You can say that fashion was always destined to be a part of designer, Danielle Vagner’s life, and with Kookai very much a family affair with son Viktor, daughter Bianca and their father, Rob all a part of the label, it is a shared passion. In honour of Mother’s Day, we spoke with Danielle and Bianca about working together, their mother-daughter bond, and the best advice they’ve given each other.
You can say that Bianca has been born into the Kookai business, and now works along side you, Danielle; how did you both approach working with each other?
Danielle: I was pregnant with Bianca when we opened our very first Kookai store on Chapel Street in 1992 so you can definitely say that she was born into the business! Bianca has been exposed to both the retail side and business side of the brand since the very beginning, working on the shop floor as a teenager and then making her way into Head Office where she has found her career path in the Marketing Department. With her sense of fashion and creative flare, I couldn’t be happier with her career choice!
Bianca: I have always enjoyed being involved in the fashion photoshoots and runway shows through the years and watching all the action behind the scenes. Marketing was the one area that interested me the most and I always knew this was the area I would want to be a part of. Being able to working alongside Mum is just a bonus!
Is it ever hard to put away ‘work’ talk at home?
B: It is easy to live together and work together but as a family we all understand the importance of separating home life and work life so we can make the best of both.
D: Bianca is the typical quintessential Kookai woman who we design for so often I come to her as a sounding board. I regard her opinion very highly and a lot of our ideas are bounced off each other in the comfort of our own home. Due to both our busy schedules, believe it or not we actually find it difficult to see each other during business hours! In saying that, we value family time away from our Kookai world and can easily separate both, as we have done for over 20 years!
Your relationship is quite unique, especially in the fashion industry – How would you describe your bond with each other?
B: We definitely have a bond that is built on friendship. We challenge each other but we always bring out the best in one another!
What is the best advice you’ve given each other?
B: Mum’s best advice is “never leave the house without a pair of heels”.
Images courtesy of Lucas Dawson Photography.