Jennifer Binney, Hawaiian designer behind Samudra’s wild surf print pouches, electrical sunset
totes and palm tree print duffel bags is at it again. Her new beach boutique Aloha Superette
opened this year on Oahu, a beautiful curation of those must have memories and moments of
tropical vacations and Hawaiian flavor.
We asked Jen a few questions about Aloha, her inspiration, the things she loves and how they
are all so evident in everything she does.
Where are you from?
I was born on Maui, and grew up between there at Oahu islands in Hawaii.
We hear you spent some time in New York, what brought you back to the islands?
Yes, I lived in New York for 2 ó years and came back home to attend the University of Hawaii
for my Masters. I miss NYC, there is no other city like it in the world, luckily I get back to the city
Tell us about yourself as a designer, native Hawaiian and surfer?
The greatest influences in my life and what I do now here in Hawaii are stemmed from my deep
love affair with the ocean. There is also a certain aesthetic local people have here in Hawaii,
fearless about color and connection with the natural world. Surfing is my sanity and passion, all
of these elements just go together.
We love your use of beautiful images of Hawaii in your products. Why is it important for this to
be the core of your designs?
When you are true to yourself and where you came from, it permeates through all that you do.
The images are more than just palms or sunsets to me, they are memories of places I love. It
seems fitting for them to be the core of my brand.
What was your inspiration for ‘lost in paradise’ collection? What made you think of that name?
‘Lost in Paradise’ was named after a special area on the Big Island – it’s raw, untouched, with
endless coconut groves, rugged coastal terrain and wild surf. While designing the collection, I
imagined being lost in this particular paradise. Many of the images on the bags and clothing
came from this very place.
Last book or magazine you read for inspiration? What inspired you most?
Maritus: The Book of Palms by H. Walter Lack, an illustrated book of over 240 varieties of
Palms, an unrivaled catalog of all known genera of the palm family – SO RAD!
What are you most excited for this year? Personally, professionally or both?
I am excited to travel, even more than I normally do. I have just returned from India, and
heading to Australia for Spring Break, then Europe for Summer and Morocco this Fall! It helps
the creative process, every time I get out of my safe zone, the ideas just flow.
An artist / photographer or writer that’s inspiring you at the moment?
I love this artist from Melbourne, Australia Miranda Skoczek her paintings and installations are a
Your go-to beach?
The Mokulua Islands in my backyard, we pile up the canoe with kids, coolers, boards and just
spend the day out there, exploring tidepools, surfing and just unwinding.
What do you think was your ‘big break’ or turning point in your career?
Clearly for samudra it was meeting garance dore in Montauk in
2011 when I was just launching the Samudra; she had a deep love for island life as she is
originally from Corsica, so it seemed natural to give her a “tropicalesque” pouch. She blogged
about the bag a couple times that summer and just like that I had a brand.
Cooking for friends, what’s your ‘namesake’ dish?
My slow cooked pulled pork tacos.
Favorite way to clear your head after a long day in the office?
Jump in the ocean
What is your favorite city you’ve ever been to?
That is so hard, probably New York, but I love Paris and Mexico City too, (I know I just cheated)
If you had to pick one place to live (besides Hawaii) where would it be?
Byron Bay Australia