Olivia Bickerstaff is a Vancouver-based designer who trained in fashion design and technology at the Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. As a master pattern drafter and sewer she recognized a need for swimsuits that fit and flatter not only small women but all women, and so she took it upon herself to meet these needs through her designs and range of styles at AKOYA. Olivia hopes to empower those women who have felt the need to cover up or felt too self-conscious to join in the summer fun. Through her brand AKOYA, more women will now have the opportunity to get out to the beach or pool in a chic suit that feels great!
The origins of the ‘AKOYA’ (meaning salt water cultured ‘pearl’) brand, go back to the designer’s childhood summers spent in the BC Gulf Islands. Olivia gained an appreciation of the beauty of the ocean and the need to protect the ocean – which is why the collection features swimsuits made of long-lasting and flattering materials, kimonos made with recycled nylon, and scrunchies that when sold, the proceeds of which, are used to help fund The Ocean Cleanup. An organization which was formed to tackle plastic pollution. The colours this season are an evolved, and more youthful iteration from last year’s collection – refreshing splashes of vibrant, electric hues and deep tones that look and feel luxurious when worn. AKOYA swimsuits are made to be cherished and long lasting.