Gosia Piatek, 37, is founder and owner of ethical fashion brand, Kowtow. Piatek divides her time between London – where she has a home with her English partner, Thomas Napper, a commercial film director – and Wellington, the headquarters for her 11-year-old label. She chats to Sarah Catherall. I met my partner, Thomas, on a Sunday. We were in Kolkata, India. I was eating pancakes for breakfast and had been working six days in a row, checking out the Kowtow range in our ethical factory there. He came over and said: “Hello,” and just stood there. I got all flustered and asked him if he’d like to sit down. He’d just been to New York filming Norah Jones for a music video. I had just returned from New York. We spent 24 hours together and, over Skype, decided we’d spend the rest of our lives together and have a baby. We met back in London and four months later, I was pregnant with our son Laker, who is now 3½.
The last Sunday I spent in London was at the Baftas. Thomas had been nominated for a Bafta as debut director (for the film Jawbone). Everyone had to wear black; we went to the Royal Albert Hall dressed up in black. We went to the after party and it was the first time we had been out together since we had a baby. We danced till 4am. We were the last to leave the bar.
In New Zealand, I try to keep my Sunday about friends. I’m mostly solo parenting here. It’s me and Laker. I try to prebook a morning and an afternoon thing: it doesn’t have to be friends with kids. My whole week is focused on my work and my son, so we will do the reverse. I’ll go to the most non-child friendly café, where they don’t even put sprinkles on the fluffy. I like to go to Capitol with girlfriends, and Laker is totally happy to entertain himself with his toys. I need to have contact with friends, and not let it be about kids and work.
Sunday is a rest day but I’m not very good at resting. I’m usually up at 7am. Even if Laker wasn’t around I’d still get up then. We’re usually out of the house by 9am going for brunch somewhere. I don’t want to spend my whole Sunday at the playground. After brunch, we’ll walk around Oriental Parade with his scooter. I live on the seafront at Owhiro Bay so often we’ll go rockpooling and try to find starfish. We try to spend time in nature when we’re here, which helps me recharge for the week ahead.
My first Kowtow shop has just opened and it’s across from Moore Wilson’s deli, where I like to shop on the weekends. So I’ll go in and get the store girls a treat, and say g’day. The store was designed by Rufus Knight, who did the Lonely stores. We’re planning to create a community around the store, and host events there.
I love to wear my Kowtow ‘‘Building Blocks’’ at the weekends. I’ll wear a striped Kowtow top and pants and a pair of sneakers. I’m quite a uniform person and I have a very small wardrobe. I’m a minimalist. I have a sense of simplicity in my home and my wardrobe. I just want to have a few things that I wear all the time. My partner is a maximalist, and there’s nothing wrong with either.
I don’t wear any makeup on a Sunday. During the week, I wear eyeliner, and powder. I don’t have a skincare routine. My Japanese masseuse gave me this miso/sake mask and I put that on – I swear it gets rid of blemishes. My skincare routine is literally washing my face in the shower with water.
“We spent 24 hours together and, over Skype, decided we’d spend the rest of our lives together and have a baby.”
I have a bath every single night. I’ve got a clawfoot bath in my place in London, and one in Wellington. Sometimes I’ll put lavender oil in, and epsom salts.
In London, my Sundays are totally different. I live in a completely urban environment so we focus our Sundays on Laker and go to a park. I’d rather go to the forest or park to enrich my soul. We have a huge farm table which fits 15 around it, so we often have a barbecue or a meal together with friends. There’s a yoga place I like to go to as well – Thomas can take Laker so I can have some me time. Sometimes, Thomas will take me to fancy restaurants, but those places don’t fulfil me.
Gosia Piatek likes to start her Sundays with a relaxing brunch at Wellington’s Capitol café.