Born in Torquay in 2014, U&I Label is Australia’s first women’s surfwear label. Inspired by the ocean and designed to cater for female surfers, the label manages to be simultaneously cool and practical. We chat to the girls behind the brand, Emma and Jodie.
First up, tell us a bit about your label, how did it begin and where did the idea come from?
We first created the brand in 2014 out the back of our rambling 1950s surf shack in Torquay. Since then, we have now moved into our brand new studio in the heart of Torquay. U&I Label shares the creative space of surfboard factory ‘South Coast Surfboards’ and cafe ‘Monkey´s Uncle’. We were tired of the lack of imagination and thoughtful design in the current swimwear market and realised that we could lead the way to re-establish what living on the coast for women is really about. We run, we surf, we play. Emma and I work to provide women with the ‘grown up’ answer to swim and surfwear that is missing in the Australian market.
Who are your products suited to/designed for?
We design swimwear for active women who respect and seek design, not trend seeking women. Our swimwear are designed for ocean dwellers and are guaranteed to have your but covered through drop ins and wipe-outs!
And your new range, After the Rain released this November, what do you aim for with each range you create?
Our new range After the Rain released this November, tips its hat to the romantic stillness after the Storm. True to the label’s minimalist style and unique fabrications, this range focuses on the senses beyond clever contouring and timeless pallets, this season we introduce neoprene’s sexy cousin exclusive to the brand. The new range is a mix of styles, tops that you can adjust through it’s wrap design, one-pieces made for in as well out of the surf and both high and low waisted bottoms.
Where are you wanting to take your brand in the future?
We are working to create a culture around our label that re-establishes coastal living for woman. Currently we work in a very disconnected industry, where a lot of the larger more dominant brands representing woman in surf aren’t living the life on their billboards. We are building a following where we can create a platform space for like-minded creatives to share their skills through workshops, exhibitions, short films and yes of course good old fashioned parties! For women that enjoy surfing keep an eye out for surf catch-ups!
Tell us a bit about the new studio and store, under the roof of South Coast Surfboards in the heart of Torquay.
It’s a space where the public can come and experience the work in progress on current and upcoming designs and also try on and purchase current season designs. We will also hold monthly workshops starting December in the studio for people wanting to learn how to sew or create something of their own. The space is a shared warehouse with a fully operating surf board factory which also offers a great selection of hand shaped surfboards for any keen lady slider. For anyone wanting to impress their coffee date they can also enjoy the cafe with ‘Monkey’s Uncle’ located under the same roof.
Where else can we find your products?
You can jump onto our website whenever you like for a preview of the full range. Otherwise if your visiting Byron Bay go and check out Sea Bones as well as The Sneaky Grind Cafe in Avalon, Drifter Surf & Cafe in Bali, Deluxe in Lorne and Grzyb in Daylesford.
Thanks so much, any stand out pieces that are a MUST have?
With the new range there will be a piece for ladies in any age and every body shape so that your swimwear doesn’t stand in the way of your beach playtime!
Shop the collection at www.uandilabel.com.au or in store at 1C Baines Crescent, Torquay