KLAY is a homeware and clothing label based in Auckland, New Zealand. Everything is made by our small team in the KLAY workroom. KLAY was founded in 2016 by designer and maker Kirsty McLay.
Limited run fabrics:
Some KLAY items are made from limited run fabrics – particularly the velvet cushions, which made from “deadstock” fabrics. These are beautiful quality fabrics that are the ends of fabrics from other larger international designers. Although this may mean you miss out on a limited-edition item, using deadstock fabrics do have advantages:
· We can utilise high quality special materials and have a wide range of fabric options, without having to order large minimum quantities of each from textile mills, which is economically impossible for a small-independent label like KLAY.
· Using deadstock is more environmentally sustainable, as we are making do with left over fabric and not contributing to the reproduction of new materials by making use of excess “deadstock” fabrics.
· Pieces are exclusive as they are in limited runs.
Made to order:
Very often we make to order. This means that we only make the item once a customer has ordered it. This is an environmentally and economically sustainable way of manufacturing because it means we are not producing items that are excess, reducing the energy and waste produced from over production. It also means that we can offer a much wider range of styles and fabric options for such a small independent business. We always aim to have online orders dispatched within 10 working days. Please contact us at any time for updates on the process of your order.
A bit about KLAY, written by founder, designer and maker Kirsty McLay:
My background is in costume making for film, TV, theatre and opera as well as always making clothes and homeware for myself, family and friends.
Before starting KLAY I worked sewing and pattern making for the past 30 years and before that I had my own fashion label in the 1980's. Many of the garments I made were hand dyed and hand screen printed. I have always made do with what I could and have always been creative with production.
I have never been very interested in fashion, however I enjoy making things and have an interest in the construction processes involved in clothing and textiles.
After experiences working on local New Zealand productions, as well as in costume houses in Melbourne and London, I learnt a lot about hand sewing, fabrics and traditional processes. These valuable experiences working on period costumes and in soft furnishings in art departments really influences the handmade processes involved in everything I make and design for KLAY.
Almost all of the clothes and textiles I own are items I have made myself and it has been that way since I was very young. I also enjoy making things for family and friends and all of the KLAY items I now sell are staple things I have made for myself and friends for years.
KLAY started organically and with the support of some very kind friends who encouraged me to get the things I had been making out there. Friends and friends of friends started buying pieces I made, and it just grew from there.
The process of the designs of KLAY items comes from a desire to have practical and beautiful things that get better over time that I want to have myself. In order to have an item that lasts and is treasured, the process of how that item is constructed is really important to me. For example, with the cushions, they are not just stuffed with feathers or cushion fluff, to get my ideal forms is a labour intensive process, I hand sculpt these from often 5 different layers. The final cushion is a result of many discarded samples and a lot of creative thinking about texture, weight and durability.
All the KLAY items are things that I had made out of practicality: The hats are something I spent years perfecting and made about 25 different versions of that I would wear on walks to protect my scalp from getting burnt in harsh NZ sun! The bags are something that also evolved over years - the ideal comfy strong everyday bag for carting shopping home, but something that I could wear even when not taking shopping home!
The cushions are items that I made for myself as a treat, but also something that I could sit on while sewing or have in bed as a head prop for reading.
KLAY is an on-going project for me and I see it something that is continuous, rather than something that has seasons. However, I am always working on new ideas to add into the mix.
The new items are made up of some of the original shapes and styles in new fabrics and also the addition of a few new styles. I like to think of KLAY items being timeless and can be re worked and styled in various ways.
The new cushions are a mix of natural earthy tones of linens and vibrant bold primary colours. The combination of these fabrics and shapes together was heavily inspired by Kenneth Noland, Etel Adnan and Adolph Gottlieb's paintings.