Words: Jady Ojiri | Photos: Marleen Tana
Living on the tropical island of Hawaii, swimwear has always been all the rage with beach goers. That definitely didn’t exclude swimsuit designer Brooke Lynn Haugel, the creator behind the popular swimwear brand Peace of Paradise Creations.
Brooke graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a psychology degree, interestingly enough, and she found herself in quite a predicament. She loved the island vibes of Hawaii, but with every boutique or bikini store, she would enter and leave with the same problem: nothing was catered to her size. In 2012, she taught herself how to sew and the business took off from there. Her brand started off with jewelry, then transferred over to swimwear.
“I really had a knack for sewing the stretchy fabric for swimsuits, which had been an interest of mine, so I accidentally started a business,” Brooke explained.
The name, “Peace of Paradise,” is actually a play on words of the statement, “Piece of Paradise.” Brooke explains how the name was inspired by the peace and calmness of Hawaii in addition to each piece of Hawaii that had taken its place in her heart.
“I kind of think of my suits as a piece of paradise,” Brooke stated. “If you can find that peaceful feeling of finally finding something that fits you, you can have that [with my suits] and you get to enjoy paradise.”
As a designer, Brooke expressed how her personal style infuses her creations with color and flair. Her brand contains more than ninety different fabrics, all of which she has designed herself, and it’s important that each design showcases something different and unique.
“I look at other things that people are doing, and I’m like, ‘Well, how can I do it better?’,” Brooke said. “I get to be very free because I am able to showcase different colors all year round because it’s swim suits and not just, you know, regular clothing fashion where you have to follow all of these trends.”
In addition to the wide variety of fabrics, the brand showcases over 100 different swimsuit styles, reversible fabrics for each design, sizes ranging from zero to twenty-two, fabrics that cater to active wearers, and even custom suit options for those who’d like to see their dream bikini come to life.
One of the biggest concerns that Brooke has as a designer is that the customer is absolutely happy with what they receive, because she knows exactly what it’s like to leave a store unsatisfied. With that in mind, each “Peace of Paradise Creation” is made with extreme care and every detail is put into consideration.
“We try to make things that avoid the problems we know bother us with swimsuits,” Brooke explained. “For example, we don’t like things that tie around our neck, so we offer a lot of features that criss-cross or have an over-the-shoulder design so you can tie them as tight as you want without putting any strain there. We also offer cheeky coverages and moderate coverages [for swimsuit bottoms], so that we can have something for every body.”
One of her personal favorite swimsuits is the “Keokea” top, which consists of a high neck halter top and a lace corset in the front and back for easy adjustability. Brooke described how the suit is flattering for women of both large and small bust sizes and how it really emphasizes her goal of being able to fit a wide range of body types.
“You can tie it as tight as you want to lift you up as well as being able to create cleavage if there isn’t even any there,” she added. “It still keeps you in and you can surf in it, you can be active, and you can still be sexy.”
Her advice to other prospective designers is to not only design for yourself, but also to listen to what others have to say.
“You have to ask yourself, ‘What is the need? What is missing out there? What can’t they go find on the racks and why? And what can you do to fix that and why do you want to fix it?’” she said. “It’s not about the individual piece you’re making, it’s about the reason behind it and everything else will follow.”
Her love of all bodies is the reason why her products are flying off the shelves and why so many people love what she does. If you’ve been searching for the perfect Instagram worthy beach look, you have definitely found the place to shop.