Bird and Knoll is a collaboration of fashion, travel, lifestyle and photography that comes together on large, luxurious, and versatile cashmere-blend scarves. The soon to be released collection Tea, Sugar and a Dream showcases destinations including Peru, Istanbul, Santorini, Ibiza, Lombok and Venice.
The company is also introducing a collection of digitally–printed canvas pouches.
Combining art, fashion and home decor? The beautiful Bird and Knoll scarf prints even make for amazing art for your walls. Check out their look book.
We asked owners Natalie Knoll and Macayla Chapman some questions.
When did you start working together? How did you meet?
We met in Sydney, at our children’s swimming lessons – it was one of those situations where we looked at each other and knew we would be friends. Several years later, Macayla moved back to New Zealand and Nat came up with the idea of Bird and Knoll and could only think of working on this with one person – Macayla. We started working on Bird and Knoll in March 2013 and launched our first collection titled ‘The First Six Things’ in February 2014.
How did you come up with the idea for Bird and Knoll? Where did the name come from? How did you move from just having the idea to making it a real thing?
Natalie: I came up with the idea whilst lying on a sun lounger in Hawaii. Wanting to merge my passion for photography and travel with my love of fashion – the idea of transforming my vibrant adventure images into scarves was the genesis and the person to do this with was obvious from the start, friend and fashion aesthete Macayla Chapman. The name is very straightforward Macayla’s nickname is Bird and my surname is Knoll – Bird and Knoll it was. 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, we are a trans-Tasman collaboration focussing on combining tactile, quality textiles and finishes with distinct photographic images to create a beautiful brand of luxe accessories. We have set out to create an accessories collection that the discerning fashionista would use as the final edit of her outfit – like a great handbag, a beautiful pair of shoes…an eye-catching scarf. These are pieces that simplify her life with their versatility, quality and creative impact
Have you been to the places on the wanderlust scarves? How did you choose the images?
Yes, all of the Bird and Knoll images are taken by me (Nat) – as a well renowned professional photographer for over 10 years I have travelled the world, camera in hand, capturing ‘moments in time’ for a purpose one day! So it now turns out the Bird and Knoll photographic archive is large and varied, some images were captured on film, others are taken specifically with a scarf in mind and each holds a special meaning to me or both of us and has a wonderful and memorable story or anecdote behind it … this is one of the things that makes our brand really special!
What do you believe in about the fashion industry? What do you disagree with? What would you change, if anything?
We have always had a strong woman in mind when developing our brand – she is confident in her style and, being well-travelled, she is not afraid to step out of her comfort zone and experiment with new, under-the-radar labels like Bird and Knoll … so I guess we agree with a confident strong sense of style that is not dictated to exclusively by well-known labels. You need to be comfortable in your own skin and the clothing you choose to wear and wear it boldly – really own it. Fashion can be fickle – it would be great if there was less throw-away fashion and more emphasis on durable quality.
What’s the most inventive way you’ve seen one of your scarves being used?
There are so many … framed as a piece of art, used as a tablecloth, we have even had a client in Singapore send us an image of her wearing her scarf as a dress. She looked AMAZING.
What’s your dream trip? Do you remember your dreams?
We are heading to NYC in a month … always one of our dream trips but ultimately ‘dream trips’ for us are to destinations that appeal on a cultural and sensory level, it’s the extremes we find exciting … for example Peru – featured in our latest collection titled ‘tea, sugar and a dream’.
Sometimes we remember our dreams, Nat remembers her Mum telling her if she kept her eyes closed for a bit after she woke up the dreams would come back to her – we like that!
What’s next for Bird and Knoll? What’s your future-vision for the brand?
We are currently working on a very cool collaboration with a very talented Australian designer, and will continue to focus on growing our brand internationally. We are also looking forward to introducing a new product we are developing for the next spring/summer collection … the sky is the limit!
What are you listening to?
Prayer in C – Robyn Schultz and Lily Wood – love this song right now!