Whether it is the soothing sounds or calming atmosphere of the woods, going back to nature has never-ending positives to keep you rejuvenated. If retreating to a tree house by a lake or a cabin in the woods is out of reach at the moment, why not bring a little part of nature at home? Go back to nature with these outdoor-inspired furniture and home décor made with a wealth of recycled teak and oak, as well as tan colours and textures to remind you of the woods.
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Creating has always been a part of Imby Langenbach’s life. It’s what she does when life gets too busy, when she needs to clear her mind. Through a need and desire to create KARMME was born; a leather bag brand that at its core is all about quiet, peace, serenity, composure, and the absence of agitation.
When Imby Langenbach made a clutch as a gift to her sister, little did she know it would turn into a full-time business. The clutch soon gained traction on social media and led her to create the brand, KARMME.
Pronounced as “calm”, the Sydney-based brand creates elegant leather clutches, totes, travel bags and other bags and accessories using premium Italian leather. The simple yet practical design of KARMME bags was influenced when she needed to swap her shoulder bag for a handy clutch to keep her essentials, while recovering form neck surgery.
Apart from the simplicity and versatility of design, another hallmark of the KARMME clutches or as she likes to call them “the ladies” is its bespoke nature. The products are made locally in Sydney and consist of six collections including the Classic range with colours made exclusively for KARMME, and the signature Shibori range (a traditional Japanese dyeing technique).
We take a peek inside Imby’s life as she shares some interesting tidbits about herself, KARMME and her hometown Sydney.
What’s your first fashion memory?
Making my year 7 dance outfit, a mint green pencil skirt and a matching blouse, white with mint green butterflies on it!
Waking up each day looking forward to spending the day doing what you love doing.
I can’t start my day until…
I’ve sat quietly with a coffee, scrolled through my emails and social media and chosen a playlist to listen to whilst I work.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I don’t tend to look for it but I find myself observing a lot whilst travelling, colours, textures, and thinking about how an object that’s practical and needed can be made beautiful.
How would you describe your design process?
I usually start with a need then I work out how I can best design a shape that works practically but also beautifully to fulfil that need. When I work with Shibori Textiles on collaborations with leather design, we think about colour and a story usually evolves once we work on pattern around that colour way.
What is your design philosophy?
Simple, elegant, not following trends, meaningful, well thought through, easy going and versatile.
"I have become better at drawing a line and not working when it’s family time but a creative business also needs to be fluid, sometimes I just have to make a design I have in my head."
What does work life balance mean to you?
I think when you love what you do there is a cross over of work and life. I don’t wait for Friday to come so I can finish ‘work’ I see it as part of my week in amongst raising three daughters. I have become better at drawing a line and not working when it’s family time but a creative business also needs to be fluid, sometimes I just have to make a design I have in my head and luckily my husband and kids know and understand that about me!
What advice do you wish you had received 5 years ago?
Be less concerned with what others think and go for it.
If you were not a designer, what would you be doing?
I would loved to have studied graphic art or been a pastry chef.
Who is your style icon?
Cate Blanchett, love everything about her
Which designer/s do you admire and why?
I love the designer behind Aesop. I think it’s such a clever concept with the stores, clean branding and beautiful products.
How would you describe your personal style?
Understated, simple, classic
How would you describe the style/vibe of Sydney?
Sydney has the best of both worlds. It is a big city with all that has to offer but also a collection of communities that bring with them their own unique vibe. I live on the beaches and it feels like I’m on summer holidays all the time. I love going into Surry Hills and the inner West for a completely different feel. You can mix it up very easily in Sydney.
What is your favourite thing about Sydney?
The variety of food, people, places and landscapes. You can be at the beaches in the morning then the mountains by the afternoon.
Navy is a popular colour all year round, but especially in the cooler months. I have been wearing navy head to toe all winter this year, as I find it to be less harsh than all black. My favourite is to create layers and layers of navy - a navy sweater, navy trousers, navy loafers, a a navy blazer or poncho, navy tees, bags of all sizes, and a navy fedora hat. No matter day or night, the more navy the better.
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Sydney CBD has a lot to offer a discerning shopper. From iconic department stores and grand shopping arcades, to shopping malls and stand alone boutiques, it’s not tough to find something to please everyone. Orient yourself for your next shopping experiences with these top shopping destinations in Sydney CBD.
Image: Queen Victoria Building, Tom Hall
Pitt Street Mall is the epicentre of shopping in Sydney’s CBD. Arguably the busiest cosmopolitan shopping spots in Australia, it holds the bulk of the retail scene with everything from high-end international brands to must-know local labels. The mall itself holds countless cafes, restaurants and street entertainers inviting eager shoppers into the adjacent shopping malls such as Glasshouse, The Strand Arcade, Mid City Shopping Centre, Sydney Arcade, Myer and Westfield Sydney.
Pitt St (between Market and King Streets), Sydney 2000 NSW
David Jones and Myer are the two major departments stores in Sydney’s CBD. David Jones Elizabeth Street store first opened in 1927, and to mark the store’s 100th anniversary, another store on Market Street was opened in 1938. Both stores still remain open and are a must visit for their architectural beauty, and iconic piano man on the Ground floor of the Elizabeth Street store. Another historic CBD building, which first opened as a department store in 1885, is now the home of Myer on George Street. Both stores offer an extensive list of international and Australian fashion designers as well as a broad range of shoes, bags, accessories, homewares, furniture, beauty and food.
David Jones Elizabeth Street, 86 -108 Castlereagh Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
David Jones Market Street, 65-77 Market Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
Myer 436 George St, Sydney 2000 NSW
The Queen Victoria Building, known as the QVB, was completed in 1898 and replaced the Sydney markets. The elaborate Romanesque architecture building – lying between George, Market, Tork and Druitt Streets – is drenched with gloriously stained glass windows and dominant features like the mighty centre dome and 19th-century staircase. Take the time to marvel at this iconic shopping destinations, which is now home to some of Sydney’s finest fashion boutiques, homewares stores, galleries, art shops and jewellery stores.
455 George St, Sydney 2000 NSW
Known as the only Victorian-style shopping arcade in Sydney, The Strand Arcade arcade may be small in size but it is packed with some of the most love Australian designer labels, speciality stores and cafes – so much to see and do. Stretched bewteen George and Pitt Street, some key local labels are Dion Lee, Lover, Scanlan Theodore, Camilla and Marc, Jac + Jack and more.
412-414 George St, Sydney NSW 2000
Located on Pitt Street Mall and close proximity to the Mid City Centre and The Strand Arcade, Westfield Sydney holds over 280 flagship, food and lifestyle stores across six levels – making it the ultimate retail and dining destination.
Pitt St & Market St, Sydney NSW 2000
The newest, and hottest, shopping destination in Sydney’s CBD is Barangaroo. The laneways of Barangaroo’s southern precinct have brought bleisure to the heart of the new financial district with an exquisite edit of local and international designers and boutiques.
201 Kent Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
Touted as the home of bespoke fashion, The Rocks features everything from high street luxury brands to emerging designers. Look to this enthralling precinct for a mix of jewellery designers, Australian art and photography, weekend craft and food markets. Meander along the cobblestone streets and sandstone architecture for a lesson in Australian history and culture.
The Rocks, 2000 NSW