Kirstin (nickname Kiki) grew up near the idyllic beaches of the NSW North Coast of Coolangatta, learning to surf at a young age and being lucky enough to travel at a young age with her family throughout Europe in a brown Kombi van from the age of 4. Her passion for travel was ignited early, as well as her sewing skills and desire to create, however her life took a different direction.
“My mother was a nurse, my father migrated from Holland at the age 28 and worked renovating our houses. We would renovate houses, sell them and move on the next house. Growing up I was encouraged to have a “steady blue collar” job, so I didn’t pursue my love of fashion, instead I took their advice and became a radiographer”
Her wanderlust, however, was not dulled. Kiki worked for just under 2 years in the hospitals of the North Coast, but her itchy feet meant she soon left for London were she worked as a radiographer and traveled through out Europe and North Africa. When the opportunity arose to join Emirates as an air hostess she jumped at the chance, packed up and moved to Dubai 3 months later.
“I had the opportunity to view the world and see what else was out there. Everything became inspiration to me; the different cultures, different colours, different people. I have travelled to over 80 countries and each country, each landscape, each culture is so different, so I began to sketch”.
It was 2010, and on a surf trip to Indonesia, Kivari was born.
“The name Kivari was created from a combination of my own name (ki, coming from Kiki) and the Hindi word translating as “Vari” meaning water, river, sea.
I have always roamed and felt the need to explore. That is what I do and what I want to do for the rest of my life, roam the globe and constantly grow”
Roaming is now a key ingredient in the Kivari recipe; the best selling Roamer Bag has travelled the globe (see blog post here), and Kivari is not just a hang-on-the-rack fashion label.
“The Kivari woman is full of adventure, wonder and discovery... she is the soul seeker, and doer. Always in pursuit of freedom and a new journey, she wears her worldly bohemian leathers and apparel not just for the soft, free-flowing comfort, but for what it represents to her.
Each collection is created to ensure she is part of a culture that forever strives to be the free spirited soul searchers of the world”
What started as designs for small leather wallets and bags, showcased in local markets, has now grown into an international lifestyle & fashion brand. The first Kivari store was opened on Sydney’s Northern Beaches in 2015, and her Bohemian luxe styled fashion & accessories are now stocked in over 100 retail outlets worldwide, and growing. Inspiration for each collection comes from her travels, and having recently visited Nepal, she also now plans to use her designs as a non-for-profit and assist those in the beautiful country of Nepal who need it most.
Photoshoots provide the perfect excuse to travel, and latest collections have been shot in the unique outback of Australia, stunning Zen Hideaway in Indonesia, and the majestic palaces and forts of India. The European Summer is on the horizon for the new collection and needless to say, Kiki has never looked back.
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