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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, July 6, 2006

Bikini on Britney by local designer

By Paula Rath
Advertiser Staff Writer

Britney Spears has been photographed wearing a Hula-la bikini, the second line of swimwear by local designer Erika Ireland.

InTouch Weekly

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Erika Ireland

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This Hula-la bikini is the same style worn by Britney Spears, who has indirectly helped the demand for the swimwear.

Hawaiian Hula Girl

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What happens when a celebrity appears in your bikinis when the paparazzi are swarming? Ask Erika Ireland of Kailua, designer of Hula-la swimwear. Britney Spears has been plastered on the pages of People, In Touch and Life & Style magazines, as well as the cover of US Weekly, obviously pregnant and wearing Ireland's designs.

We caught up with Ireland as she was trying to feed her not-quite-1-year-old daughter, Harley, at her beachside home. One of the results of the blast of publicity is that she simply does not have time to plan a baby lu'au. "Will I regret that?" she asked wistfully. Probably not, if Hula-la continues its celebrity path to success.

"As Britney and other celebrities have discovered our new line, the demand for our suits has grown exponentially," Ireland said.

Ireland, formerly a prosecuting attorney and swimwear model, isn't sure where Spears purchased the Hula-la swimwear. "She might have bought it at Pinnacle, a shop in Malibu (Calif.), where she lives, or else online," Ireland said.

Ireland introduced Hula-la as her second line of swimwear a year or so after she began designing Hula Girl swimwear. "I wanted to expand to a more fashion-forward and upscale line," Ireland explained. "Hula-la is flirtier and has more embellishments such as shell pearls and custom-made medallions I designed myself."

Among the local shops where Hula-la swimwear is sold: By the Beach in Waikiki, Sundance in Aloha Tower Marketplace, the Cosmopolitan Sun Shop in Hawai'i Kai and Lanikai Beachwear in Kailua. In Kailua, Kona, Beaches Hawaii and Pacific Vibrations carry the suits, and in Lahaina, you can find them at Bikini Bubbles.

They're also being sold in California, Florida, Australia and France or online at www.hulagirlswim.com.

Reach Paula Rath at prath@honoluluadvertiser.com.