Tell us about your label Bandikoot and what the concept is behind it?
Bandikoot kids wear is fresh, fun filled & unique. We are based in beautiful Byron Bay, where hipster surf culture meets the gypsy bohemian tribes. We strive to encapsulate the freedom of our coastal lifestyle when we design a collection. We take what is timeless from the seasonal trends and mix it with a twist of our own style. Often our designs return to the retro cuts and prints we all love so much. Bandikoot is well known for our small runs of retro shorts made from eclectic up-cycled vintage fabrics. We have a strong focus on making Bandikoot as environmentally sustainable as possible.
What is your creative background and how did it lead you to where you are today?
I have always been a very visual person. I left school and home early to study photography in Sydney. My wanderlust has taken me all over the world doing many different jobs. The last job I had was coaching and competing as a professional snowboarder. My life has been a wild ride and in my mind nothing is out of reach. I owe a lot of this courage to my mother. She was an extremely motivated, highly creative person. I remember her to always be printing, weaving, sewing, building, digging, soldering, painting, teaching, reading or learning. She definitely inspired my creativity and is my most treasured mentor.
After having my first child, I started screen printing shirts for him and for fun selling them at the local craft markets. These markets provided me with a great platform to trial my wears and allow my business to grow organically. Last year Bandikoot really took off. It is very exciting!
What do you love about working with kids clothing? and what keeps you creatively motivated?
I love the freedom that comes with designing for kids. Little people can get away with most crazy fun layering and mix matching of styles. Colours can be vivid, prints quirky & styles outrageous. Byron Bay’s rich diversity also gives me a real lack of limitations. Our community is a hub of amazingly creative people. My friends are fashion designers, stylists, artists and musicians. My design process is often motivated by them. I love dressing their beautiful & kooky squirts. Although my own children are my favourite muses.
What is your creative workspace like, and what inspires you about your surroundings?
I’m definitely not a minimalist! I’m a collector. I have a clean home. But my studio is always messy. Mood boards sprawl across the walls, surfaces are cluttered with books, drawings, stationary, fabric samples, plants and porcelain miniatures. Racks are filled with vintage clothing samples, new designs and props I have collected from my photo shoots. I love my chaos, it constantly inspires me.
My studio is attached to my home in the tranquil Byron Bay hinterland. Working from home makes for a relaxed lifestyle. We have a large bird filled garden with fruit trees, veggies and a great view. I often break up my days at the desk with hammock time, gardening, dog walks and surfing. I am very grateful to be flexible with my days and always home for my kids when they get on and off the school bus.
Where do you source the fabulous recycled and vintage fabrics for your range? and their challenges in doing so?
I am a collector of all things old and interesting. So finding time to source my fabrics is something that comes easily to me. If I’m out and about I always manage to squeeze in a little treasure hunting. I really enjoy a good road trip, I’ll take off for a couple of days cruising through city’s or small towns finding my vintage fabrics. I always find a lot of very cool stuff, but I mainly come home with vintage fabrics, props and inspirational samples. The only challenges I find is giving away my secrets.
What can we expect to see from Bandikoot at the upcoming Sydney Markets?
Our winter 2014 collection is stylish, practical and a wee bit sporty. Delicate details will please the whole family. Featuring fun printed jersey lounge wear for infants, colourful cotton knits, chambray shirts, tiger print tassel dresses, vintage cotton florals, raglan long sleeve shirts, woollen winter hats, french terry sports sweats, up-cycled one off pieces, crochet lace, delicate ponchos, stonewashed denim and a little bit of black leather.
Image credit: Campaign photos by David Hauserman