KLAY is an independent homeware and clothing label based in Auckland, New Zealand. They create unique and practical items that are long-lasting, using as many locally sourced, natural and recycled materials as we can. Everything is made in their small team in-house in the KLAY workroom. KLAY was founded in 2016 by designer and maker Kirsty McLay.
A bit about KLAY, written by founder, designer and maker Kirsty McLay:
Everything that I make for KLAY are things that I want to have myself! Every item is designed with the goal to be practical, beautiful and importantly, get better over time. 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 sculptural 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 5 different layers. The final cushion is a result of many discarded samples and a lot of creative thinking about texture, weight and durability.
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 find joy in 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. I have always made do with what I could and have always been creative with production. I love making things and have always been interested in the construction processes involved in clothing and textiles.
After experiences working in film, theatre, ballet and opera in costume houses in Auckland, 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 influence the handmade processes involved in everything I make and design for KLAY.
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.
KLAY is an on-going life long project for me and I see it something that is continuous. I am always working on new ideas to add to the mix.