Meet Mika of Noa Kai
Mika is the design half of Noa Kai. Without her, you’d be wearing lopsided oddly shaped swimsuits made for a 5’ torso.
She brings her education and experience in fashion design to the table—and that table is often at a Michelin star restaurant in Paris or outside a taco stand in Tulum. It’s hard to say what she is most passionate about in life. Is it fashion, great food, or travel?
Mika say family.
“We’ve made travel, fashion and family essentially our everyday job,” says Mika. “Noa Kai is the ultimate dream because of what it represents. It represents freedom, elevated living and real creativity.”
Noa Kai swimsuits are not drop-shipped or private labeled. They are original designs by mother-daughter duo Mika and Mari Suyama. The design process is what fuels the two. They take inspiration from their travels and fuse that with their individual personalities. Give Mika a pencil and notebook (maybe a mojito) and let the magic happen.
Timeless, feminine and elegant shapes are complemented by her Japanese aesthetic for clean lines. Nothing is overdone, nothing is without a purpose.
Mika grew up in Fukuoka, Japan and left for Canada at the age of 7. But she never lost touch with her roots. She smiles as she recounts traveling to Japan with her younger sister Mio as twenty-somethings to source fabric from some of Japan’s renowned fabric shops. Fabric shopping in Japan is unlike anything you will experience in North America, she explains with enthusiasm.
“If Instagram existed thirty years ago, we’d have great photos to share with you. But all we’ve got are the memories,” says Mika as she puts down a photo album of her childhood, defeated in the search for documentation of those early years as a budding designer.
Since the recent launch of Noa Kai, Mika has been learning the ins and outs of Instagram and how it plays a role in the fashion industry today.
Times have changed. The meaning of being a brand or a designer has changed. But the one constant will always be creativity.
And that’s something Mika’s got a lot of.