Kelia Moniz and Hailey Bieber open up about life, love, friendship — oh, and fashion
Hailey Bieber and Kelia Moniz were in the middle of discussing their spring 2019 Sister collection for surf brand Roxy. (It’s a 15-piece collection of ready-to-wear, swimwear and accessories.) Seated in cozy chairs in a private VIP suite at Palisades Village shopping center in Pacific Palisades on a late March afternoon, the best friends drifted in and out of a conversation about the collection while talking about love, men, friendship and life.
“The silhouettes are really flattering, but they’re not super-revealing,” said Moniz, a 26-year-old pro surfer. “We don’t like that super-skimpy bikini. We like coverage.”
“We like a little bit of butt,” Bieber added. “But not too much.”
“You don’t want to give it all away.”
“Right,” Bieber said, sipping on orange juice. “We’re married women, so …”
“Just a little bit,” Moniz said.
“The right amount,” the 22-year-old model said before pausing. “You know how long I’ve been waiting to say, ‘We’re married women.’”
“This is true,” said Moniz, who is married to Joe Termini, a photographer and contemporary artist, who shot the new Roxy campaign on the beaches of Hawaii, where Moniz is originally from.
“Whenever you get the opportunity to work with your friends, it doesn’t feel like work,” said Bieber, who also appears in the new campaign for Weekend Max Mara’s spring collaboration with interior designer Anthony Baratta. “We get to giggle and laugh and have fun. It just feels like we’re hanging and taking cool photos.”
The women spoke with The Times days before Bieber’s husband, singer Justin Bieber, revealed on Instagram that he’s taking a break from music to deal with “deep-rooted issues.” (He added, “So that I can sustain my marriage and be the father I want to be.” He also later posted a photo of his wife to his account and professed his love to her in a comment, noting, “She is absolutely the BEST THING that has ever happened to me period.”)
Moniz and her husband are close with the singer, who once tagged his turquoise blue Lamborghini Aventador with the phrase “Cash Only” as a nod to one of Termini’s art projects. However, Hailey Bieber’s relationship with Termini and Moniz originated first.
“There was a time where she and Joe were together, and I was single and, like, around,” Bieber said, explaining that she, Moniz and Termini all lived in New York around the same time and would often travel the world together.
“We made [my husband] feel like the third wheel,” Moniz said jokingly.
“We’re a good crew,” Bieber said, sharing that the couple’s spontaneity was appealing. “They can get up and just go. When I was still single, I was the same way. I would text them and be, like, ‘Do you guys want to go to Miami tomorrow?’ Then we’d be in Miami and I’d be like, ‘Do you guys want to go to the Bahamas tomorrow?’ They’d be like, ‘Yup.’ We’ve had these fly-by-the-seat-of-our pants trips. We went to Tokyo because I was in Hawaii with them and I was like, ‘Guys, I’ve never been. This is the closest flight to Tokyo. Are you in?’”
The women’s love of travel and the beach contributed to their collection, which is available on Roxy.com and retails for $30 for a printed bandanna to $100 for a sateen trench coat. “We have similar taste,” Bieber said. “I think we both have a little bit of tomboy in our style in certain ways. We both like things that are oversized; jackets that are comfy; sneakers with dresses.”
For the interview, Bieber paired a gray one-piece swimsuit from the collection with an oversize recycled denim coat by Marina Moscone, Roxy jeans, Alevi Milano high heels, rectangular drop earrings and her signature diamond Bieber nameplate necklace.
“I’ve worn one-piece swimsuits with a lot of my clothes before — with jeans, with shorts,” she said.
The spring Roxy Sister pieces make up the first of four collections from the two through the fall/winter 2020 season. Bieber also shared that she’s designing her own clothing line. “I’m going to have some stuff coming out soon that I’m working on,” she said, declining to share any further details. Instead, she said, “I know what I like, and instead of me always hunting for things that I like, I [decided I] should just make them myself.”
“She’s the queen of everything style,” Moniz said, sharing that she often snags pieces from Bieber’s closet. “Why wouldn’t I?”
“That’s what you do when you’re friends,” Bieber said. “You raid each other’s clothes. I’ve found things that I’ve been like, ‘Oh, I think this would be good on Kelia’ and vice versa.”
Surfing is one of the few things they don’t have in common.
“I’m so bad,” Bieber confessed, laughing. “Our first experience of her teaching me didn’t go very well.”
“It was my fault,” said Moniz, who has two championship world titles under her belt. “We should have done it in Hawaii where it’s warm and tropical. We didn’t do it there. We did it in Montauk in the fall.”
When they’re in town, Moniz said they enjoy surfing in Malibu. “It’s an iconic wave,” she said. Bieber joked that she likes “sitting next to the water” — in Laguna Beach.
The women were introduced while relaxing on a lake in New Jersey. Moniz dared her to do a cartwheel off a diving board. “And then what happened?” Bieber teased Moniz.
“The next day, she went to a red-carpet event with her whole side bruised,” Moniz laughed. “That’s when I realized that I loved you so much because you are fearless.”
“At least I tried, right?”
Whenever you get the opportunity to work with your friends, it doesn’t feel like work.
As women in their early and mid-20s, Bieber and Moniz are in transitional places in their lives. Asked what they’ve learned about themselves in the last year, Bieber said, “If you ask me this next year, I’ll have really good stuff for you. I’m in, probably, the biggest learning process of my whole life right now. I’m learning a lot about myself. I’m learning a lot about relationships.” Since marrying her husband in a Manhattan courthouse in September, Bieber said she’s learning about “responsibility” and “stepping into being an adult.”
Moniz has a few years on Bieber. “I’m on the other side of that because, just like her, I got married pretty young. You got married younger than I did,” Moniz said, laughing, “but I think when you get married and then you learn to do life with someone so quickly, there’s a lot that you kind of learn about yourself during that time.
“Because you’ve never had to focus so much on someone else that you kind of forget about yourself,” Moniz continued. “So it’s kind of this little game, and you have to really center yourself and organize in your head, ‘OK, what matters? What do I love? What do I need and all these things?’”
Moniz said she has learned the importance of focusing on family, her husband, surfing and eating well. “I’ve never taken care of myself physically and emotionally … all the little things that you don’t think about when you’re younger because you live your life and you have fun.” Then Moniz glanced at Bieber. “I’m sure you’re going through it all right now.”
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