Kuwaii are a champion in the Melbourne fashion scene. Considered and consistent, Kuwaii have been a part of the local fashion landscape for almost ten years. It has been a pleasure stocking Kuwaii at Monk House Design over the years, and we were ever so pleased when Kristy of Kuwaii kindly invited us into the incredible studio of Kuwaii.
What do you do?
I am the owner and designer of Melbourne brand Kuwaii.
Do you have a daily routine? What does a normal day for you look like?
At the moment I am actually on maternity leave, my little baby girl is 9 months old. So my daily routine now is a bit different to when I was working on the label full time. Now I fit work in around motherhood and sometimes motherhood fits in around work. Every day I check emails, spend some time in the Brunswick store, and time on the phone or texting with the team. Also, every day, I will spend time on social media, the financial side of the business and noting away ideas for anything and everything from promotion, next season’s collection concepts, to storage solutions that might be an issue at that moment. It’s really a lifestyle, I live it and breathe my work throughout every minute of the day!
What is your favourite thing about what you do? And what is the biggest challenge about what you do?
I love my work so much, it would be really hard to pick a favourite thing. I could say that the best thing is working with a great team who lives and breathes the brand like I do. I love designing, but this is such a small part of my role! I love that my role is constantly changing and there’s never a dull moment. And this is also the biggest challenge too: the world of fashion never stops, and it can be exhausting trying to keep up.
I believe it’s been almost 10 years (!) since you started Kuwaii! How has Kuwaii grown and changed since when you began?
Yes! We will be celebrating 10 years since the launch of our first collection in 2018! I am so humbled by our humble success and the support of all our amazing customers over the years. It’s barely recognisable now from the brand I started back then! I think of the first few years as my training years, as I started the brand straight from school and had no fashion work experience, so those first three years was when I earned my stripes and learned the ropes. Our collection Landscape was launched in summer 2012 and that was a landmark collection where classic pieces such as our slips and Cicada Sandals were launched. The things that remain the same in Kuwaii since it started was our concept. I wanted Kuwaii to be an alternative to mass produced fashion, something simple, slow and beautiful, made with love and made to be treasured. I’m really proud that we have stayed so strong to this philosophy and as the business has grown, we have kept our integrity.
Do you listen to anything while you are in the studio? What do you like listening to as you work?
I prefer to concentrate on my work in silence! This allows me to focus more than background noise or music
What is in store for you and Kuwaii for 2018?
Well we had better celebrate our 10 year anniversary! We also might have some news on a new store… but that’s really hush hush for now!
Photography by Madeleine Burke