Oiwi Ocean Gear

Yu Shing Ting
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Wednesday - June 13, 2007

Oiwi Ocean Gear’s summer 2007 collection has just arrived featuring a variety of fun and functional swimwear for women, in addition to its popular jersey/rash guards for men and women.

“Oiwi means native and was chosen to emphasize that all Oiwi products are designed in Hawaii,” says David Kim, president and owner of Oiwi Ocean Gear. “We design and develop apparel for the athletic-minded individuals. Our swimwear prints are unique and developed in Hawaii. Our fabric is of the highest quality and is extra soft.

“Also, Oiwi swimwear and jerseys are all made in the U.S.A. And due to small production runs, our swimwear lines are considered limited edition. Once we sell out, we will not reproduce them.”

Founded in 2001 by Kim and Kawika Mahelona, Oiwi started as a T-shirt company with sales being made from a truck and a tent at canoe regattas throughout the Islands. In 2004, a retail store was opened in Kailua, along with the unveiling of Oiwi’s new swimwear line designed by Lisa Reid who previously worked at Raisins (a division of Quiksilver), Billabong, Toes on the Nose and Point Conception.

“People of all types can find something at Oiwi,” adds Kim. “Whether you paddle, swim, hike, walk, dive or go fishing, our most popular item, the jersey/rash guard, will make anyone satisfied. Our jerseys are extremely soft and comfortable and feel like an old comfy T-shirt (a looser cut than a typical rash guard), but everyone wants them because they are UPF 50+, the highest rating possible…basically sunproof. And it’s anti-bacterial too.”

Oiwi also designs and customizes its jersey/rash guards for private companies, paddling clubs, schools and teams.

Oiwi is located at 130 Kailua Road (in the Kailua Beach Center). For more information, call 263-7770 or visit www.oiwioceangear.com

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