Meet the mermaid behind our fabulous tri and cycling kits, Maikala Jewell del Castillo. We asked Maikala for the deep sea dish on fashion, design, and even got a hint at what’s next in the mermaid club’s line of fantastic, flirty, and oh so importantly flattering athletic apparel. Put your fins together for this awesome lady!
How did you get into fashion?
I guess you can say I’ve always been a stylist at heart. Growing up, I was surrounded with fashionable women in my family and friends didn’t have to beg me to style them, it just happened and still does to this day. That said, designing never really crossed my mind until joining up with The Mermaid Club, and to my surprise it comes naturally and I really enjoy the creative process. At the risk of being corny – I truly have a passion for fashion. I get so much joy from observing art imitating life through the lens of fashion. A garment represents a moment in time and is used to create endless forms of expression. I especially love to observe people applying fashion to communicate facets of their personality with patterns, prints structure, colors, textures, etc.
Any essential fashion tips you have for the mermaid nation?
Absolutely! For starters, regularly clean out your closet purging what you don’t wear (make a mental notes so you don’t become a repeat offender). Whether building your work or sportswear wardrobe, stick to cuts and colors that compliment your body and skin tone, and always aim to buy pieces that are unique enough to make a difference! Lastly, be an equal opportunity shopper from Target, Lulu Lemon to Bloomy’s. My favorite pieces range from store to store and label to label.
Now onto the kits!
What was your inspiration or guiding thoughts that went into designing the tri and cycling kits?
From the start, I knew I wanted to design something that accentuated a woman’s body while maintaining the triathlete aesthetic. I began researching tri and cycling kits for inspiration and noticed there wasn’t anything out there that incorporated the elements in the way I saw it (in my head). For the first TMC collection, it was important that the “brand” was the driving force of inspiration. It had to look GREAT on Helena, our mermaid-in-chief, coupled with spirit of “BADASSness”. I’m so happy with the final products and can’t wait to roll out more gear!
Did you find it challenging blending fashion with function these being very purpose-specific apparel sets?
The aim for all TMC gear is to capture badass and sexy in a way that is flattering for all body types, while also making each piece seamlessly wearable together and easily matched with others (more “outfits” for your money). The challenge in blending fashion with function was the biggest learning curve by far. We didn’t realize each piece is constructed in a specific way, which includes set panels (for functionality). When I realized the designs would not translate the same due to the panels, I got scared! But, with my creative juices flowing and after several sketches, it came together!
What’s next on your design docket. Any dream projects you’d like to take on?
Drum roll, please! We’ve got a SUPER cute pair of running shorts, a sexy/fun/badass sports bra, and oh-so-flattering running top. I’m most excited about this next set as I’m also a runner at heart and will definitely be running in these all summer!