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Category Archives: product design
It’s been a while between collaborations so I am TOTALLY thrilled to bring you the first TEAM.WORK project of 2017. And, as always, it is damn unique!
I had been admiring the collection of the Mushama & Me rain coats for more than a few years when designer; Sharn Blackwell and I began to trade emails with a sniff of a collaboration in the air. I had previously blogged about the brands original Rain Cape and was already envisaging my dream twist on this great initial concept.
So Sharn and I got together in Auckland last year, playing around with the sample shape and visiting some brilliant local fabric wholesalers. We sent a few of our favourite samples to her local waterproofer and thus began the trading of parcels between the islands.
We settled on a beautiful lightweight cotton with a super fine navy pinstripe which, when waterproofed, had a result that was both neutral to work for most peoples personal aesthetic but had some subtle texture for interest. It also meant that it was still super easy to be roughly folded up and shoved into bags to be pulled out when needed. Handy.
Work was also done on the original design in terms of adding some front facing “arm slits” for those times when the hands need to come out but everything else would like to stay dry. These have internal zips to make access easy and tightly shut shop when you are needing full closed in coverage!
Lastly we surveyed you guys on the dome and cord colours – which was fun and super revealing! Out of the three options our “dirty yellow” (or mustard yellow as we call it now) won and the cherry on the top was complete!
The result is a waterproof workhorse of great quality, made locally in Auckland and offering awesome versatility. This isn’t something to last the season – it is classic and carefully built to last you years and years.
During the design process, we literally discussed who the cape would work well for.
Those having to stalk the soggy sidelines of sports fields, making that bike OR walk commute in our crazy volatile climate or even tucking a baby away in a front pack/sling to be snug and dry. It’s the perfect back-up to keep tucked in the car for weather emergency’s or to take you from the forest to the streets without looking too “outdoorsy and rustic!”.
The hood is decent and will cover a bike helmet plus the low scooped hems will protect your arms and thighs if zooming through a downpour!
I’d love to invite you to read on further below to learn more about my collaborator Sharn Blackwell of Mushama and Me.
You’ll also get to enjoy MANY different takes and angles on the Rain Cape as modelled by my own mother, Mimi, my sister Caroline and her daughter, baby Ada!
And right at the bottom you will also find the details for how you can WIN our original sample!
The cape is available exclusively in very limited numbers online at Mushama & Me.
Click through to find out more in terms of measurements and specs and please don’t hesitate to snap up your own if this looks like the solver of all your weather exposure issues!
Sharn you have lived around the world, by your own admission, in some pretty wet places! Mushama and Me has no doubt rescued many bodies from the elements – can you talk us through your design process and how you arrived at the Rain Cape and others in your collection?
Yes indeed, I have lived in and worked my way around many parts of the world. The wettest, and most inspirational city was Amsterdam. The weather there is crap, yet it doesn’t stop people getting outdoors. Whether its sunny, raining or snowing – biking is still the mode of transport for most Dutchies.
I think that is awesome!
However, I noticed most people riding in the rain would have mastered the knack of holding an umbrella in one hand while riding to stay dry.
Once shopping around a little, I realised this was the much cooler option when considering the pretty horrific wet weather gear options available…
Amsterdam is where Mushama & Me was born, and so from the beginning I had biking in mind. I wanted to create a raincoat that people wanted to wear (that looked cooler than an umbrella!) I started with two styles, the original A-line cut, and a bike specific style with leg straps to keep your knees dry.
Over the past few years the collection has developed and grown, but still has practicality at the core.
“I think about the lifestyle of those who don’t let rain get in the way of life, like the Dutchies, who still walk, bike and play in the rain.”
Getting out and about is obviously a core value for the Mushama and Me customer (rain coats aren’t that handy for lounging on the sofa…).
Where and what are your favourite outdoor things to do with your family?
I have always loved the outdoors, and luckily I married someone who also does. We love to travel the world and try to keep this a priority in our busy lives.
We live in Stanmore Bay, just north of Auckland, in a beautiful spot. We’re super lucky that we can walk to the beach for fresh ocean air, and spend a lot of time there, walking the length of the beach and watching our daughter play and learn.
That said, we spend more weekends away than we do at home. Its incredibly refreshing to leave the hustle and bustle, even if its for 2-3 days.
We love to go camping, its good for the soul and makes us appreciate the simple life. Hiking (mostly short walks now with a baby) is something we try and do most weekends, whether its in one of Auckland regional parks or one of NZ’s spectacular trails.
And festivals – outdoor festivals are the best! It’s where people loose their inhibitions and live totally in the moment!
UPDATE: Thanks for all the awesome entries! Looks like a lot of you could use a Rain Cape in your lives!
The very lucky winner, drawn at random was Deb L.
Join us to WIN!
We have decided to put our sample Rain Cape up for grabs. This exactly mirrors the original that you can buy here except for the zips being access from the outside instead of in.
In the comments below tell us “on what occasion in your own life do you think the TEAM.WORK Rain Cape would come in handy?”
(eg. your daily commute in Auckland, your planned travels to Iceland in spring, your forced attendance to winter based sports events….)
– Winner will be drawn at random on Thursday 22nd of June. v
– Open to NZ and Australian residents only.
I loved looking through the campaign imagery for Kip & Co’s AW’17 collection – as it, once again, reminded me that this is a brand to be bent around any personality.
Below you will see some disco-ey glitz followed by some decadent “at home time” (if only all our homes were as gorgeous…) plus kids of all ages mingling with popcorn duvets and
crazy donut sheets. My head would have blown off had I been able to snuggle into something so vibrant and cool in my youth!
Their designs can explode in vibrancy as they are layered, or when singled out, can seamlessly slide into any type of home. Seriously – it’s actually a bit of a wonder?
The Kip Queens – Hayley Pannekoeke, Kate Heppell and Alex van der Sluys have been at this game for a while now. They entered a market bare of personality and have reigned from above, even during some years where it felt like everyone was jumping on their bandwagon. And what they HAVE proven is that there is one mighty big well of ideas that together they have fed, and season after season of fresh products, pattern and design proves that.
With one eye on the USA and the other on their families and homes, this team continue to be an inspiring brand and business growing from our own corner of the world.
Hayley, Kate and Alex took time to answer some nosy questions I had for them. Its a great read!
From left: Alex van der Sluys, Kate Heppell and Hayley Pannekoecke.
Sometimes I try to remember what homes were like pre the Kip + Co led revolution of attitude packed bedlinen. There was nothing…. then there was YOU!
Can you share with use what each of you were doing prior to the 2012 launch?
HAYLEY : Prior to our launch in 2012 … (apart from drinking cups of tea and plotting to role out colourful bedding world wide), I was busy having babies (3) and running an organic grocery store and cafe outside of Melbourne with my sister Kate. I studied as a Naturopath during University and had spent many hours working in-store, helping people with their health needs. I loved it so much I opened my own store (with Kate). This was our first business together!
In my spare time (huh!) my husband (James a builder) and I were busy building and renovating our first few homes on the Victorian coast. I have always loved interior design, colour, home bits and fashion so enjoyed every minute decking out our own places.
KATE: For the 2 years prior to Kip & Co, I worked as the business manager of Melbourne fashion label Obus. For the 5 years before that, I owned a health food store and yoga studio with Hayley. Both feel like a lifetime ago, as since starting Kip&Co I have also had 2 bugs and another on the way.
ALEX: In 2012 I was busily working away in communications in Melbourne, having recently had a career change after slogging it out as a lawyer for a while.
I was keen for a creative outlet from corporate life, and the idea of starting a business with two of your best mates seemed like the most sensible plan in the world!
For those out there keen to live beyond a white duvet, your collections offer the chance to reflect our personalities in our own spaces.
Aside from Kip + Co. product; what are your most treasured items at home that really ping your heart strings!
HAYLEY: James and I recently completed another home on the coast, in which we plan to stay! We have gathered bits and pieces over the years and really created a place we can live amongst our favourite things.
My bathroom has pink and lilac sandstone, pink Moroccan floor tiles and French gold taps… I love it! A couple of my favourite things include a quirky painting of a bird I purchased in Williamsburg a couple of years back. I carried it back, frame and all in my cabin luggage and it looks even more vintage now than it did before…
I have a bit of a thing for Morocco and the treasures I bought home many years ago – they are dotted around our home and draw me back to some really amazing times in my 20’s with friends and family.
KATE: I have a bunch of art that my husband and I purchased together in the first 5 years of our relationship. It was all we wanted to spend our money on. We got a Minnie Pwerle, which will forever be one of our most prized possessions and two Rhys Lee paintings which I will never ever get tired of.
Hayley and I also own matching Buddha lamps that were our parents and even though mine was completely smashed accidentally by one of our kids and has now been painstakingly re-glued together (badly), it will forever sit in our home as one of my most unique and cool treasures.
ALEX: I’ve just been moving into my place post renovations this weekend and it has been so fun to unwrap all these little treasures from different periods in my life.
We commissioned a huge Fred Fowler painting for our living room that makes me swoon. I’ve also got a bunch of paper mache painted pots that my boyfriend and I found in India last year in the huge ramshackle shop in Jodhpur that I love. And there is a sweet little initial chest that was my great grandfather’s medicine box when he was a doctor.
Honestly I could go on forever!
What I love is that everything has a memory, its pretty much all pieces we’ve collected on beautiful holidays or gifts from great friends and family.
Who or what is popping up on your radar at the moment?
HAYLEY: Ok! A random bunch of my loves at the moment and things that are always on my radar …
We have been busy planning our launch in the US so my radar has been way over the Atlantic for the past 6 months. Some cool US brands and designers have come our way and one of those I am loving is The Jungalow … the creative outlet for plant loving interior designer Justina Blakeney. This woman is a style powerhouse and has an aesthetic that Aussies adore.
Also in love with boutique Aussie sunglass label; Pared. My eyes have been shaded in their original cool colours and designs for the past couple of Summers. I love the cool simplicity of the brand but also their lack of fear around using colour… right up our alley! I love throwing on a pair of sunnies to suit the way I am feeling or what I am wearing.
I love vintage clothes markets and finding sparkly treasures and cool old jackets
I am also a real foodie in a simple, nonchalant kind of way. I was in Mykonos last year and my absolute favourite restaurant had no electricity and cooked everything on the fire … no fuss and real tastes are my thing.
I love getting out and about on my days in Melbourne and finding new places to eat and drink. I am a huge oyster fan so always looking for the freshest shucked plate of oysters too!
KATE: I’m always loving Gucci! Haaa! But closer to home I love Lucy Folk for jewels and sunnies, Third Drawer Down and Takeawei for ceramics and cool homewares and Obus for clothing – always. And I am taking a breather from art, so nothing even on my radar there.
I’m planning a trip to Europe in July, my first time in many many moons, am thinking of exploring Mallorca (hoping to stay at Cap Rocat) and Corsica which sound very exotic and the perfect break from Melbourne’s brutal winter. I am also chatting with my architect; McManus Lew and builders Ardlie Projects about another exciting build hopefully in the next year down on the Mornington Peninsula.
So many designers choose to work alone (and prefer it that way!)
What is it about the dynamic between the three of you that is rewarding and are there ever times when it gets difficult/awkward/tricky?
HAYLEY: Never! We are really great mates and each bring something different to the table in terms of design but also skills in managing a business and keeping things fresh and exciting at Kip. We all really love what we do and enjoy our time together, especially when we get to travel together.
KATE: In a surprising way, this trio never gets old for us. I think it is because we all have such respect for each others style, experience and work ethic – so even though we don’t always agree with one another on every design or project, I know “if she likes it, even though I don’t, it must be cool/smart/a good idea”.
I’m kinda laughing at this comment, but I think it really is what keeps us all pretty mellow on everything we do. We intrinsically trust each other. And the most rewarding bit about this trio (and in fact the web of amazing people around us) is that we have our best friends alongside to enjoy this adventure with us.
ALEX: It’s really worked amazing well, we all bring different skills and experience but our common bond is that we are all creative souls and respect and love each other.
Plus we are all very hilarious so end up in hysterics most of the time.
What I learnt from Hayley, Kate and Alex:
“There is an unrivaled power in a cohesive team. It is something to strive for!
And just as I suspected – humour is the best glue”
I’m so glad that I’ve moved onto to this Q+A format as it’s not just YOU gaining a deeper insight into the brands and work featured here!
At face value, I truly do love Fazeek; an Australian brand sporting punchy graphics but in tones that don’t blow your socks off. I love the fact that I could have a table cloth to go with my cushion or mix and match with reverse coloured napkins. The baskets are quirky and cool in their slightly muddy tones …totally up my ally.
But it has been the email conversations and answers to my questions below that has reallllly taught me about where Fazeek is coming from. The zigzagging journey of creative determination leading designer/stylist; Jackie Fazekas to step out from assisting others to pursuing her own brand and career is totally inspiring.
Can you tell us a little about the path that led you to design and run your own creative enterprise?
After over a decade working in the hospitality and fashion retail industry it felt like a pretty natural progression to fuse my love of design, colour and textiles with an insiders understanding of the practicalities and quality required from linens.
I worked as a design assistant (fashion) initially in Melbourne in the early 2000’s and moved to Berlin in 2004 where I continued to work for prominent, independent German design houses.
Having returned home to Melbourne and ready to “go out on my own” I started “made by name”, a jewellery and accessories label where I had the opportunity to explore 3D printing and also work with some of my favourite natural products; wood and leather.
I had such an incredibly collaborative time working within fashion, but I soon realised that what I wanted creatively,… needed to be a bit dirtier 😉 I didn’t even know how much I missed being elbows deep in paint and gunk until fashion felt all too clean.
Both my grandmothers were creatives. My paternal Grandmother was a fashion designer, and post World War 2 moved to Australia and became the head designer of Bromley. My maternal Grandma was multi-disciplined artist, her tapestries although not my personal taste were incredibly inspiring.
Around 2 years ago, to further hone my skills in interior design and styling I approached Simone Haag to see if I could assist her on shoots. From there I’ve worked with some incredible Australian interior stylists including Bree Leech, Heather Nette King and Tamara Maynes. I’ve been lucky to work with these successful, creative women I hold in such high esteem and have learnt a lot from watching their process from initial vision to the reality of the set build, to the finished product.
I feel, with Fazeek I’ve finally started to bring together all of my influences: past and present, knowledge and aesthetic values, particularly in the latest collection ‘Hold Up/Hands Off’.
You manage such a delicious balance between texture, graphic detail and a neutral palette. Does the overall vibe of the Fazeek collections reflect your personal style in your home?
Being a small business owner, my homes have been somewhat transient over recent years and I spend most of time in the studio. But my personal style is pretty apparent both in person and the spaces I enjoy being in. I love texture and have an equal appreciation for both organic and man made, “modernised” materials. I wear a lot of black, but always mix up it up texturally.
My favourite go to piece is my knee length black leather circle skirt – clean, classic and easy to build upon. I love simple but bold print in fashion and furnishings, you can’t go wrong with stripes. My original 1960’s scandanavian sideboard that I inherited from my late grandmother is still one of my favourite pieces and epitomises my approach to clean, simple, timeless shape and lines.
My new range resonates on a much more personal level: although all of my ranges have been my style, the ‘Holds Up/Hands Off’ collection is the truest reflection of my aesthetic thus far.
We are so lucky to be exposed to SO many sources of inspiration these days! What places or people do you check in with to get your brain whirring?
* Instagram – broad range from photographers to interior stylists.
* My incredible, supportive friends and colleagues to bounce new range ideas off.
* Having followed Julia Green across all platforms it’s amazing to have recently signed to Greenhouse Interiors.
* Pinterest for both storage and inspiration.
* Keeping tabs on a broad range of local and international designers allows me to see what’s already out there – as it’s so important Fazeek has it’s own unique point of view in what is often a saturated market place.
It’s incredible having SO much at our fingertips but also overwhelming and sometimes I have to stop myself getting sucked down the endless black hole of the internet!
A lot of your products centre around entertaining – table runners, napkins, table cloths, aprons etc.
What do you like to whip up for visitors at home?
Being of Hungarian/Austrian/Romanian decent there is nothing I love more than planning a delicious menu and having my mates over for a delicious feast-a-thon. Although I love Asian cuisine, if entertaining at home I tend to go to robust, European home cooking. Signature dishes that have been passed down generationally include Grandma’s Goulash (although my Mum will claim it’s hers!) and Austrian 7 hour roast duck – it’s worth every minute!
Other than feeling as at home in the kitchen as I do in the studio, obviously designing the table setting itself is part of the joy in bringing a group of inspiring people together to share a meal … and several glasses of wine!
I’m looking forward to an upcoming dinner party that will of course feature the linens from the new collection. Hmmm, what to cook?
What I learnt from Jackie Fazekas:
We should always seek to create opportunities for ourselves. This stuff doesn’t happen on its own….
Prioritise learning, collaboration and don’t fear trial and error.
Seek originality – listen to your personal aesthetic for the best results.
You can explore Fazeek to its fullest via:
I’m really stoked to present you with our first contributed story inline with Studio Home’s new richer, looser format celebrating our NZ/AUS creative industry.
This one comes from Tessuti, a beautiful store based in Auckland but doors wide open to the world and their detail driven customers online. Owner Ali McIntosh has cemented herself a loyal following due to her ongoing passion for artisan made products and celebrating the makers themselves. Obviously this is something we share too!
So its a pleasure to bring you an interview the Tessuti recently undertook with Oliver Höglund and Ryan Roberts of SØKTAS Glass Studio.
Read on below for their interview plus some extra questions we asked all of them.
“Glass artist and designer Oliver Höglund of SØKTAS Glass Studio has been working with glass since 1999, a craft that was handed down to him from both his father and grandfather, who learnt glass blowing at the well known Kosta Boda Glassworks in Sweden.
Creating beautifully sculptural forms with molten glass, Nelson (Oliver) and Melbourne-based (Ryan) SØKTAS Glass Studio practice a free form technique, executed by hand, which results in a finish that is both unique and signature to SØKTAS. We are very excited to announce the arrival of their favourite piece: the Vølt Glass Pendant…
How did you both meet?
We both arrived and left Norway at the same time. Without knowing each other for the first 3 years there we eventually met in our final year. We met through mutual friends and we became mates straight away. We were both feeling it was time to move on and return to our roots so we came up with an idea that we have been working on since.
Can you tell us about your studio space?
The glass studio operates with a pretty consistent pattern when making the glass. The afternoon is spent “loading” and melting the raw glass material, which is then melted overnight which can be used to create in the morning. An early start the next day is vital in setting up the studio to begin the glass making process which typically lasts from around 6 am to late in combination with the melting cycle and the cold working process.
What would be some of your most stands out collaborations or projects?
Our most memorable projects/colabs would have to be starting our first showroom here in Richmond, Melbourne. Another great colab we have is with Casa Amuk clothing — awesome people who make great quality clothing, it just felt like the perfect combo, so that’s been great so far.
What SØKTAS piece is your personal favourite, and how do you suggest this best be enjoyed?
Our favourite pendant would be our VØLT pendant light. We like it because its design fits with the original edison filament bulb, the refraction’s from the filaments work well with the glass and the warm glow produces a nice, chill atmosphere.
What was the most recent thing that inspired you?
Watching Stephen Curry win the NBA’s first unanimous MVP award really inspired us to strive to be the best versions of ourselves.”
STUDIO HOME WITH RYAN ROBERTS OF SØKTAS:
I can’t live without…..
We both can’t live with out the ocean.
My top spots to eat in my town is ?
Feast of Merit, awesome feed and great staff. Richmond, Melbourne.
Favourite place to visit in Australia?
Yamba or anywhere around the North Coast of NSW.
Favourite thing to do in your downtime
We both love to Surf and Snowboard.
What do you think about when you are alone in the car?
Melbourne is a hectic place to drive, so we’re pretty busy just trying not to crash.
Where is your special place?
In the ocean.
Best advice you have been given?
STUDIO HOME WITH ALI MCINTOSH OF TESSUTI
Best childhood memory
The smell of fresh cut grass. When we arrived at our bach in the summer Dad’s first mission was to cut the grass! And that smell takes me right back to being 3 years old and arriving at the beach for summer holidays.
Favourite spot in your home
This will always be the kitchen area. I love entertaining and having family and friends over, and I really like it when everyone piles in and helps. It’s conversational, and when your hands are busy it seems easy to chat about anything and everything.
Bring all the problems to the kitchen counter – we’ll get them sorted in no time!!
Values you hold dear
Kindness, trust, dependability, inclusiveness, and ethical business practice. It’s all simple stuff really! But you need to ‘walk the talk.’
Learn more about these contributors:
Hi everyone! This is a rather fitting introduction to lead with for the brand new year! I’m always gunning for a new slate, new rituals and the intention to look after myself much better.
“Bodha is a collection of modern wellness products designed to help you come back to yourself. Based on the belief that feeling connected is the key to happiness our line engages your senses through the power of ritual and aromatherapy.”
I would struggle to have introduced bodha any better than founder; Emily L’Ami does above. This beautiful collection of carefully thought out goods (for the soul and senses) have been created by this New Zealander while living in LA with her husband; Fredericus L’Ami, (also creative director of the brand). Some serious research has gone into the products as well as an international role call of designers and artisans!
Japanese linen is used for the aromatherapy eye pillows and the hand crafted brass incense holders have been made in a Japanese factory dating back 100 years. The Ritual Oil Diffuser has been designed by our own Jamie McLellan and crafted by local ceramic legend; Gidon Bing.
What I like about all this is the care taken in design and construction totally reflects the ethos of the products. Its about “quality time taken”.
Emily L’Ami outside her LA apartment
All imagery supplied by and used with permission of
Gifting something purely handmade is super special …. but I’m pretty keen on leaving the “actual making” to the experts!
In this case it would be two Australian makers with a passion for their natural environment and some skills to boot. Angus McDiarmid of Pan Pottery (based at Lake Weyba, Noosa Heads, QLD) used a traditional wood fire kiln, kick wheel and hand dug local clays for his work. Each pot, and in this instance, travel cup is completely unique as the clay and fire decide the finish. Angus has joined creative forces with textile artist; Belinda Evans. Entirely inspired by the flora and fauna of native Australia, Belinda completed the collaboration by dying the handmade, natural cotton/linen bag using natural plant based mordants and locally foraged Kangaroo Paw, a native plant.
The cups have been carefully thought out and provide a high quality alternative to other non disposable coffee mugs out there. They have a comfortable little thumb dimple, fit under modern coffee machines and their bag makes the easy to take with!
Strictly limited numbers of totally unique products can be found online here but I would urge you to explore the work of both of these talented makers. Support local ya’ll!