013 | by curlmag0
KIWI INSPIRED KORU SWIMWEAR
When Julie Stine and April Slater started working together as co-chairs for the Slater Brothers Surfing Invitational three years ago, they became close friends fast. Julie Stine’s experience as a surfer and marketing professional, complimented April’s professional creative background as a professional ice skater and interior design painter. Together, their synergy sparked many ideas where they could work together in generating income in creative outlets.
With her New Zealand roots and her love of the environment, Julie came up with an idea to produce fashionable and sustainable swimwear for sports such as surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. April took it a little further and added a lifestyle line to the brand of Koru Swimwear.
The New Zealand Maori word “koru” seemed appropriate for the brand; not for the obvious reasons that Julie’s family is from New Zealand, but for its meaning. The koru [Maori for “folded” “coiled” “bight” “loop”] is a spiral unfurling fern frond which takes its shape from a stalk to a bulb at the end. The koru is widely used in Maori Arts and can symbolize new and evolving life, new beginnings, spiritual growith, strength, peace and harmony.
The fabric is what’s so special about this line. Julie did a lot of research on finding an eco-minded company that produced recycled fabrics and used environmentally concious manufacturing practices to produce textiles. She found Italian-based Jersey Lomellina – a Carvico company. Jersey Lomellina’s leading role in the textile industry makes its strong commitment to eco-sustainability of the entire production process, as shown by its investments in eco-friendly practices, even more significant. Reducing impact on the surrounding area, energy saving and the greatest attention to working conditions are nonnegotiable choices for Jersey Lomellina and the concrete expression of its “Green Vision”.
The fabric Koru Swimwear uses is technologically advanced in that all provide UPF 50+ UV protection and are chlorine resistent. All fabrics were specifically picked-out for each of their attributes to work perfectly with both the sport line and the lifestyle line.
Koru Swimwear has partnered with renowned surf artist Jay Alders on a signature line for the newly launched company. His collaboration with Koru Swimwear includes swimsuits displaying his original surf lifestyle paintings and custom prints designed to reflect the New Zealand inspired swimwear brand.
Jay Alders has earned a huge following in the surfing world with nature inspired paintings and dramatically exaggerated figures in perfectly formed waves. Jay’s work has been featured in Galleries from New York City to California, Art Tours in Brazil, Surf Exhibitions on the North Shore of Oahu and the 2008 X Games. In November 2009, Jay was described as “The Artist Who is Everywhere” by ESPN because of Jay’s constant globe-trotting and impressive industry involvement.
“I’m really excited to showcase my talents on Koru Swimwear’s line and I love the fact the company is creating all recycled swimwear. I’m a huge proponent for the environment and I’m happy to work with a company where I can show my artwork on a product that’s sustainable and eco-friendly,” said Jay.
Jay’s first swimsuit for Koru Swimwear’s 2013 line is a one-piece that uses elements of his Fairy Tails painting onto soft recycled fabric that provides a full-coverage canvas on the front and minimal coverage in the back. Its colorful and vibrant image on the front compliments the solid colors used for the minimalistic back.
Koru Swimwear created the Sea Zen bikini using parts of Jay’s Sea Zen of Tranquility painting he recently created for the CD titled “In My Island” by close friend and talented musician Gabe Gomez released in early September 2012.
“We were actively planning to find an artist who would fit into our brand and it was natural to ask Jay to collaborate with Koru Swimwear. Not only do we love Jay’s artwork talents, we also love the fact that he is actively involved in environmental causes and has a great love for the ocean and surfing,” commented Julie Stine, CEO and Designer at Koru Swimwear. “By the way, he’s also a great guy with a lot of compassion,” added Julie.