Koi Bird's new California-themed campaign

CALIFORNIA DREAMS: London’s destination-themed concept store, Koibird, is taking on California for spring, with colorful ready-to-wear collections, beaded bags galore and tie-dye interiors to match.

The retailer, which chooses a new theme every season and completely reinvents its interiors and edit to match each destination, has chosen to unpick Californian style from many different angles, ranging from Western style to the glamour of Hollywood and festival dressing.

“We are presenting a mix of ideas of all that’s cool in California. We are well-known for our accessories and swimwear, but with this destination there were so many different looks we could cover and that everyone will be happy with,” said founder Belma Gaudio, who opened Koibird last summer in a bid to bring an element of discovery back into retail, and cater to travel-obsessed, adventurous shoppers like herself.

The store opened its doors last summer with a beach-themed destination, which came complete with bubble-gum pink interiors and an array of straw bags, statement earrings, swim wear and printed caftans.

After a pit-stop in the Alps and a winter ski edit, Koibird is returning to warmer climates, but the idea for this year’s location-specific, summer theme was to move a little farther away from resortwear and flowy, summer dresses and add a broader rtw offer.

Cue minidresses by Magda Butrym, Rosie Assoulin bags, R13 tie-dye sweaters, sequined turbans by Julia Clancey and metallic Marco de Vincenzo slides.

Some of Koibird’s strongest performers are also returning, including Natasha Zinko, Cult Gaia and Gül Hürgel, an Istanbul-based label best known for its printed summer dresses.

Gaudio has also experimented in the vintage arena, teaming with New York-based vintage dealer Morphew, reworking Forties chenille blankets from its archive of antique fabrics into dresses, robes, caftans and stone-washed denim.

“Designers are becoming much more responsive to the idea of using leftover fabric to make you the piece you want. They have these fabrics lying around and it’s a way to recycle them,” said Gaudio, adding that she has also opened up to discounting some of the store’s leftover stock online, to ensure that the company is responsible with its waste. “We are constantly thinking about leftover stock and the rental market is another consideration, as it’s growing and they’re not just targeting the big brands anymore.”

California also gave Gaudio more room to explore the beauty category and introduce Pharmacy K, the store’s first health and beauty edit, which will stock everything from natural deodorant to Manuka honey body scrub and CBD oil from Charlotte’s Web Hemp, a premium grade CBD brand.

To mark the opening, Koibird has also released its first campaign, which stars model Malaika Firth and was styled by Julia Sarr-Jamois.

“We just wanted to portray this mood of color and happiness to drive home the cool, young, girly California spirit and express how excited and proud we are for this destination. It’s a commercial destination that everyone just loves,” Gaudio added.

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