A Designer's Odyssey - Mykonos

A Designer's Odyssey

Each year, as the Australian winter takes hold, I find myself drawn back to the sun-drenched shores of Mykonos. This annual pilgrimage, steeped in both tradition and luxury, is not just a family getaway; it's a journey that deeply inspires my swimwear designs. Mykonos, with its blend of relaxed island life and upscale allure, perfectly mirrors the ethos of my collections.

The Mykonian Muse Mykonos greets me with its familiar, dazzling white architecture, set against the azure of the Aegean Sea. This contrast of simplicity and splendor is a cornerstone of my design philosophy. Wandering the quaint, winding streets of this Cycladic paradise, I am reminded of the importance of effortless elegance, a quality I strive to embed in each of my swimwear pieces.

Leah Madden Mykonos old town sunset


A few of my favourites:

Stay: Petinos Hotel Nestled gracefully along the shores of Platis Gialos, Petinos Beach Hotel embodies the quintessence of Mykonian luxury and charm. Each year, as I step into this haven, I am enveloped in an atmosphere of elegant tranquility that profoundly influences my design ethos. The hotel, with its pristine white walls and vibrant blue accents, mirrors the iconic palette of Mykonos itself, serving as a constant source of inspiration. A harmonious blend of traditional Greek aesthetics and modern comfort with serene vistas of the Aegean Sea. It is here, amidst the gentle lapping of waves and the hotel's understated elegance, that I find a sense of peace and creativity that is intricately woven into the fabric of my designs.


Katrin No visit to Mykonos is complete without indulging in its culinary delights. For those in the know, an icon since 1971 Katrin has a long storied history of hosting celebrities in quiet luxury. At Katrin, a feast of flavours meets artistic presentation.

Nicolas Taverna The intimate and charming setting of Nicolas Taverna, on the other hand, echoes the warmth and comfort of long hot days oceanside. Here, toes in the sand, over traditional Greek dishes, I often find the relaxed essence of my creations being rekindled.


The pulsating energy of Nammos and the bohemian spirit of Scorpios are where Mykonos' luxury and leisure converge, each offering a distinct palette of inspiration that is as intoxicating as the Aegean breeze.

Leah Madden swimwear designer at nammos Mykonosnammos Mykonos calamari travel blog review


Nammos: At Nammos, the ambiance is a dazzling display of opulence and style. Here, under the warm Mediterranean sun, the beach club transforms into a catwalk of the latest fashion trends. The air is thick with the scent of sea salt and luxury perfumes, mingling seamlessly. The crowd, an eclectic mix of international jet-setters and fashion connoisseurs, lounges in cabanas or mingles by the bar, each person a living embodiment of chic beachwear. Women flaunt elegantly draped cover-ups and the tiniest micro bikinis, while men sport tailored swim shorts and crisp linen shirts. The vibrant, dynamic energy of Nammos is a visual feast. It's here, amidst the clinking of champagne glasses and the soft beats of ambient music, that the contemporary pulse of my swimwear designs finds its rhythm.

Leah Madden with daughters portia and scarlett madden. Nammos Mykonos

Scorpios: In contrast, Scorpios offers a more earthy, yet equally mesmerizing, experience. Perched on its own peninsula, it's a sanctuary where bohemian luxury meets rustic charm. The atmosphere here breathes a different kind of fashion ethos - one that's more relaxed yet profoundly artistic. Here, the style is less about labels and more about a personal expression that compliments the natural environment. The palette is more muted, with earth tones and soft pastels dominating, reflecting the sandy shores and sun-bleached wooden decks. At Scorpios, amidst the gentle rustling of tamarisk trees and the panoramic views of the sea, I find inspiration for swimwear that's not just a garment, but a piece of the wearer's soul – free-spirited thong styles, unique, and deeply connected to the natural world.

Spilia: Perched on a secluded cove, where the rugged cliffs of Mykonos embrace the azure Aegean, Spilia emerges as a hidden gem, a secret whispered among those who seek culinary enchantment by the sea. This exquisite seaside restaurant, carved into a natural cave, offers an ambiance of understated, organic luxury.  The sound of waves gently crashing against the rocks provides a soothing symphony, enhancing the dining experience. It's here, in this magical nook of the island, that the essence of Mykonos – unspoiled, authentic, and mesmerizing – is felt most profoundly. 

Leah Madden swimwear designer at Spilia in Mykonosspilia mykonos cave restaurant waterside

Family Time – The Heart of Inspiration It's in these annual family moments that the essence of Mykonos truly seeps into my work. Watching my children diving off the craggy rocks, or sharing a laugh under the Mediterranean sun, I'm reminded of the joy and freedom that I want my designs to embody. Mykonos, with its harmonious blend of family values and exclusive experiences, continuously shapes my approach to creating swimwear that's both luxurious and accessible.

The Mykonian Sunset – A Palette for the Soul As the day ends and the Mykonian sky turns into a canvas of fiery oranges and tranquil purples, I find myself captivated by this natural spectacle. These sunsets are not just breathtaking vistas; they are a palette from which I draw color inspiration for my designs. The way the hues blend seamlessly into one another, much like the seamless blend of comfort and luxury in Mykonian life, is something I endeavor to replicate in my swimwear collections.

Taking a Piece of Mykonos with Me As my time in Mykonos draws to a close, I feel a mixture of reluctance and rejuvenation. While I am always sad to leave this enchanting island, I carry with me a treasure trove of inspiration – from the elegant lines of its landscapes to the vibrant energy of its beach clubs, and the warmth of its culinary delights. Mykonos, in all its multifaceted glory, is not just a destination; it’s a vital part of my creative process.

Back in Australia, as I sit in my studio surrounded by sketches and fabric swatches, Mykonos feels like a world away, yet it's deeply ingrained in every line I draw, every color I select. This island, with its perfect melding of luxury and leisure, continues to be a pivotal influence in my designs, reminding me that true elegance is about balancing sophistication with simplicity, luxury with comfort, much like the enchanting island of Mykonos itself.

x Leah

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