Anglophilia Alert: Designer Kit Kemp Has a Lovely New Shop at Bergdorf’s
As committed Anglophiles, one of the things we have come to rely on for a quick fix of Dear Old Blighty is a couple of hours spent propping up the artfully styled bar at NYC’s Crosby Street or Whitby hotels. Both are properties of Firmdale, the British hospitality company run by Tim and Kit Kemp, the latter overseeing the design of all of their hotels in Gotham and London.
Now, at a time when corporate hotels are trying very hard to replicate the stylistic innovations of the independents (and arguably sometimes succeeding), Kemp’s unmistakable aesthetic is genuinely like nothing else anyone has done anywhere…ever. Smartly, she has put her unique stamp on product lines from Wedgewood teacups to furniture to candles and toiletries.
And bringing the show decisively to America last year (remember those carefree, pre-pandemic times?), she took over a seventh floor space at New York’s Bergdorf Goodman for a spring/summer pop-up that was a notable success. So no surprise, she’s back at the same space – and this time, it’s semi-permanent. There’s also no mistaking her sense of style, with her signature textiles exhibiting a distinctive Britishness, while also seeming plucked from the pages of a particularly groovy fairytale.
Her Wedgewood Mythical Creatures and Sailor’s Farewell collections will of course be on offer, along with her original RIKRAK beauty products and scents (the lavender-juniper fragrance is surely sent from the Heavens). There are some charmingly eccentric surprise items like pet houses, mosaic birdbaths, and strikingly singular shell covered boxes. Some of these can be found at KitKemp.com, of course – but some very good reasons to shop in person are several one-off pieces of furniture, lighting and artworks, only available at the Bergdorf’s shop.
As we have come to expect of Ms. Kemp, it’s all decisively modern, yet with a keen sense of English tradition – wildly unfettered in their conception, yet also comfy and cosseting in their finished form.
“It is a joy to create unique items which cannot be repeated,” Kemp says of the original creations. “The shop will change in the weeks running up to the New Year as pieces disappear and new ones arrive. It has been an exciting project to create amidst all the doom and gloom, but the creativity at the Kit Kemp Design Studio has increased rather than diminished. We hope you enjoy our project and that you love all the glorious items that the shop has to offer.”
We’re already picking out Christmas presents for ourselves.