At Home With Fashion Designer Lizzie Renkert - The Grace Tales

At Home With Fashion Designer Lizzie Renkert

“It’s challenging, invigorating, rewarding and I love it,” says magazine-editor-turned-fashion-designer Lizzie Renkert of running her womenswear brand We Are Kindred...

If anyone can tackle building a brand from scratch with raising two young children, it’s the dynamic Renkert. The mother of two founded the boho chic label with her sister, best friend and “kindred” Georgie three years ago and they’ve since built a celebrity following that includes Jessica Alba, Nicole Trunfio and Aerin Lauder.

She might be a natural at it, but running a fashion label was a career change that took Renkert by surprise. “My biggest career challenge was being made redundant,” she says of stepping away from magazines. “I didn’t cope very well and felt that I’d lost a huge part of myself. But time is a wonderful healer and I do believe that these things happen for a reason. I’m using all of the skills I built up during my career in magazines, working for myself now and there’s something quite gratifying about that.”

We caught up with the busy mama to Luella, 4, and Max, 2, to find out more about We Are Kindred, her love of fashion, time management tips and also play dress-up games with her adorable daughter to launch the beautiful new Tommy Hilfiger girls’ range. Given how much her mother loves fashion, it’s no wonder little Luella has inherited Renkert’s love of pretty dresses…

Photography: Trish Lee Hair and makeup: Sarina Zoe Videographer: Samuel Hastwell

Tommy Hilfiger T-shirt, $49.95, and shorts, $109, from David Jones

On a good day, I’m up at 5am as I love that first hour before the rest of the house is up...

Maxie runs riot from around 6am and Luella will stay sleeping until 8am if she’s allowed to. Mornings are quite hectic as Andy is a builder and leaves the house at 6am. Getting Luella and Max out of the house on time is probably my least favourite part of the day. I’m a perfectionist and like to have all of the housework up to date by the time we leave, but it hardly ever is.

The best advice I’ve been given about motherhood is to…

Remember to enjoy and cherish the little moments and the adorable things your children say and do. When you have a young family, the days are long, but the years are so short.

My childhood was so happy…

I grew up in Mosman on Sydney’s north shore, with my mum, dad, brother and sister. We lived on a street with about 50 kids and everyone had an open door policy so we were always riding our bikes, climbing trees, going to the milk bar for 20c lolly bags – it was happy and free and the summers were endless.

As a little girl, I always loved dressing up…

And when I started working in magazines nearly 20 years ago, I really enjoyed getting dressed for work. When you’re having a good fashion day, you exude a confidence and happiness.

I’ve always liked working hard and I’ve always had to work really hard for whatever I’ve achieved…

I loved my time in magazines and being the editor of madison was a dream come true, but when madison closed three years ago, it felt like the right time to do something for myself. Being co-founder of We Are Kindred has been an incredible ride so far. I’m learning so much every day and love it more and more each day. Building a brand from scratch is pretty exciting!

Tommy Hilfiger dress, $129, from David Jones

My sister and business partner, Georgie, and I launched Kindred nearly three years ago...

It’s all about beautiful, feminine clothing with a bohemian luxe vibe.

I’m not a great time manager...

I’m always, always late. But I do fit more into my day than most and I get through a lot because of endless to-do lists!

I used to be so great at looking after my skin, but I’m so time poor these days...

I have a laser facial and Omnilux about once every two months and use Elizabeth Arden Pro at-home peels every few days. Sunscreen is my friend – I’m constantly applying 30+ zinc as I used to have terrible pigmentation and I’m slightly obsessed with keeping it at bay. It takes me forever to get out the door in the mornings, but that’s because of the kids, not because I’m beautifying myself!

I treat myself by…

Sneaking away to do a Pilates class or and scheduling in a girls’ night out every few months.

Lizzie wears We Are Kindred dress, $369. Luella wears Tommy Hilfiger dress, $129, from David Jones

My role models are..

Michelle Obama and Meryl Streep are women I’m in awe of and I love reading about their take on life. On the home front, my beautiful mama for always being so selfless and being the sort of mum I hope to be. My mum has taught me that family is everything and that the love you feel for your children is like no other. There is nothing I won’t do to ensure they feel happy, safe and loved and I know that my mum feels this way about her children and grandchildren.

Our home is my favourite place to be...

It’s quite classic and my obsession with florals and photography is pretty evident. I love floral cushions and the walls are peppered with photography from my mag days.

Luella wears Tommy Hilfiger dress, $99.95, from David Jones. Lizzie wears We Are Kindred top, $199

Luella wears Tommy Hilfiger dress, $129. Playing with Tommy Hilfiger top, $109, both from David Jones

In my handbag you’ll find the usual suspects…

Phone, notebook, sunnies, loads of pens, baby wipes, keys, make-up bag and an old school diary. I’ll occasionally put a book in my bag hoping to grab five minutes to read, but I haven’t finished a book since I had Luella so should probably free up some space!

Tommy Hilfiger dress, $99.95, from David Jones

I bought a delicate By Charlotte bangle last year that I wear every day…

Shopping for myself isn’t high on my priority list at the moment. I spend everything I earn on running our house, the kids and childcare fees! It’s lucky I’m very happy to wear top-to-toe We Are Kindred every day!

My fashion essentials are...

My black and gold Mulberry handbag, flared, high-waisted jeans, Kindred dresses and ankle boots.

Lizzie’s little list of loves:

Anything pink.
The app, The Talks
Balmoral beach in winter.
Luella’s daily drawings – she’s much, much better than me.
The way Maxie says please and thinks this means he will get whatever he wants.
Monday night TV – Love Child and Q&A.
Getting to re-watch movies such as Annie, ET and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory through Luella and Max’s eyes.

In association with Tommy Hilfiger