The Makena story starts in a small fishing village outside of Rio De Janiero. where I, Juliana, grew up surrounded by warm sun and warm people. A childhood spent on the vibrant beaches of Rio, known for their beautiful women in eye-catching bikinis, sparked a lifelong love of fashion.
These fashion dreams brought me across the world first to New York City and then to Maui, where I fell in love with the laid back island lifestyle. I became the first purveyor of Brazilian swimwear to the Hawaiian islands. I spent many years designing and manufacturing for a variety of private label clients. In the process, I introduced Americans to the daring Brazilian-style bikinis, which quickly took off here in Hawaii.
Business was booming but I wanted more. I wanted to bring everything I learned full circle and create from the heart. As a woman and a mother, I wanted to design swimwear that makes women of all ages and sizes feel confident and comfortable. As a surfer, I wanted to design functional swimwear that can stand up to any wave. As a lover of nature, I wanted to reduce my environmental impact and design with the health of the planet and our oceans in mind.
Makena is a culmination of all the experiences that have brought me to this moment, informed by the core values of sustainability and inclusivity. My Brazilian roots inspire the collection’s vivid colors and bold prints, while my life in Hawaii inspires the collection’s functional surf and yoga styles.
Makena weaves together the things that I value most – a simple life in the tropics grounded in nature, spirituality, travel and of course big surf. a life of creative collaboration and a sense of being true to one’s roots. embracing life – and the planet – with a big heart.
I am so proud of the beautiful community of free-spirited, big-hearted women that I have connected with along this journey. You, the women who wear Makena, are the ultimate manifestation of my dreams. Thank you for coming along with me on this adventure and I hope my swimwear becomes a part of yours.