SPOTLIGHT ON THE DESIGNER

An interview with Bird & Knoll's very own Macayla Bird and Natalie Knoll

Interviewed by Fifi Faiz



Natalie Knoll and Macayla Bird



In your words, tell us about yourself…

MC: Fun, neat freak with a penchant for spicy food and chilli margaritas.

NK: “ The quiet one”. Travel lover, global nomad (how else do you describe a South African living in Australia after thirteen years of living in the UK and US ;)).
We are both mums, creators, “sisters from another mister”, easy-going multi-taskers...



Tell us about Bird & Knoll – (how it started, when it started, why it started etc.)

Bird and Knoll is really the meeting of a fashion mind and a creative eye. I (Nat) worked as a professional photographer for over ten years and Macayla (Bird) is an ex-fashion editor. I came up with the idea on my travels with the family, thinking of how to merge my passion for photography and travel with my love of fashion - the idea of translating my photographic travel narratives onto the “canvas” of a luxury scarf was the genesis and the person I wanted to do this with was obvious from the start, friend and fashion aesthete Macayla Chapman.

We quickly got to work on our new business and with me behind the camera and Macayla's creative business background in some of New Zealand's most successful fashion businesses, including Helen Cherry and Workshop, our trans-Tasman collaboration focuses on combining tactile, quality textiles and finishes with distinct photographic images to create a beautiful brand of luxe accessories. Two years ago we extended that vision for effortless luxury into resort wear. We have set out to create collections designed with pieces that simplify our customers life with their versatility, quality and creative impact.

We have always had a strong woman in mind when developing the brand - she is confident in her style and she is not afraid to step out of her comfort zone and experiment with start-up, under-the-radar labels like Bird and Knoll.


What are three words you would use to describe your brand

Feminine, luxurious, effortless


What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?

As always we are inspired by our travels to amazing locations and to create pieces we want to wear whist travelling or on vacation. Pieces that make you feel feminine and special and that are effortlessly elegant. They can transition from the beach over a swimsuit to a dinner out or cocktails poolside easily.


Looking ahead, do you have anything you are really excited about for Bird & Knoll

We are currently working with another incredible Australian brand to bring our customers a multi-sensory experience … we really want to take our customers on a multi-layered retail journey.


What 3 things inspire you at the moment?

MC
· Travel … always !
· Colour … I am really loving beautiful earthy tones and also pops of bright.
· The beach

NK
· Travel is always number one on my list too. I am off to Japan in a couple of weeks and cannot wait!
· Summer – Not that we have harsh winters here in Australia but after 13 years of living in the Northern Hemisphere I really appreciate the beautiful Australian summers.
· Fragrance – I think scent is one of the strongest emotive responders…and can be such an inspiration when designing too.



Where would you like to travel to in 2019 and why?

MC: Any beach will do me really but my favourites would have to include Tulum in Mexico & New Chums Beach in the Coromandel, New Zealand.

NK: I grew up on the beaches of Cape Town in South Africa. Truly some of the most extraordinarily beautiful locations with white white sand and mountain backdrops….. I am very lucky to have iconic Bondi Beach a ten minute drive from me.


Where would you like to travel to in 2019 and why?

MC: Greece, Portugal and Sri Lanka … but the list is long!

NK: I am so excited to be going to Puglia and Sicily next year. Can’t wait! And still on the bucket list? India – I think it would be a sensory explosion with all those colours, sights, sounds and smells….Talk about inspiring!


What book do you recommend we add to our holiday reading list?

MC: I hate to admit I am not a huge reader – I wish I was but something has to give. I always read when I am on holiday so the last book I read was Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty … it is the perfect holiday read!

NK: Reading has also become more of a vacation luxury for me. I have Becoming by Michelle Obama on my list and I always love a good Scandinavian crime thriller.


What is your beach bag essential?

MC: Bird & Knoll Resort wear of course … or a Bird & Knoll scarf to use as a cover-up or anything else you need – they are so versatile.

NK: Ditto from me! Plus a big beautiful sun hat from Sarah Curtis



What is your top beach beauty tip?

MC: Always wear a good sunscreen, especially on your face. Part of my very basic daily skin routine includes the Coola Organic Tinted Moisturiser with SPF … it is really lightweight and gives your skin a beautiful sun-kissed glow and protection from the sun.

NK: Don’t forget about your hair too! The sun and sea and sand can take its toll on your “tresses” so I have started using Living Proof leave-in conditioner.



My desert island essential is……

MC: a great chilli margarita.

NK: Bradley Cooper…..just kidding. Ok, not kidding!


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