AANOUKIS is more than a swimwear brand; it’s a legacy of feminine empowerment, love, and togetherness, says founder Alexandra Adamiak.
Alexandra Adamiak? Interesting name – does it have clear ‘country’, or regional roots, or is it more global in essence?
Ahahaha, thank you for asking about my name! Long story short, my name has Polish roots from my great step-grandfather who raised my father after he lost his dad at a very young age. But my origins are more mixed: Algerian, English, and French.
What called you to come to Bali?
Bali was a big crush for me when I first came here 20 years ago. I was originally planning to visit other countries in Asia, but I ended up staying in Bali for three months. I briefly went to Thailand but quickly returned to Bali. I was immediately charmed by the island’s natural beauty, rich culture, and warm people, and I felt like I was home here among Balinese culture and the tropical way of life. I knew that I wanted to settle here and become a part of this incredible, vibrant island.
I felt a strong pull towards Bali, and I’ve never felt more alive than I do here. Although I was initially happy living the “bikini kind of life” in paradise, I soon discovered that Bali has so much more to offer. This vibrant island is so magical and has a way of choosing you to help you grow on your path. Both good and bad are strongly present here, and it’s up to you to find your balance.
Bali was calling me towards a more fulfilling life, and it has been the beginning of a long journey of conscious awakening. I’ve had my highs and lows, but there’s always a way to grow here. Bali allows you to be free to be who you’re meant to be.
Every time I had to leave this island, I would cry on the plane. I kept coming back every year until the time was right for me to leave France and start my new journey.
Bali is an incredibly inspiring place to live, thanks to the Balinese sense of kindness and connection to life. It has taught me a lot about living in the present moment and appreciating every moment.
Even though Bali has changed a lot since I first came here, I feel very fortunate to be able to call it my home.
What does the female form mean to you?
To me, the female form represents a combination of beauty, strength, and femininity. Every woman should feel empowered to embrace her body and feel confident in her own skin, regardless of societal expectations or body standards.
I have a personal experience that opened my eyes to this. When I visited Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in 2000, I initially felt self-conscious about my imperfections. However, as I walked along Copacabana Beach, I saw women of all shapes and sizes confidently flaunting their bodies. It was inspiring to see how proud and beautiful they looked.
It was a mind-blowing experience, and now I keep sharing it with my lovely customers who may struggle with body image issues. I believe that it’s important to first be proud of your body and let shine your inner light.
And then wear AANOUKIS, designed to empower women and feel like goddesses.
You moved from the spa industry to the fashion industry, why?
Although I enjoyed working in the spa industry, I felt a desire to explore my creativity and provide wellness in a new and different way. With a passion for fashion and design and a strong sense of elegance, I knew that it was time to pursue my original inspiration and calling.
Living in Bali has been incredibly inspirational and has helped me to become the person I was meant to be. This calling led me to create AANOUKIS, a brand that promotes well-being and self-confidence for women.
I strive to empower women through my designs, both stylish and functional, with an attention to detail, giving them a sense of confidence and well-being when they wear my swimwear.
I put all of my energy into each design, knowing that fashion can be a source of beauty, self-expression, and empowerment for women.
In your mind has every moment been leading up to starting your very own brand of swimwear? Can you share some pivotal moments?
I think every experience in my life has led me to where I am today. My travels in Asia, and for sure especially in Bali, the people I have the good fortune to meet, who showed me a different way to live our Life, the great possibility of production here, all have helped me to give me confidence to just go for what I want in my life; that you have to try and nothing is impossible. It is here in abundance you just have to believe in yourself.
But there have been a few pivotal moments that stand out, yes. First was my decision to move to Bali in 2014. And then the opportunity to immerse myself in the local fashion industry where I started to work for Lulu Yasmine resortwear, as a manager of retail for their four stores. It allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the process involved in managing a brand and production.
Another pivotal moment was when I realized that I needed to express my passion for fashion by creating a brand that empowers women. Living the bikini kind of life in Bali, I struggled to find nice bikinis, so I decided to create my own. I travelled to trendy party destinations like Ibiza, St Tropez, and Mykonos, and within five to six months, I started AANOUKIS swimwear from scratch. Everything happened quickly, even when I faced the initial challenge of finding the right factory for production.
I found the logo that represents my driving energy – My Sun (I’m a Leo and even have it tattooed). The inspiration for the name came intuitively as I wanted women to feel like goddesses. ANOUKIS is the daughter of Ra, the God of Sun in Egyptian mythology. I put my initials, and it became AANOUKIS. Everything was connected, and it just felt right.
Just in time for the European summer, I finished my collection and went back to St Tropez and Ibiza to introduce my swimwear to the most happening beach clubs. It worked, and that was the beginning of AANOUKIS.
Simplicity and originality – can bikinis really be simpler or more original than they already are?
I believe that there is always room for simplicity and originality in any design. At AANOUKIS, we strive to create swimwear that is both elegant and timeless, while still incorporating unique details and features that set us apart from other brands. Fitting AANOUKIS you will feel this je ne sais quoi that makes you feel like a goddess.
How is your brand coping with the rise of OnlyFans and the ‘larger’ figured girls? Good for business or bad for business?
At AANOUKIS, we believe that every woman should feel beautiful and confident, regardless of her size or shape.
Women have been empowered, and as they become more comfortable with their bodies, they are also becoming more comfortable with expressing themselves. And I’m super happy with that. It is very positive to be proud of your body.
Funny that you ask about OnlyFans . . . I’m not judging this website, and I have heard of it, but I’m not interested to look at it to be honest. People are free with their body and if OnlyFans helps increasing acceptance of different body types it can be a positive trend.
However, I also think that there needs to be a balance between showing off one’s body and being over-sexualized. For me, showing skin should be done with elegance and sophistication, rather than just being about sex appeal.
I might be a bit old fashioned but I love elegance and femininity most. This French je ne sais quoi attitude that is both alluring and mysterious.
And I believe I’m not the only one . . .
And we design our swimwear to be inclusive and flattering for women of all body types, and we celebrate diversity.
Any thoughts on the current trend of women showing off a bit more body than in the past? In your mind, is it a trend that will rise, continue or fade?
Fashion has always been a way to express changes in mentalities and self-expression. As women become more empowered and comfortable with their bodies, they are also becoming more confident to express themselves.
However, I also think that there needs to be a balance between showing off one’s body and being over-sexualized. For me, fashion should always emphasize elegance and sophistication, and showing skin should be done tastefully and with class.
I hope that this French je ne sais quoi attitude, is a quality that will always be timeless and attractive.
Overall, while I appreciate the trend of women showing off more of their bodies, I do hope that elegance and femininity will always remain a part of fashion, and that women will continue to express themselves in ways that emphasize their inner confidence and sophistication.
AANOUKIS is sophisticated. In what ways can this be appreciated?
At AANOUKIS, we strive to create swimwear that is both elegant and sophisticated, with a focus on high-quality materials, expert craftsmanship, and timeless designs. Our customers appreciate the attention to detail and the unique features that make our swimwear stand. It’s a philosophy that values style over trends. A sense of effortless elegance, sophistication, and a certain nonchalant attitude.
Let’s talk quality, and your method or criteria for choosing fabrics.
I place a high emphasis on quality and strive to source the best materials (including accessories) for our swimwear and resortwear. To bring a feeling of comfort and style, our fabrics are carefully chosen based on a number of criteria, including their appearance, texture, durability, and stretch.
All our swimwear are doubled, not see-through for our light colours, as our focus is for a better definition and body shaping.
We also pay attention to the environmental impact of our fabrics and production processes, so we don’t overstock and we are proud to say that we use eco-friendly materials and processes wherever possible, including highest quality Italian fabrics VITA CARVICO, which are recycled. Made from regenerated nylon waste from landfills and oceans, they are renowned for their excellent performance in water and resistance to fading.
Let’s talk empowerment, women’s empowerment.
I am a fiercely independent woman. I have built my life from scratch, starting from nothing. I made a bold decision to change my life, stepping out of my comfort zone to pursue my dreams and follow my calling.
Over the years, I have forged a deep connection with the spirit of this island and its people. It was five years ago when I decided to establish my swimwear brand here, surrounded by souls filled with warmth and compassion, who have become my partners in creating magic for my beloved tribe of AANOUKIS goddesses.
As time went by, I embarked on a journey to seek out the best factories and individuals to collaborate with, expanding my production capacity. Along the way, I had the privilege of meeting incredibly talented women. In a bid to empower them and foster their independence, I took the initiative to provide them with sewing machines for their own workspaces. This enabled them to support their families and find happiness in their own villages.
As the years have gone by, I have cultivated a small community that I proudly refer to as my “Bali family”. They are not just colleagues but individuals who have become an integral part of my journey, bringing their skills, passion, and dedication to the realization of our shared vision.
Together, we have created more than a swimwear brand; we have built a legacy of empowerment, love, and togetherness. AANOUKIS is not just about fashion; it represents the embodiment of dreams, resilience, and the strength of the human spirit.
If you could change one thing about, or for, women what would it be?
If I could change one thing for women, it would be to eradicate any lingering traces of inequality and empower them to fully embrace their potential in every aspect of life.
I envision a world where women are provided with equal opportunities, respect, and recognition, irrespective of their background or circumstances.
Let’s create a future where all women are free to shine and fulfill their aspirations without limitations.
You recently opened an amazing showroom/shop just down the road from iconic Ku De Ta?
Yes, and we are thrilled that this showroom is a dream come true for me, as I can now meet our customers in this unique temple of femininity that we designed and curated with care and intention in order to make them feel beautiful and enhance their elegance.
It is hugely rewarding to receive their feedback. From here we can introduce the whole AANOUKIS universe (from swimwear to resortwear and even beach accesories) and even assist them in styling.
Jl. Kayu Aya No. 7a, Seminyak, Kecamatan Kuta,
Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
Tel: +62 812 38928832
IG & FB: @aanoukis swimwear