Koh Phangan, known for its raucous Full Moon Party and lively locals, has long been a dream destination for tourists. A couple of years ago, a young designer named Ekaterina Balkarska found herself caught up in the pull of this magnetic little speck in the Gulf of Thailand. Inspired by the love and passion that surrounded her, she started crafting a small collection of swimwear for boho beach girls — beach girls, like her, who were just as at home working out as they were working on their suntans.
Boogie and the Beach was born out of a need for swimwear that was unique in style yet also functional. Balkarska sought to create a bikini that active women could wear from day to night. Whether while doing yoga underneath palm trees at dawn, catching some mid-day sun on the sand, or out dancing in the dark, the bikinis were made to be a multi-purpose fashion staple, an item that could take on many roles and always draw “wows” from the crowd.
Currently, the brand offers two types of bikini. The first design, called “Thanu,” features an unconventional take on the typically conservative halter top. A mesh cover connects the cups and the back features a sport-style band. It works as well for physically active types with a sense of adventure — think: paddle-boarding and yoga — as it does for those with daring fashion styles, who might wear the top under denim jackets as they strut around Bangkok. The “Leela” is an exotic second addition to Boogie and the Beach’s store. Three thin straps cross on the upper back, forming a sleek and certain X. The front of the triangle top reveals a little skin, but still provides a snug, angular fit. It’s ideal swimwear for beach-lovers who look for comfort, above all, but also want to express their daring sides. Both pair perfectly with a slim-fit, low-set hipster bottom that blurs the boundary of modest and risqué.
Balkarska is currently working on a third design, which, she says, will be her statement on swimwear for the modern woman, drawing on inspiration from a life spent in bikinis at the seaside across the world.
Though small, the Boogie and the Beach brand is growing, thanks to the vibrant and passionate leadership of Balkarska. Her Thanu and Leela designs are available online at boogieandthebeach.com or facebook.com/Boogieandthebeach. Islanders can pick them up at Nap – Po in Haad Rin on Koh Phangan. For more information, call 080 544 1664.