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”