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Mimi Campbell – Talk Story

C & # 39; is a chief on the South Shore that can take you from the towel to the hour of the aperitif in one fell swoop.

In fact, it can serve as a party dress or an evening gown, a swimsuit cover or a beach towel. It can be a dress for girls' night or a date night. Made to fit jersey-like materials, you can wear it in virtually any style, with jeans or as a dress, as a long T-shirt or as a skirt.

Versatile and quick-drying, it is made in sunny Lawai and is called Wahine Wrap.

Mimi Campbell makes the Wahine shells at Warehouse 3540 in Lawai, where a collection of creatives of all kinds sell their wares and hosts workshops and sell artisan foods and coffee from some food trucks on the spot. The Koloa woman sells the casings in some shops on the south coast of Kauai and online.

Years ago, Campbell saw something similar to the Wahine Wraps at Poipu Beach Park, and said he had to start creating his own version, inspired by the fact that these casings cut the need to go home between a day at the beach and a sunset dinner. He creates them to fit all shapes and sizes, with the aim of making women feel great in clothing that is practical.

Recently, Campbell took a break from his sewing machine to talk to The Garden Island about how he started creating Wahine Wraps and what drives her to continue.

Where are you from and what brought you to Kauai?

I was born in Santa Monica, California, on the borders of Dogtown and Venice Beach. Blessed by the waters of the Pacific Ocean, I grew up in a strong surf and skate culture that paved the way for the punk-rock scene in Los Angeles. This is an important part of who I am today and what brought me to the fashion world. I studied at the FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) in downtown Los Angeles and became a fashion stylist, dressing models and actors for photo shoots and advertising. I have worked in the fashion world for over 20 years. I discovered that the fashion world was not so glamorous or respectful towards beautiful people in it. But, like my good friend, artist and painter, Aly Kourouma says: "True beauty is inside".

I moved to the island of Kauai because my good friends, with whom I danced and sailed in the good times, Ellen Wagner and Leslie Frasier, had moved here over 15 years ago and have been trying to attract me ever since. . Eventually the planets lined up and a visit three years ago led to a permanent change of address. My life is better than expected With fresh air, clean water and dances in a fantastic halau (Papa Lau & ae or Makana) I am happier and healthier than it has been in a decade.

Tell us about Wahine Wraps. What makes them special?

Wahine wraps are handmade and hand printed right here in Koloa Town. What makes them special is how versatile they can be, to be used as a beach towel to be worn like a halter dress or a shawl for your next rendez-vous or disc. Ohh lala.

I am currently printing my logo on Wahine Wraps using a vintage vintage printing machine found only in the magical Machine Machine lab, located in the 3540 warehouse in Lawai. Many thanks to Shannon and Charlie for their generosity and dedication to the arts.

Where do you get your materials and what inspires the projects?

I use the remains of high-end designer fabrics, which keep my quality high, my stock is constantly changing and my prices are low.

The colors I choose are inspired by the natural world that surrounds me. It can be a shade of blue the ocean winks at me one day, in the red earth after a tropical shower.

I cut each one by hand with the specifics of the different body types I come in contact with, from 5 to 85 years.

How did you get the idea? Do you have a dressmaker's background?

My dear friend Colleen Newlin gave me the idea of ​​wrapping around Poipu Beach in a casing she bought 20 years ago. The idea is not original, but my opinion is. The design of the casing could even date back to the ancient Greeks.

What else have you created on Kauai?

I'm also an interior designer here on the island. I believe that people can heal themselves with color and texture. Finding colors to inspire and animate ourselves can change our perspective. Whether you buy a new dress or paint your bathroom, the colors influence our mood, just like the weather. I helped people renovate their obsolete homes, furnish their holiday homes, and even assisted in some hotel and restaurant projects. Some are still ongoing. See Kauaidesigngroup.com.

What are your other favorite pastimes and interests?

I love traveling, taking pictures and animals. Both my parents were born in Greece and I grew up traveling to Europe. Kauai looks a lot like Greece, with farms, crystal clear oceans and a large community. I am passionate about helping animals in my community. There are so many fantastic animal lovers here! It never ceases to amaze me how we always look at each other and our wild counterparts.

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Jessica Else, the staff writer, can be reached at 245-0452 or jelse@thegardenisland.com.

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