WHATCHA THINKIN': AN HÀ, CÒLADABAY

Updated: Apr 21, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to affect small businesses, we thought we'd do what we can to continue to introduce you to all the amazing things small local brands and creatives have been doing in Saigon, in the hopes to help them once our economy gets back up and running again.


For this edition of WHATCHA THINKIN' we speak to An Hà, Saigon based digital marketing guru, self-proclaimed foodie, fashion admirer and co-founder of swimwear brand CòladaBay. The brand started in late 2019 by An Hà and her friend and well-established fashion designer Diệu Anh who is also an instructor at Vietnam’s Fashion and Design Institute (FADIN). Their aim: create swimwear that is made by women for women.

Photo by Christian Berg

Hidden Saigon (HS): What is the concept behind CòladaBay?

An Hà (AH): Our initial inspiration for the name was drawn from the infamous beach cocktail Pinacolada. During our development phase, we called it Cò La Đà, an interesting and visually intriguing name.


Using the definition of a coastal bay, we would like to see our brand go beyond just swimwear to an ecosystem that represents the beach lifestyle. Imagine you’re in any beach bay, which its sole purpose is to bring joy to woman, where the products, services and experiences are designed, manufactured and executed exclusively around female empowerment and tailored to women’s needs. Like any woman, we have desires, dreams, and ways of expression and enjoyment unique to us.


And so CòladaBay positions itself to be on the side of females, supporting our ladies to enter such a world; romantic, bold and daring, comfortable yet chic - a positive energy to be yourself.


HS: Why did you decide to start CòladaBay?

AH: It was a small catch up over coffee that as always, lead to drinks. Diệu Anh started telling me her idea about creating swimwear that is for women like ourselves because frankly speaking there ain’t many choices out there for us. It’s always ok to start selling to the 18 to 25-year-old segments but that isn’t something we can compete nor set our minds to. We felt like we could make a difference to women and contribute to the messaging of being yourself. I personally feel that the market and media here are still not behind this aspect of empowerment.


HS: Can you talk a bit about the creative process behind the swimwear design.

AH: At the helm of the design and creative is designer Diệu Anh and a co-founder An Hà who both launched the brand in the last few months of 2019. They sell online and exclusively at Diệu Anh’s current concept store Le Saigonais.


From design to production, CòladaBay has 3 main ethos: Inspired by Women and Coastal Living; Designed for 25+ Vietnamese womanly bodies, and last but not least; Design that brings Joy, Happiness, and Confidence to Vietnamese women.


INSPIRATION

Vietnam’s 3,400km beautiful coastline; nature’s gifts to our backs - the sunrays, the smooth and warm sand, and the gentle waves; these all have lifted our soul and enriched our minds. It does not matter where we travel, we always think of home very fondly.

DESIGN

CòladaBay Swimwear understands the need to be beautiful yet also feel confident in expressing your own body shapes. We use ‘export’ quality materials, dynamic colours and cuts that are a solution to those beach lifestyles. All products are UPF 50+/Work in Eco, Colour Stay Fabrics.