By: Victoria Clark
Every female out there knows about the quarrels in finding the perfect purse. It must be the right size, shape, depth, and of course, it has to be stylish, but trying to pack life’s necessities in a single bag that is both cute and practical is probably the most complicated task of it all. Luckily, Jennifer Binney, the founder and designer of Samudra, the widely popular line of pouches, bags, and soon-to-be swimwear, has been able to pair the perfect design with the right material and aesthetic of the essential purse/clutch.
As a native Hawaiian, Binney has always been inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds her. From palm trees, to perfect waves, to incredible sunsets and beaches, she always carried her love of the island life in her heart no matter where she was in the world. Therefore, while on a trip to Paris, she discovered a way to not only carry a piece of her favorite place in her heart, but by her side as well. With authentic and unique visuals of the island life on each pouch, Samudra has proven that our wardrobe plays a crucial part in affecting our mood and influencing our mindset, regardless of where we may be.
Last week Jennifer sat down with Surf Collective to discuss her island life and her line and even shared an exclusive sneak peak of her resort collection coming out soon. Read on to see the full interview with the lovely lady behind Samudra!
1. With such a simple concept, Samudra has been able to redefine the way we think about clutches by pairing beautiful visuals with a practical pouch design. What was your inspiration for starting Samudra?
I was in Paris in the dead of winter for work and I remember seeing a bag with an image of Maui on it, (ironically my home island) and it made me feel so happy, not only because it was my home but because it evoked a warm tropical feeling to an otherwise bitter winter occurring outside, and it dawned on me that I am not the only person that might enjoy carrying around a reminder of some blissed out tropical vibe all the time…Always into photography and travel I had an arsenal of images and so it began.
2. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself as a designer, native Hawaiian, an surfer?
I don’t really think of myself as a designer, I don’t read fashion mags or follow the trends too much, I tend to just start liking something and let it grow from there. colors, images, and nature tend to be my greatest inspo. I am happiest at home in Hawaii or more concisely in the ocean, whether its surfing, paddling or diving, its always here that I get my best ideas, and clearest thoughts. I live in Kailua, on the island of Oahu with my husband and 2 children.
3. From boutiques like the Webster in Miami to online shopping go-to sites like Shopbop, Samudra has been picked up by many reputable stores and sites. What do you think makes your line so unique and different?
I have been so blessed to be in some of the best stores and online venues and I am very thankful for that… I think people fall in love with the images first and then comes the practicality of the cotton canvas that is soft and pliable, yet easy to care for.
4. You have done very cool collaborations with artists and designers in the past, are there any special projects that you are working on right now?
Yes I have a few coming up, can’t mention them all (secret). But, launching in about a week is a really cool collab with a photographer from Australia named Ming Nomchong, she is a rad surf, fashion photog. Ming has so many stunning images that will be showcased in my newest collection “lost in paradise.” Her insta:@Thedrifterblog
5. What are you most excited for this year, personally, professionally or both?
Personally I am excited to be almost finished building our house on the beach, (it has taken a while). I am excited that I can go surfing with my daughter, Rella as she can finally catch waves on her own, so I look forward to more of that…. and I am dreaming about Morocco and Mexico for travel. Professionally I am excited to launch the small swim collection I did, it challenged me to the core as it was all new to me… but I think it came out pretty rad and it will be nice to see in shops and on people. Also, I just opened a little shop in Kailua, called “aloha superette” – it carries Samudra but also artists, goodies and stuff from all my travels! Check it out on insta: @alohasuperette
Big thank you to Jennifer!
Main image credit: Lively Bone