May Gibbs x Kip & Co

Lucy Feagins
Monday 10th October 2016

Do you remember Snugglepot and Cuddlepie!? I do! The iconic Australian gumnut babies were first imagined by author May Gibbs in 1916, and went on to inspire a total of 13 much loved childrens’ stories, still in print today.

This month, to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of these uniquely Australian fairy-tale characters, May Gibbs’ gumnut babies have been reimagined by local bedlinen and homewares brand Kip & Co.

One of everything, please!

Ain’t no doubt about it, since landing on the scene in 2012, local bedlinen label Kip & Co have made a serious impact on a great many Australian bedrooms! Best known for their eye-popping combinations of bold colour and pattern, Kip & Co’s latest collaboration has won a special place in our hearts. This one brings childhood memories flooding back, especially if you are a child of the 60s, 70s or 80s!

The Kip & co team (Kate Heppell, Hayley Pannekoecke and Alex van der Sluys) have been working on this very special collaboration since the start of this year, when they were approached with the opportunity to licence some of May Gibbs illustrations, in celebration of the 100 year anniversary of Gibbs’ gumnut babies.

‘Hand on heart, this is our proudest collaboration yet’ says Kip & Co’s Kate Heppell. ‘May Gibbs was huge in both our families, so we were over the moon about the idea – and seriously just laughed our heads off about the world’s cutest little bums!’

May’s original illustrations adorn a capsule collection of Kip & Co kids and baby bedding, blankets, swaddles, cushions, playmats, sleepwear and santa sacks. It’s a lovely and cohesive collection, with a slightly muted palette that reflects the original drawings, and gives the range an almost ‘vintage’ feel.

Having grown up in the leafy Australian bush settings of Merricks and Upwey respectively, Kip & Co’s Kate, Hayley and Alex distinctly recall May Gibbs characters and their bush adventures. ‘There was something very nostalgic and sentimental for us all about creating a range that drew on stories that were such a feature of our own childhoods, and can now be passed on to our kids’ says Kate.

Aside from reintroducing Snugglepot and Cuddlepie to a new generation of kids, the Kip&Co team are also keen to share May Gibbs’ own story.

‘May Gibbs was a seriously inspiring and impressive lady boss’ Kate explains. ‘Against all odds, May found a way to tell a story of conservation and environmentalism, she defied expectations and became an unconventional, savvy businesswomen. She bequeathed the copyright for her designs to two charities – the Northcott Society, and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance – ensuring those in need will continue to benefit from her entrepreneurialism long after her passing.’

The May Gibbs x Kip & Co range can be preordered now online

Photographer – Nikole Ramsay. Stylist – Amber Lenette. 

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