Angela & KD for Soak Swimwear

Jakeena Tuesday Tastemakers

 

2013 is here, finally! Now tropical island resorts or deserted palm-fringed beaches may not be in your radar for now, but this swimwear line should be – Soak. A brainchild of two beach lovers who practically grew up together, swimwear designers from the Philippines, Angela See and KD Syiaco have turned their love for the islands into a thriving business that has got women from all over strutting in style under the sun.

I’ve been a fan of Soak for a while now, and I especially love their high-waist bottoms. I have the Monaco X High Waist which has got a retro vibe that’s still fashion forward, and need I say the benefits? Let’s just say this particular swimsuit makes pigging out at the beach more enjoyable without having to hold your breath for that picture-perfect instant flat belly. 🙂 But if you prefer another stylish cut, be it a one-piece number or even triangles and bandeaus, Soak has various designs in luxury fabrics that aim to flatter and still be functional. Then all you’ll need is a glass of mojito, and you’re ready to soak up the sun in style!

 

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Caught up with Angela and KD to talk about their top beach destinations, Manila hot spots, and of course, a whole lot of Soak.

Describe a typical day for you girls.

Angela: We do not have “typical days” because every day is very different. But on a regular basis, we meet up with each other to plan, meet up with suppliers, follow up, answer emails (since we have 2 outlets in Manila, 1 in Cebu at the moment, but a lot of sales locally and internationally are still made online).

Favorite beach?

KD: So far that we’ve been to:

1) El Nido, Palawan has the best sights so far.
2) Tugawe Resort Cove in Caramoan has great activities, scenic beaches, and excellent service.
3) Abaca Beach Resort in Cebu has excellent service and the best ambiance.
4) Balesin Island in Quezon exceeds expectations (it’s a members-only resort).

What’s the one item you girls can’t live without when at the beach?

Angela: Maui Island secret tanning oil!!! And SPF before that.

Brands you girls are lusting over now?

KD: A lot! We’re especially happy that a lot of international brands are opening simultaneously in the Philippines.

Locally, there’s Aranaz for beautiful handcrafted bags for every occasion.

How did Soak start? 

Angela: Soak started in 2007 after graduating from college. We were both on tight budgets and shopping for swimwear was not just a pain in terms of limited styles and brands in the market, but also the fact that they were mostly international brands and pricey. That’s when we got the idea to design and make swimwear.

Describe Soak swimwear in a #tag.

Angela & KD: #soakupthesuninstyle

Do you design the swimwear, or do you also import from other countries? 

Angela: We design our own swimwear. The materials are hard to source locally so the raw materials are what we import.

Where are your swimsuits produced? Let us in on the process behind every line.

KD: So far all our swimsuits are produced locally, proudly made in the Philipines which proves that quality craftsmanship can be found locally.

It’s a tedious process of meetings, timelines and schedules, planning, designing, sampling, fitting, revising and revising until we are satisfied with everything from design to quality.

What’s your most favorite Soak swimwear?

Angela: Oh gosh, we don’t know because we have so many! Personally, KD prefers bandeaus because they flatter her hourglass figure and I prefer triangles because they give an illusion of curves to my straight torso.

Do you carry lines for all sizes?

KD: We have small, medium, and large as our staples. We discovered and learned as we went along that sizing for swimwear is also limited to a certain market. We now have a better idea of how to quantify certain sizes for certain styles.

A lot of girls are conscious about their bodies, do you have this also in mind in terms of how you design?  

Angela: Yes especially now, it’s very fortunate that the one piece and high waist bottoms (the mod look) is very much back in, this saves a lot of women from having to hide and be very conscious of their bodies and instead, just have fun and feel great about how they look at the beach.

Your swimsuits are leaning towards trendy beach couture, how much weight do you put on functionality?

KD: We make sure all pieces are fit for swimming. We definitely have a different market for athletic swimming, however all pieces are good enough to wear for a leisurely swim and a good tan. Most important are quality, fit, and comfort both in and out of the water, these are of the highest priority.

What are you most proud about in your product? 

KD: Style, that people find beauty in them and choose to wear the styles we come out with.

Fit, we make sure that our customers find the perfect fit for their body types. Wearability is a must. Quality, we try our best to make sure that they get their money’s worth.

In your experience in the business, when did you know you finally made it?

Angela: We can’t say we’ve made it yet, we have plenty of dreams and ambitions and we still have a long way to go. We just try our best every day, year in and year out to please. We’re happy that there seems to be good feedback on our styles.

Advice for other local talents.

Angela: We don’t think there’s a specific formula for anything, so it’s hard to dispense advice. But as long as one has a product which is desired by a certain market and keeps up its quality, then it may be for the best.

What are your interests outside of designing/selling swimsuits?

Angela: We have plenty of different interests, however between the two of us I must say traveling is the top one. From discovering local and foreign beaches, cities, or even vineyards around the world, we love and look forward to the next trips where we gain inspiration, wisdom, and simply just have a blast.

Also eating out is very much on the top of our list! 🙂

What are your recommended haunts in Manila?

The Fort area has plenty of spots for everyone- from restaurants: the goose station, aubergine, kasbah and wildflour are favorites.

For night caps: Skye, Relik, the newly opened Urbn, and Prive. At Resorts World, there’s Opus and Republiq, and to eat in there’s Tao Yuan.

In Makati/Rockwell area: Apartment 1b for comfort food, Focaccia at A venue for the best rolled pizza in town, and Elbert’s for the best steak.

What’s next for Soak in 2013?

KD: As always, a lot of beautiful and eye-catching styles, plus many more surprises await!

 

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Soak is available online through their Multiply shop here, and ships internationally. For those in the Philippines, you can also get your Soak quick fix at retail partners Cabana Lounge Shop, Retail Lab Power Plant, and Hot Pink in Ayala Cebu.

 

Be fierce,

 

Jakeena 🙂

 

Image credits: Soak