Where and when Lola Mignot exists is an ever-evolving question mark. Like a migrating bird or sea creature, she’s rarely nested in one place longer than a season and the exact days of her arrival and departure are decided in the moment. What you can be certain of: she’s by the beach (the short list of locations are Mexico, California, and Eastern Australia, where branches of her extended family live), and that she’s creating art along the way (be it an improvised dance on her longboard or a bracelet crafted of Tahitian pearls).
Born in Paris, Lola’s toddler years were spent on her family’s sailboat whisked by the wind to Tahiti and wherever their hearts felt was right. Through their travels, her mom crafted and sold jewelry, (a skill that she’s passed on to Lola) and taught her to live freely and attuned with nature—a nomadic gypsy lifestyle akin to ‘50s-‘70s surfer rebels in pursuit of flow, counterculture to society’s expectations.
The Mignot family settled in Sayulita, Mexico, a sleepy fishing village nestled in bay abundant in coconuts and waves. It was at this right point break that Lola showed up for her daily lessons with the ocean like a ballerina at the barre; each day refining her movements and a style that’s all her own. Because art doesn’t begin and end with the finished product—a painting, a necklace, a film—it's constantly creating and evolving.
We pinned Lola down in Saladita during the MexiLogFest to talk more about her eponymous suit and where she'll get her next passport stamps.
All photos by Lucrecia O'Keefe and Dylan Gordon.
Video by Leah Dawson for Herewith Magazine. Click HERE to see Lola's story and pick up a copy of the print issue.
Tell us more about your first signature suit! What did you want in a suit and why?
The Lola suit’s high cut leg—it was in a suit my mom used to wear in the ‘90s. I saw it in a photo of hers when I was picking through an old box in the corner of our studio. Since then I’ve always been inspired by the ‘80s and ‘90s, it’s funky and fun. The curved waist pattern on the suit follows the waistline of a woman's body. The suit is simple, you put it on and you will look good and feel good in and out of the water at any time. GO SURFING AND ENJOY THE LOLA SUIT!
What are some of the things that you always travel with and why?
The biggest piece and the most important, my boards of course! My multi-use sarong, high-waisted jean shorts with a little white tank top (the basics), and if I want to go and treat myself to a fancy dinner I take out my silk black dress that I stole from mama. My essential oils—niaouli, eucalyptus, and lavender—my grandma remedies that will help me get through any sickness at any time. My jewelry, leather and lose pearls so in case I run out of money I can go around and sell them, get money and travel some more. This always comes in handy. My jewelry is also a way to say 'thank you' to all the people that open their homes and take care of me while I’m traveling.
When was the first time you traveled alone?
I often travel without mama and papa, but was well accompanied by my uncles and aunts while I was little. We are one big family, a gypsy family. But the first time I traveled without family members, I was about 13 from Mexico to California and Malibu with my dear friend Karina Rozunko. Perfect waves and freedom!
Through your travels, you’ve gotten to see how a lot of other people live around the world. Does it make you appreciate how your family brought you up close to nature? Why?
Yes, I did love the way my mom and dad brought us close to nature. In fact, my first years I lived merged into nature. We were in the sailboat surrounded by water, the moon, the sun. When I grew up little by little my mom just trusted me so much— and still today. We didn't even go to school. For my mom and dad, life itself is an adventure from the day we are born to the day we die, we never stop learning. We grew up with the idea to "live what you love.”
In France we have a saying that says, "le voyage forme la jeunesse" [travel broadens the mind]... and that's what we did and keep on doing… and now having the possibility of traveling and learning from other cultures is a blessing.
What are you excited to do next?
I’m excited for it all! Life is bringing me many adventures every step I make.
But Europe is in my To-Do list at the moment. Portugal to begin with, then Spain to visit my grandparents whom I really miss. And from there I will let destiny decide for me. I will be traveling without a board, because with a board it would be hard to jump from train to train. Then I will be able to know the world without surfing for a month or two. There are very different cultures besides the sea that I want to see, and to travel on my own, meet people, and see what else there is to learn in life for me.
Follow along with Lola's travels on her Instagram: @lolamignot
Shop Lola's suit here!
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