Kristin (nickname Kiki) Keysers is the founder and designer of Australian fashion label Kivari (ladies, one look at their clothes and you'll want them all, trust me).
Kiki may have the job most fashion lovers would swap their Grandmother’s for, but her journey to get to where she is now is colourful and varied, and gives inspiration to us all that travel really is the best kind of education you can get…
Growing up near the idyllic beaches of New South Wales, Australia, Kiki was lucky enough to travel from a young age, road tripping Europe in a brown Kombi van with her family from the tender age of just 4. Unsurprisingly, her passion for travel was ignited early, as well as her sewing skills and desire to create, however her life took a somewhat different direction…
"Growing up I was encouraged to have a “steady blue collar” job, so I didn’t pursue my love of fashion. Instead, I took my parents advice and became a radiographer" - Kiki
Her wanderlust, however, was not dulled. Having worked for just under 2 years in the hospitals of the North Coast, Kiki’s itchy feet soon made a comeback, spearheading her decision to move to London, were she continued to work as a radiographer whilst also travelling throughout Europe and North Africa.
But then, opportunity came a-knocking…
…In the form of joining Emirates as an air hostess. Kiki jumped at the chance, and 3 months later had packed up her life and moved to Dubai!
"I had the opportunity to view the world and see what else was out there. Everything became inspiration to me; the different cultures, different colours, different people. I have travelled to over 80 countries and each country, each landscape, each culture is so different, so I began to sketch" - Kiki
It was 2010, and on a surf trip to Indonesia, Kivari was born.
“The name Kivari was created from a combination of my own name (ki, coming from Kiki) and the Hindi word translating as “Vari” meaning water, river, sea. The Kivari woman is full of adventure, wonder and discovery… she is the soul seeker, and doer. Always in pursuit of freedom and a new journey, she wears her worldly bohemian leathers and apparel not just for the soft, free-flowing comfort, but for what it represents to her.
I have always roamed and felt the need to explore. That is what I do and what I want to do for the rest of my life, roam the globe and constantly grow.”
What started as designs for small leather wallets and bags, showcased in local markets, has now grown into an international lifestyle & fashion brand. The first Kivari store was opened on Sydney’s Northern Beaches in 2015, and the Bohemian luxe styled fashion & accessories are now stocked in over 100 retail outlets worldwide, and growing. Inspiration for each collection comes from Kiki’s travels, and having recently visited Nepal, she also now plans to use her designs as a non-for-profit to assist those living in Nepal who need it most.
Inspired by Kiki’s story and want to see what Kivari is all about (mainly beautiful dresses and soft, sumptuous leathers)? Head on over and check them out here.