Emerging from Melbourne's performing arts scene in the late 90's, Kitte Cockerell fell into accessory design by chance.
In just a few years the small production line evolved into a thriving business and by 2000. The Richmond studio housed a large team to manage local manufacturing for Australia's largest fashion retailers. Since then Kitte has worked with industry leaders including Sportsgirl, Kookai, Mimco, Witchery, Seed and Forever New and in 2014 launched her own namesake label, Kitte Accoutrement.
Each Kitte collection is timeless and theatrical, offering bespoke pieces of art to be showcased and adored. Kitte finds inspiration in juxtaposition, contrasting the delicate with the tough. She pushes all boundaries to deliver unexpected combinations & textures while proportion & balance underly all her designs.
Since only launching her brand a year ago, it has already been seen on fashionistas such as The Olsen Twins, Jennifer Hawkins, Micah Gianelli, Kate Cebrano, Delta Goodrem and Ruby Rose, Kitte Accoutrement is fast becoming the accessory label to watch.
Design, made to adorn the brave and the audacious.
What made you want to create Kitte Accoutrement?
After designing for many other labels where I needed to create commercial and price driven styles, I was excited about the freedom of designing without limitations or restrictions.
What is it like being an independent Melbourne fashion label ?
Very busy! There is so much to do apart from design. I like to be involved in all aspects of the business so work closely with my team on marketing, social media, sales and branding.
Tell us the design process of creating a necklace or a ring, how do you source the right materials?
There are no strict rules when it comes to my design process. I tend to source materials such as beads, leathers, trims and metal components and combine them together in different ways until I like what I see. Once I’m happy with the initial sample I send to my manufacture offshore to replicate.
How long can it take to create a piece? Ranging from necklaces to bracelets?
It varies depending on the intricacy of a design or how easily my idea comes together.
You have a series of different collections, could you explain a little about each one and the inspiration behind it?
The latest collection, The Ivy, was inspired by the outdoors, nature, twisted vines and overgrown ivy. My childhood was spent growing up in The Dandenong Ranges, with memories of creek walks along mossy ranges. It was a magical time that I now get to revisit with my own children.
For the Insignia range, I wanted to explore alternate forms of adornment and was inspired by military accoutrement and antique furniture trims. Inspiration tends to find me at the most unexpected times and my love of theatrical costumes and vintage finds heavily influence my designs.
Biggest achievement with the brand?
The growth of the brand in such a short time is something i’m really proud of. Also that some really high profile people love wearing the brand too – Delta Goodrem, The Olsen Twins and Micah Gianelli have all been spotted in Kitte Accoutrement!
Advice to all students and people who aspire to get into the industry?
Young people who want to get in to the industry should consider doing a short business/marketing course. Being creative is usually what draws people to the industry, but having these other skills can be really helpful when starting your own label.
Couple of quick Questions! --
Favourite piece you never leave without the house with?
My Chloe perfume
Heels or Flat?
I’m usually in boots with a bit of a heel.
“Usual” day in the office like for you?
Meetings with my team & suppliers, researching new ideas, working on designs and answering emails.
Coffee or Tea?
Milky tea with lots of sugar. I’ve never had a coffee!
If you could have any superpower what would it be ?
The ability to fly.
Your signature look is….
Seventies influenced mixed with a bit of rock n’ roll.
Special thanks to Kitte xxx