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We loved her as Izzy. We loved her in Rogue Traders. We even loved her presenting our fave reality dance show. Now, we are loving Nat Bass as a fashion designer, bringing a fresh new look to kids’ wardrobes across the world.

 

Natalie Bassingthwaighte is a woman with a resume as long as her surname (Ed’s note: we hope we spelled it right!). As an actor, TV presenter, musician and author, she now also adds kids’ fashion designer to the list.

 

Nat will be in Brisbane this month as an exhibitor at the Essential Baby and Toddler Show with her label Chi Khi. Nat spoke to haven just days after wrapping the campaign photo shoot for her latest collection. It’s the label’s fourth fashion collection since launching last year with Chi Khi Mini, Chi Khi Lounge and Chi Khi Kid. There’s even a range of Chi Khi Bare skincare for minis.

 

ChiKhi Feb 16 BTS_High _Res-200“My philosophy is that kids should be kids but there’s no harm in them being fashionable as well,” Nat says.

 

Nat admits that while she is dressed glamorously for her gigs on TV, it was always to someone else’s theme. She says that it’s only been in recent years that her own personal fashion style has emerged.“I like more of a masculine, unisex vibe,” Nat says, and it’s an obvious influence on Chi Khi.

 

Chi Khi’s signature monochrome colour palette and urban designs are refreshingly unique and downright rad when compared to the sea of lolly pink and baby blues that generally dominate mainstream kids’ clothing racks. But don’t let us tell you how cool this label is. The fact that Chi Khi has been papped on the kids of celebrities such as Jessica Alba and Rachel Zoe tells you something. Megan Gale’s son is also a fan.

 

ChiKhi Feb 16 BTS_High _Res-166Nat describes her label as “moody, edgy and urban” and “quirky, playful and cool”. She specifically chooses bamboo and soft cotton fabrics to be comfortable against kids’ skin. Among Nat’s fave pieces in the upcoming winter range are a limited edition leather-look jacket that is completely machine washable and comes individually embroidered with its owner’s name (how cool?!), the oversized knits and cardis, long-sleeved tees with thumb holes and her sports luxe quilted dress. Among the new collection’s key design elements are “very graphic” Minecraft-esque prints and oversized cuts. Nat says this season’s collection is all about layering.

 

Nat’s own kids (daughter Harper, 5, and son Hendrix, 2) are obvious Chi Khi fans. According to Nat, Harper has been dressing herself from a young age (“but her choices were not always pleasing to the eye in the early days!” she laughs).

 

ChiKhi Feb 16 BTS_High _Res-93While Nat has a pile of things on her plate, she says Chi Khi came about as a way to spend more time with her young family. She tips her hat at other working mums juggling careers, kids and life in general.

 

“I have a great support network – an amazing husband and my family – but it doesn’t mean it’s not hard. There are parts of any business that you won’t like. I want to pull my hair out sometimes but instead you’ve just got to put a smile on your face, get on, and just do it.”

 

Visit www.chikhi.co

 

Belinda Glindemann

Belinda Glindemann  

Belinda knew she was destined for a career in communications and publishing from the age of 11 when her Year 6 teacher introduced her to poster projects and glitter pens. She completed her journalism cadetship in the Whitsundays and went on to hold various newspaper and magazine editor roles across Brisbane in a media career spanning more than a decade. When Belinda's not writing for haven, she runs her own PR agency, kid-wrangles two young daughters and drinks way too much sweet tea.