As you all know, VANSWIM had their second annual event this month. The show was spectacular. It was held underground and had very dark, street look to it. The venue reminded me of the CBGB club in New York – minus the posters stapled on the walls. You had to walk down staircases to access the venue and the bar; local artwork was also showcased. The style of music and models used throughout the show varied – it was far from your typical fashion show. For instance, models of different sizes were walking down the runway; dancing and engaging with the crowd. You can feed off their energy and really appreciate the pieces being modelled because the overall light coverage was outstanding. The songs used varied from main street music, to old and new hip hop. I thank the creator and founder herself, Elizabeth Morelos for giving me and my sister Kelly an invitation. It was a pleasure to have her want to share and go public about her journey as a designer and her swimwear line, IslandGal boutique – which launched summer of 2015.
Introducing Elizabeth Morelos
Elizabeth Morelos graduated at Kwantlen Polytechnic University with a Bachelors in Fashion Design and Technology, and a diploma in Fashion Marketing. With regards to her interest in fashion, she had a little help and inspiration from her aunt who helped her sew her pieces. Of course, she eventually learned and started sewing her own pieces while finishing her studies.
Elizabeth is from the Philippines Islands, so evidently she loves the beach and sun. So when she pursued her dream as a fashion designer, instantly she knew she wanted to continue constructing swim garments. For this reason, she did a swimwear collection for her final graduation project. She went into doing this last project with the intentions to try ideas and concepts. In this case, she pushed this idea of being a swimwear designer forward, thinking it might actually take root. After graduation, Morelos had devoted her time in design – that is until she hit a fork in the road. She was ready to explore different avenues of her life. Therefore, she resigned from her job as a designer after working for 5 years. Once the decision was made, Morelos drive to change things up and determination to go a different way brought her to the path of the health and fitness industry; while at the same time opening up an even bigger world for her in the fashion industry. With that said, she reached a conclusion where she wanted to work at a place where she could incorporate both health and design. Elizabeth had a vision, and so it wasn’t too long until she landed a position at Lululemon Athletica. For her, Lululemon gave her the opportunity to work as a designer and promote a healthy lifestyle.
Fast forward a year later, she decided to revamp her swimwear collection and start a brand. Although, this can be a challenge for some designers, for Morelos it was just combining two words together. The word”island” which represents her hometown, and “gal” which is what her boyfriend refers her to; simple and meaningful. That is how Islandgal Boutique was born. Elizabeth made it clear that she got a lot of help from friends and family. In fact, she strongly believes in supporting our community, representing Vancouver, and showcasing local work. To Morelos, it is equally important to give back to those who helped her put together her line from head to toe. In fact, she continues to work closely with locals when working on upcoming shows for Islandgal Boutique, and offers opportunities for collaboration when she can.
The birth of Islandgal and VANSWIM
As mentioned above, Elizabeth Morelos presented Islandgal Boutique a year after working for Lululemon. She mentions, it was after her 6 month mark at lulu where she started doing her passion projects for swimwear. Referring back to the interview, she shares with me how VANSWIM was established. Having her speak about her thought process was both motivating and inspiring. Below is a small fragment of Morelos interview when talking about inventing a fashion show for the reason to want to show off her swimwear collection. She says,
“…one of the projects was to take on something that both challenged me, and excited me, and scared me all at once. So I was like, I launched Islandgal…how am I going to take it to the next level? and because my background is design, why don’t I launch a fashion show?”
So in just in a matter of time, Vancouver Fashion Swimwear was established and Elizabeth Morelos immediately shared her pieces to the public; along with other local designers here in the west coast which whom she shares the floor with. This was Morelos way to promote her brand and take it up a notch!
More about Islandgal Boutique and their bikinis and swimsuits…
ISLANDGAL BOUTIQUE is 100% Canadian and works with local vendors, supporting local companies. Elizabeth Morelos also partners up with local graphic designers for prints, and all her models are mainly through friends and connections.
Her swimwear line is catered to petite women with A and B cup sizes. Ladies who are looking for: lifts, enhancements, sexy cuts, and a perfect fit that makes you look flattering and feel sexy on the beach.
Written by: Kelly Gonzalez