Projects at Poepke: Bird & Knoll

February 11th, 2014

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Beginning this week, our next Project at Poepke is trans-Tasman duo Bird & Knoll. A juxtaposition of fashion, travel and photography, Bird & Knoll’s luxurious cashmere-blend scarves, printed with photographs of iconic and exotic destinations, are a narrative of the modern woman’s contemporary lifestyle and travel aspirations.

Natalie Knoll – the creative eye in the duo – is a well-regarded photographer who has worked in both London and Sydney specialising in portraits and events. Her love of travel (with camera in hand) produced an amazing archive of images that she had been looking to do something with for sometime. The idea of her images of iconic and exotic destinations printed onto cashmere–blend scarves was the perfect way to blend with her two loves, travel and photography. We spoke to Natalie about the collection, her passions and her favourite spots in Sydney.

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How long have you two known each other and how did your collaboration begin?

We met each other about two and a half years ago now, at our kids swimming classes, and bonded over a mutual admiration of each others fashion sense (and the boredom of watching laps in 30 degree plus heat). We just clicked and even though Macayla moved back to NZ shortly after, we stayed in regular contact. So when I had the scarf epiphany on a sun lounger in Hawaii I knew that Macayla would be the perfect partner on the new project, especially given her previous experience in the fashion and editorial industries in NZ.

Natalie, it seems like you’re quite the intrepid traveller. Can you tell us a little bit about your time spent travelling and your photography?

I have had quite a nomadic life – I grew up in South Africa then lived in London, New York and Sydney and was completely bitten by the travel bug at an early stage. I have always made the most of using the cities that I have lived in as a launch pad for quick trips, extensive intrepid travels (not always glamourous) and weekend getaways. I used to work in investment banking but photography was always my passion and travel photography in particular. Capturing the details and every day rituals of new and old favourite destinations is what I love the most.  My passion soon evolved into my career after moving to Sydney – it seemed like such a natural progression.

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Each scarf and each image has a very particular story behind it. What is one of your favourites?

How do you pick a favourite? They are all my favourite at some stage or another, depending on what mood I am in, where I am going and what outfit I am co-ordinating it with. A scarf is such a versatile piece and really is the final edit to an outfit. I have been wearing a lot of the Medina Motorcycles  scarf lately – I love how the colours and “textures” change depending on how it is wrapped. The story is also special – Lost in the alleyways of Marrakech on a romantic weekend from London with my husband and stumbling across the workmen tapping away at their copper, their motorbikes parked next to them. A vignette of a craftsman in Morocco…

You offer much more with each scarf than simply the scarf itself. Could you tell us a bit about this?

Right from the beginning we were aware that our scarves were much more than merely a fashion accessory … they are a juxtaposition of fashion, photography and travel and we wanted to ensure that the Bird and Knoll experience was about all of this. To inspire and aspire with our product, packaging and the story behind it was always key.

What are some of your favourite places in Sydney?

Bondi Beach – goes without saying really but the rugged beauty of the ocean, the colour palette and the light are three things that make us adore this city. But more so are the places off the tourist track –  those little gems that you stumble upon even after having lived here for so long. E.g Chowder Bay – the coolest little coffee spot built into the rock cliff is there with striped deck chairs outside looking onto the bay; Haberfield – Sydney’s own Little Italy for the best Italian deli cheeses and meats; Nielsen Park’s fish and chip kiosk is heaving with beachgoers enjoying the balmy summer evenings. (You can tell we like our food too!)

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Bird & Knoll’s Project launches this Thursday evening and continues through the next two months. To keep up to date with our Projects at Poepke, join our email list at mail@poepke.com

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