Kat Gee, designer of Kagi and her son Xavier.
Kat Gee is the effervescent designer and founder of Kagi with an infectious energy and eye for stylish jewellery that has seen her build a beloved brand which is stocked throughout New Zealand and Australia. Kat founded Kagi in 2006 with the aim of creating timeless yet unique jewellery that was beautifully crafted with pearls and gemstones. Today, many women have a favourite Kagi piece, if not lots of favourite pieces, and Kat’s success has seen her partner with several charities to support those in need.
We caught up with Kat to find out more about her latest collection, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!
Tell us about your latest collection?
This September marks Kagi’s 10 year anniversary and to celebrate this milestone I knew something very special was in order. I designed the new Champagne Bubbles collection with the true spirit of celebration in mind! Reminiscent of the popping of a bottle of champagne, the collection features sparkling zirconias scattered like confetti and set in 18k stunning rose gold plating. The collection includes a statement Champagne Bubbles cuff hand set with 17 large sparkling cubic zirconias, earrings, sparkling huggies, a cream pearl necklace and matching bracelet, a pearl ring, a pearl bud pendant and a dramatic Champagne Bubbles pendant to round off the eye capturing range, I’m so proud of it! You can view it here.
What made you become a designer?
Designing jewellery has always been a passion of mine so it made sense for me to pursue this as a career. My love obsession with jewellery started with my grandmother Joyce. She came to New Zealand as an immigrant with nothing following the Second World War having spent three years in a concentration camp in Indonesia. During that three years of imprisonment her family had lost everything, but my grandmother hid some of her best jewellery in her undergarments and when they were released from the prisoner of war camp, all that they left to start a new life were those jewellery pieces. She sold the pieces in order to pay for passage to New Zealand to start a new life, but she held on to a single string of pearls, and these pearls are still held by my family today. I grew up with that story of the pearls and how important jewellery can be and what it can represent. It’s more than just gorgeous beads and metal, it’s my grandmothers legacy.
Pieces from Kagi’s new Champagne Bubbles collection.
What inspires you?
As a designer anything and everything! Travel is a big part of my inspiration!
Describe your personal style and how it influences your brand?
My personal style is about every day, functional elegance at the moment that’s highly wearable and moves with you. As a mum on the go I need clothes that fit my lifestyle and you will find me most days in relaxed jeans with a fitted tee and with some Kagi layered on top. I wear flats most of the time as it’s easier for chasing a baby and I wear clothes that don’t require dry cleaning or ironing – I simply don’t have the time!
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
This would have to been our new house by the beach in Christchurch’s Sumner. It’s possibly the biggest and most exciting purchase of my life! I just love being back home in Christchurch closer to my family, especially now that I have a new baby!
What wardrobe item should every woman invest in?
A pearl necklace – simple, timeless and always on trend. It works with jeans and a t shirt, and an elegant cocktail or evening gown – a good pearl necklace is so versatile and will never date.
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
Screw the rules – wear what you want. If it makes you feel great you’ll look great! Be unashamedly and uniquely yourself!
Kat Gee wearing pieces from Kagi’s Champagne Bubbles collection.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Kagi turning 10 is our biggest achievement to date. I’m also really proud of the work we’re doing ongoing with some of New Zealand’s deserving charities, including raising almost $30,000 so far for The Child Cancer Foundation with the sale of our Hope Ranges, you can view them here.
What can’t you live without?
My little baby Xavier, he’s such a happy wee chappy who makes me smile daily. I couldn’t imagine how much having a baby would change my life and I wouldn’t change it for the world, he’s simply amazing!
From a business point of view I would say my iPhone – it means I can be plugged in with my Auckland based Kagi team when I’m on the go anywhere and everywhere.
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
A g-string bikini! Hahahaha can you imagine!