Postcards from: Asia

GREAT Festival in Shanghai – Virtual Creativity

I’ve recently returned from Asia, where I visited both Shanghai and Singapore – but more about the latter in later blogs! Shanghai was Great Britain’s time to shine and I was there to fly the flag for creative industries. However, the experience as a whole was a fantastic opportunity to see the innovation, creativity and new ideas that our island has to offer. The GREAT Festival was the perfect opportunity for businesses of all shape and size to meet with Chinese investors in order to promote export to this fast-moving economy. Meetings could be set up, deals could be done and new connections could be forged.

Day 1: GREAT Festival of Creativity

Day One explored the new face of entrepreneurialism, new markets, new networks and the underlying values and qualities businesses need – creativity, imagination, re-invention – to face new and future business landscapes. As these qualities are part and parcel to my design ethos I was very excited to see what was on offer.

Walking around the fair, I spotted many stands that sparked my interest and got my creative juices flowing. I loved meeting with the team from John Downer Productions, BBC Earth and BBC Worldwide who had created a series of penguins to record secret footage in the Antarctic – this was key to our understanding of this climate and I adored the cute little figures moving around. So inspirational!

I also spotted a fantastic device by Rex Bionics, who had created a device to stabilise legs allowing a wheelchair user to walk again. It’s just fantastic to think that creative technologies like this are coming out of the UK and giving people who are disabled the power and dignity to move again.

Rex Bionics

The evening brought the event’s official opening ceremony. After being serenaded by the fantastic Jessie Ware, The Duke of Cambridge, HRH Prince William joined and announced the festival to be open. From doing a lot of work with his father and The Princes Trust, it was truly the Best of British in the room and it was buzzing with creativity. It was also the Duke’s first official visit to China, so it was great to be a part of this moment. I actually had the chance to meet him, but more on that later!


My Beijing Trip in August

Just returned from an incredible trip to Beijing. I spent 4 days in this amazing city. There are so many exciting projects I’m working on in China and I can’t wait to share them with you all!

The Chinese market has always been so important to me. It is the fourth-largest economy in the world and many countries are vying for a share of this market. I’m happy to see the UK strengthening it’s partnerships with China through exciting initiatives like China Business Day held in London two weeks ago and the GREAT Britain Campaign.

The main purpose of this trip was to meet my client – Beijing Topwin Real Estate Development Co. – an influential property developer in China whose business portfolio include hotels, residential and commercial properties. I’m very excited to be working with them, I’m designing a number of apartments and penthouses for one of their residential buildings.

During the various meeting and presentations with the client, the ideas just kept flowing so much, so that we are now talking about other projects including designing a KH style hotel – so exciting!

It was boiling in Beijing, I couldn’t believe how hot it was! As usual everyone was incredibly friendly, I felt so welcome and the client organised everything perfectly, they really made me feel like a queen!

I love Beijing and feel so inspired by this great city I can’t wait to come back.

You wont believe what happened during the flight though, on the return leg of journey, I was peacefully asleep in British Airways first class, my favourite… when suddenly an announcement came on telling everyone to put the oxygen masks and the life jackets! You can imagine how I felt, waking up to this was a surprise, to say the least, and I just kept thinking about the instructions and how to put the mask on… but to my relief, a lovely BA crew member then came up to me and said it was a false alarm, phew! I still love BA though and their amazing crew, thanks for looking after me!

I’m glad to be back home in London for a couple of days before jetting off on holiday to soak up the final Olympic atmosphere.


Kelly’s in China!

Kelly is thrilled to be back in mainland China to take part in the Guangzhou Design Week!

On Monday Kelly started her trip in Asia by attending a special event at the British consulate in Hong Kong as she will be an ambassador for Britain in Asia next year. Though it was her mentor and dear friend Vidal Sassoon who started the ‘Kelly for Prime Minister’ campaign in his CNBC Meets Interview it seems that Kelly herself is making great strides at showcasing her uniquely British design sense to China.

Today she’s been working hard with her partners Halo Asia signing off on the pieces for her latest furniture collection. She’s even visited the factories where they make the items!

On Saturday she’ll be taking part in one of China’s most important design festivals to showcase her furniture range. The collection has been a great success here in the UK and Kelly is excited to showcase the line to Chinese design professionals. She’ll also be signing copies of her new book Ideas…just in time for (Chinese) New Year!

Kelly will be taking exclusive pictures for us so be sure to take a look at her Facebook page on Monday!

If you are in China be sure to see Kelly at the Guangzhou Design Week on Saturday! Check her profiles on Weibo, Kaixin, Renren , Renren Xiaozhan and Douban for more information.



这周一Kelly参加了英国驻华大使馆的一个活动,你知道吗明年Kelly将要代表英国成为英国在整个亚洲的形象大使啦!尽管是Kelly的良师兼益友Vidal Sassoon在前不久Kelly参加的美国CNBC访谈节目先开启的 “凯丽为首相(Kelly for Prime Minister)”的宣传活动,但Kelly本人也正在努力为此事取得大步进展,希望可以让更多的中国朋友们感受到她的独家设计理念。

今天Kelly正致力于展出她与中国厂商Halo Asia合作生产的最新系列家具。当时Kelly本人还亲自参观了制造这些家具的工厂哦!





Paris -> Shanghai -> Taipei

A lot of my work involves travel, whether I am meeting clients or visiting trade fairs, giving lectures, and September has been a great example of how these extended trips work.

The trip started on 8th September with a 3 day trip to Maison Objet in Paris launching the new furniture pieces within my furniture collection. My stand looked amazing, it really gives you an insight as to how the collection can work within a living space, either as single pieces or as a whole.

The fair is a great time to meet potential suppliers and resources for my own studio as well as displaying my products to potential stockists as well as meeting the world media who are all there to find the latest ‘it’ product.

From Maison I flew onto the China Furniture Fair in Shanghai to launch the new pieces in my furniture collection. I love spending time in Asia and am always overwhelmed at the reception that I receive.

I stayed at the PuLi hotel which was an absolute joy to my senses. The interiors are fantastic, calming, clean lines, amazing symmetry. As i have always said East Meets West Rocks!

After a full day at the fair i headed to a welcome party and book signing at Alexandre’s Heng Shan Store. Alexandre are a major stockist of my collection within Asia.

The following day after a morning at the fair I then headed on to an amazing event at the Agricultural Bank of China where i designed the VIP room for their clients and held a seminar on my design style.

After my talk I headed to a whirlwind of press interviews and TV appearances.

The hospitality of my Asian friends and fans never ceases to amaze me. I was given so many beautiful bunches of flowers and gifts I am always looked after.

After a very eventful trip in Shanghai I travelled on a night flight to Taipei. It was my first time in Taiwan so I was feeling very excited about the trip, even though it was to be a flying yet very packed visit.

Well I never expected to receive the welcome that I did as i arrived into Taipei airport! I felt like a rock star! thank you so much to all that came out to support me, I am so hugely touched and will never forget it.

Taipei is an amazing city! I stayed in a beautiful suite at Le Meridien and quickly headed to bed in preparation for a very busy day ahead.

The following day, I met with some of my interiors clients before heading to an amazing event at Alexandre.

The book signing was so exciting, there was literally a mob of lovely faces all waving their books ready for me to sign.

During the evening I was honoured to be invited to dinner by the director of the National Palace of Taipei. It was incredible to spend time with such interesting and knowledgeable people.

I have also been given the honour of viewing the palace archives for an inspirational design trip during my next visit to Taipei which is amazing!

The following day I met with some new clients and viewed the site of our new development. It is always fascinating to see an empty plot of land and the proposed plans of what we are trying to create within the space. It is very inspiring for all involved.

I would like to thank everyone involved in making the section of my trip such a wonderful experience. I will be back soon! Kelly x

Next stop ——-> Moscow 18th September 2011


My Trip to Asia

I started this month with a trip to Asia and I am ending it with a trip to Russia so March has been quite the month!

I always love going to Asia because it is such a dynamic modern place to do business while at the same time having such a rich cultural history and sense of aesthetics. This juxtaposition works seamlessly so when I wrote my book East Meets West a few years ago I had no doubt I’d be able to intertwine my own love two distinct traditions of interiors design by finding a sense of balance which borrowed from each of them.

My first stop was Hong Kong which I adore and always make a point of visiting en route to other destinations in Asia.

Then it was off to Shenzhen in mainland China to visit luxury furniture retailer Alexandre who are stocking my new furniture collection with Halo.

The store was an incredible 70,0000 sq feet but it was the people at Alexandre who really stood out. They were so welcoming and really enthusiastic about the new line which is really important to me after investing so much time and effort into getting it just right.

When they asked me to sign a few of the leather trunks to make them ‘special editions’ I had a moment of panic….who would want to mark that beautiful surface! In the end I gave in so a few lucky people will have these ‘one time only’ signed trunks as I won’t be in a hurry to do that again.

I also wanted to make sure the customers at Alexandre had signed copies of my books so made short work of what seemed like a mountain of books. It was so overwhelming to have the people at the launch event coming up to me with copies of my old books and telling me how they were inspired to change their own homes. I was really overwhelmed by the support of the Chinese fans and can’t wait to go back for my lecture series.

Then it was off to Singapore for the IFFS Tradeshow. I attended Maison & Objet in January but it was great to be able to speak to interiors profiessionals from Asia Pacific about my new collection. I’ve mentioned it before that even though I believe the digital space empowers us as professionals by allowing us to make connections all over the world nothing can compare to being able to meet people and speak them face to face about your collection.

Next week I’m off to Russia for the ground breaking of an exciting new project. Can’t wait to share my thoughts on it with you.