Bay & Fyfe is the new lifestyle brand producing covetable scarves featuring art by former Sneaky Sound System MC, Daimon Downey. The stunning silk scarves from the first Pastel Zoo collection have been seen all over town (on people and on walls) and they’ve just released a second. Founder Frith Hucks tells Interiors Addict about making art accessible and gives us a glimpse of her own home.
Starting Bay & Fyfe was “ was a Sliding Doors moment” for Frith Hucks. “Daimon Downey had an exhibition on my street and I popped in to see what it was all about. I treat myself to a piece of art every year so I bought one of his pieces from the exhibition. Then I started to think about how great this art was and how could I make it accessible to more people. Together we came up with some ideas and as they say, the rest was history,” she says.She’s worked all over the world in advertising, marketing and PR for other people but Bay & Fyfe is clearly her passion project for herself. “It’s all about the art. I’m not out to set up a Ken Done style approach. I usually find that I’ll look at an artist’s work, ponder it for a while and start to visualise how I would recreate it, what things I can see it applied to.”
Frith always loved scarves, probably because she lived through many European winters while working overseas. “When I saw Daimon’s original work, it was just obvious to me that his paintings would suit scarves and the way they drape and fold around the wearer. Because they’re art and limited edition pieces quite a few people have been buying them to frame and hang on their walls. Daimon’s paintings in this series start at $2,000 and the scarves are less than $300 so it’s an excellent way to have affordable art on your walls.”
Her own rented home in Sydney’s Elizabeth Bay is full of colour and light. “I’m lucky because my apartment is large and airy. I took it because I knew I wanted to create a space that could double up as a show room for my business. I’ve collected art and furniture from around the world so I needed lots of wall space to hang it. With this last move, I banished all IKEA, and just brought my most favourite pieces. I’d say my style was kind of Scandanavian simplicity, but with crazy colour. I love colour!”
She would love to see art become more accessible: “Interiors can be created around a piece of art to evoke a feeling, and art can be created to bring out an interior style and mood,” she says. “I think people can be intimidated because there is a misconception that good art has to be expensive and to buy it you have to be in the know. When I was living in London the affordable art fair started up and it became incredibly popular, because anyone could go and not feel they needed mega bucks just to walk in the door. Art first and foremost should be fun and if my scarves can brighten up a home and make art accessible for someone then I think that’s great.”
Frith loves visiting spaces decorated by stylist Sibella Court because there is always a bit of quirkiness to discover. “The Fish Shop in Potts Point has just opened and I spend half my time staring at the walls checking everything out. I guess what I really admire is her ability to create inviting spaces that you want to spend time looking at. It’s not just a styled wrapper to the space that looks glossy, but doesn’t have any depth or character to it. I also really like Anna Spiro because she loves a good bit of colour! One day I’d love to use some of her wallpapers to do a few statement walls.”
The new Daimon Downey wool scarf collection is much more for everyday wearing and not so much an art option for the walls. “It is designed based on a sculpture series called Off The Mantel that we’ve turned into a motif and printed. I do however have three new Pastel Zoo silks coming out in August and I’ve already got people lining up to put them on their walls!”
Frith’s now in talks with other artists and some collaborations with the likes of Emma Mulholland and Wonders Cease are planned for later on in the year. “I’m also teaming up with jewellery label ToniMay to do a limited edition collection of necklaces and cuffs featuring our new series of silk scarves. This will be exclusively for online store Haus of Hinton. Collaborations like this are so exciting and the art really does start to take on a life of its own.”