Kowtow was born in 2007 with the desire to create an ethical label that would be the example for a fashion forward, global thinking business. 11 years on, we open our flagship store in our hometown of Wellington, New Zealand, with an emphasis on natural, locally sourced and sustainable materials.
Photographed by Simon Wilson.
The store articulates minimalism, simplicity and generosity. From the outside, two large windows frame the space. Instead of traditional displays, passerbys have an open and transparent view of the store’s day to day life.
Floor to ceiling structures divide the space with rhythm and support a bespoke racking system, while display shelves punctuate the space. The point of sale anchors the space and invites conversation.
“The store opening is an opportunity to bring the Kowtow ethos into a physical space. The only option for us was to engage interior designer and architect, Rufus Knight, as he is leading the charge with innovative interiors. Rufus was excited to work with us, as sustainability and traceability is core to what we do and he wanted to execute that in the design. Every detail was considered - from the recycled nylon rugs to the New Zealand grown and milled timber“
– Gosia Piatek - Founder & Creative Director.
Every aspect of the store has been selected with sustainability in mind:
• Sustainably grown, harvested and milled eucalyptus, finished by hand with an non-toxic, eco friendly Osmo hardwax oil.
• Point of sale and display units are made from valchromat, a FSC certified product made with post industrial recycled wood chips and aimed at reducing environmental impact.
• Handmade ceramic tiles by local artist, Gidon Bing.
• Floor rugs made from salvaged and recycled synthetics, including fishing nets recovered from the ocean.
• Modular sofas designed by Simon James and upholstered with renewable and compostable fibres: virgin wool blends.
• Linen curtains that have been sustainably grown, harvested and processed using the environmentally friendly dew-retting method.
• Hotaru Buoy pendant lights designed by Barber & Osgerby and manufactured by Ozeki & Co Ltd., a celebrated Japanese company dedicated to making paper lanterns since 1891.
Design & Concept - Rufus Knight & Kowtow
Architects - Makers of Architecture
Fit Out - Makers of Fabrication
Photographer - Simon Wilson
29 College Street, Wellington
Monday – Friday, 10am – 6pm
Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Sunday, 10am – 4pm
read conversations with our makers
architect beth cameron
ceramicist gidon bing