She’s the eponymous – and mysterious – creator behind a Bali swimwear brand that is going places.
Hi Aanoukis, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a dreamer, a grinner and a music lover who loves to go with the flow of intuition and passion. You only have one life, so live it.
What is one thing nobody knows about you?
To keep the mystery alive I will keep it secret.
Before Bali where were you and what were you doing?
I’ve done a lot of different things in my life, and I’m always seeking out the next adventure. I had a lingerie shop, and then I was in the wellness industry as the manager for the Clarins Spa at the InterContinental, Marseille, in France. Now I’m between Bali and Europe and love the mix.
What drew you to the ‘Island of the Gods’?
An encounter with Bali’s spirit on my first trip here 12 years ago. I felt like Bali was a magical mermaid chanting, and it really blew my mind. It’s such a powerful place. On that trip I was told that I would come back. Then I had a strong calling last year, and an opportunity arose to come and experience more of the magic Island of the Gods.
What inspired you to start designing swimwear?
Well since I am a young woman, I love lingerie and fashion. And after experiencing the island life, I wished I could spend my whole life in a bikini, so I was pretty inspired. Bali is a great playground to express your creativity, and it was here that I decided to create my own brand. This was a way for me to realise an old dream and create a reflection of my universe.
What are the biggest challenges in your line of work?
Swimwear is quite technical, so sampling and production is quite a challenge of patience.
Who or what inspires your creativity?
Everything really. Bali allows my inspirations to blossom. I love sexiness and women’s curves. Emotions are also a big part of my process of creativity. Other inspirations could be anything from my gypsy travels, a picture of Helmut Newton, colours in nature, lines in all their expressions through fashion and architecture, and the presentation of a dish in a creative restaurant. Sometimes I’m even riding my motorbike and images come into my head, so I need to stop and draw quickly on the side of the road. Then after I need to channel it all. Everywhere and everything is connected.
What type of woman is the Aanoukis line made for?
Any woman who wants to express her inner goddess.
In your opinion, what makes a woman sexy?
A mix of confidence and fragility, and her beautiful smile.
Same question, but for the men?
A certain sensitivity.
What are your top three favourite places in the world and why?
I’m more an island girl, and I still have many places to discover, but for now: Bali and her very powerful vibrations of life. I love the smiling Balinese faces and the colourful ceremonies. I have a special feeling for the Bukit area for its amazing sunsets, cool surf atmosphere and beaches. I can spend hours on the cliff at Mu or at the warung at Balangan looking out at the beautiful surf show.
The Balearic Islands. I love the contrast of the big blue ocean and the green trees with their scent, and the song of the cicadas. I love to sail there to discover protected creeks and eat fish in small traditional restaurants.
Itacaré, a small fishermen’s village in the Bahia state of Brazil. I love the festive atmosphere with samba and capoeira dancers, the colourful houses, tortuous paved streets, exuberant nature, and amazing long beaches with white sand. I also have fond memories of my first surf lesson there.
What’s left on your list of things to do in life?
A long sailing trip (in a bikini of course) from island to island to discover Indonesia by the sea, and a retreat in a Tibetan monastery in the Himalayas.