Jill Anjuli Hansen

Jill Anjuli Hansen’s years in the ocean inform her surfwear designs

Photograph by Coral Von Zumwalt

Water baby: Since childhood, Hawaii native Jill Anjuli Hansen has spent her free time in the ocean. Even her modeling jobs, which lasted through college at L.A.’s Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, were on the beach. “I’d get $900 a day to wear a company’s bikini line while surfing or $1,500 for walking on a reef for a commercial,” says Hansen. Solo gig: Now the competitive surfer models for California Candy Wetsuits, her line of surfwear. “I was never happy with what was given to me by the brands that sponsored me,” she says. Her neoprene style features pops of neon color; another suit is made of a latexlike material—“very dominatrix,” says Hansen, who dyes her blond hair black. A wave apart: It wasn’t just the desire to build sexier, artier sports apparel that motivated Hansen to go it alone. Her individualist profile as a punk surfer with a penchant for pink boards led her to entrepreneurialism. “I got hired to design T-shirts or help with surf contests or create a VIP lounge.” Those ancillary chops have come in handy. Right now Hansen is Candy Wetsuits’ only employee.