Our History – Kuwaii

Our History

Kuwaii – Proudly made in Melbourne
Established in 2008 by designer Kristy Barber, Kuwaii is duly esteemed for making beautiful, intelligently designed clothing and footwear for women. Made in Australia, Melbourne to be precise, each article is meticulously designed to last, and to be cherished.

Kuwaii collections are characterised by masterful technique, quality fabrics and materials. Refined, detailed and romantic: form and function find accord in our timeless shapes, clean lines and impeccable tailoring. Our pieces evolve from our environmental reflection and contemplation about everyday life, to become sartorial staples – classic pieces that evoke effortless sophistication, innate beauty and confidence.

The concept of Kuwaii has always been the same, and it was as clear when we started in 2008 as it is now; to provide an inimitable alternative to trend driven, mass-produced fashion. Each article we produce is meticulously made to last and to be cherished. We carefully consider our customer when we design; how useful will this be to her, how long will it last her and how empowered she will feel when wearing this piece. To this day, each Kuwaii item is proudly produced in Melbourne, Australia, within 15km of our design studio in Brunswick. Our footwear is made by one of the very last surviving footwear factories in Australia, with our team of amazing craftspeople taking up to a day to make a single pair of Kuwaii shoes. Everything we do is slower, more deliberate and more thoughtful.

Kuwaii is a brand built on values. In everything we do, we try to be honest, fair and kind. These principles have a real impact on the way we make our clothes, the people we work with, and how we run our operations. Our approach takes more time and complexity, but we think it’s worth it.

Our three immaculate, light-filled Kuwaii stores can be found in Brunswick, Fitzroy and the Melbourne’s Cathedral Arcade, in the foot of the iconic Nicholas Building.

Our Vision
To be an alternative to fast fashion, made locally and made with love.

Acknowledgement of Country
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which all Kuwaii stores and offices are based. Our business has been built on the stolen lands of the Woi wurrung of Brunswick (Bulleke-bek) and we recognise their continuing connection to the land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.