Meet Head Designer Ramana Benson

So girl, you're the Co-founder of swim and integrate part of the creative process in the company, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role in Lahana?

Hey, beautiful Lahana girl gang! I’m Ramana, Co-founder and head designer at Lahana Swim & Active. I have been designing for about 7 years now, but truly found my passion when we started designing swim for Lahana. I love what I do and am so excited to share some of my experiences working in the industry.

 

You create so many diverse and boujee designs for both swim and active. We are curious to know what inspired you to become a designer?

My dad inspired me to become a designer. He is an artist and has been creating beautiful, colourful works since my earliest memories. I would spend most of my downtime in his home studio painting, learning, drawing and creating alongside him.


Watching him create unique & one of a kind paintings inspired me greatly. He always encouraged me to pursue whatever my heart desired. My dads commitment and dedication to his art, as well as his passion for his craft drives me to this day.

 

 

Your role is something that a lot of creatives dream about. What advice would you give to someone aspiring to do what you do?


Try not to follow the crowd; it's easy to get caught up and lost in the madness of the world. Find your style and stick to it! Muster the confidence to support yourself no matter what. Walk your path and people will be attracted to whatever it is that you create.
Opportunities will open up for you with time and commitment.


If it's something you want to do, don't give up!! Keep trying, we all have to fail sometimes. It's part of the journey! Let those failures act as lessons or catalysts for change and personal growth.

 

Lahana does seasonal drops and small collection drops in between, thats a lot of designing! Can you take us through your process? and How you develop your collections?

I always start by making a mood board. To inspire me, I find images, colours, shapes or even quotes that resonate. The creation of a mood board always helps give me a more precise direction for a new range.

I then research hundred of prints and colours that speak to that mood board. Colours are what inspire me, so it helps me to visualise the collection before I start sketching. I create the cuts and designs around the prints and colourways that I am most vibing off.

Sometimes an idea I start with is not what ends up materialising, as the colour and prints always take me on a journey, that's the beauty that lies in the creative process of designing.

I will then start to draw up sketches. I draw as many as I can and alter designs as I go until I'm happy with the final results. When I am designing, I'm always considering what shapes our girl-gangs love, different body types and degrees of coverage.

My favourite part, once the sketches are complete, is to have a meeting with the team. We will have a group session with feedback and choose our favourite designs/prints. I am then able to pick the final cuts and prints we will sample and ultimately run with for that collection.

Then we start the sampling process with the designs and swatches of prints. Sampling can take up to 3 - 4 rounds before we get the perfect fit and colour shade. Then voila! A new collection is born!

 

 

We can't wait for the new Collections to drop. Can you tell us what's inspiring you right now? And what we can expect to see in Lahanas new swim range?

Mother nature is inspiring me. What a time to sit and appreciate what's around you!
You can expect to see a mixture of bold, colourful, earthy prints and cool tones coming your way.


The designs are minimal but versatile for different body types. These are some of my most bold and favourite collections to date; they will be sure to drop some jaws!

 

 

" I also think it's essential to maintain a balanced life outside of work, spend time outside with lovers, live WHOLEHEARTEDLY so you can create WHOLEHEARTEDLY". - Ramana Benson

 

 

You come from a creative background.... do you ever have points where you feel uninspired or is creativity something that comes naturally to you? And what do you do to stay inspired?

Yeah, I would say it is something that comes naturally, but of course, I have my good and bad days when creating. Sometimes it just flows out of me, and I am absorbed in the process. Other days, I have to work a little harder to stay focused and motivated. When I feel stuck, I like to take a breath & step away. I'll listen to a Podcast, draw, surf or take a long hot bath. I'll practice something that I know resets me so that I can move forward with fresh energy. It's not always easy when you feel stuck but it helps to step away for a hot minute and give yourself some space to feel re-inspired.

I like to stay inspired through the people I choose to surround myself with. Bouncing ideas and thoughts by my co-founders keeps me excited for new ideas. I also think it's essential to maintain a balanced life outside of work. Spend time outside with lovers....live WHOLEHEARTEDLY so you can create WHOLEHEARTEDLY.

 

What's something that challenges you or a problem you have had to overcome as a designer?

Hmm good question . . I guess a big challenge for me to overcome was self-doubt in the beginning. It can be a real show stopper when you're scared to show the world your designs. You're revealing a slice of yourself & it's scary to open up to possible rejection. It was a big learning curve to stop worrying about what others would think of me and to stay in my lane confidently. All that matters, in the end, is that you're doing what you love! Once I was able to integrate that confidence into my work & life, things just flowed so much more naturally.

 

 

You spoke about 'living WHOLEHEARTEDLY so you can create WHOLEHEARTEDLY'. What's your go to self-care practice that keeps you balanced?

I love to soak in the bath with a face mask on, put my phone away and have a glass of wine! The phone free part is super important in this day and age. Having 'safe spaces' dedicated to winding the mind down is crucial for our well-being and forging our own identity. It works wonders & I highly recommend working it into your self-care practice.

 

 Thanks so much for coming for a chat and sharing your wisdom with us all! We hope you feel inspired to move forward with whatever creative endeavour you have planned next!

If you would like to hear a little more about what goes into the business, you can catch Ramana alongside her two sisters on the Happy hour  Podcast with Lucy and Nikki.