beauty

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - NEWS -

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.

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