When we grow up we wanna be Matt and Kate. They’re the milliners from the I-want-one-of-everything hat label, St Saviours, the shopkeepers of Kate + Abel, and the heart and soul behind the much-needed, pure genius, Fremantle-based Spacemarket project, Many6160. You know those days where you set out to get started on that amazing idea you had bright and early in the morning, decide to take a quick peek at your phone to check your email then realise at 9:30 in the evening that you’d accidentally spent all day playing Farmville (oh, that’s just me?) – well, I don’t believe Kate or Matt have ever been guilty of this. Words like procrastination, tomorrow, later and impossible don’t even seem to exist in their vocabularies, and oh how I wish to take more than just a leaf out of their book. They are an inspiring and tight duo, brim full of verve, life and ideas.
Whilst living in London, Kate and Matt first found their knack for millinery when they started customising their own hats with unique trims. After receiving streams of compliments and exclamations of “Where did you get that?”, they thought they could really make something of it and began selling their hats in markets around East London as well as music festivals under their label, St Saviours.
One hat. Two hats. And to their open-jawed surprise and delight soon their hats were flying out the door! They had really hit a chord amongst the fashion-savvy of London and found their own creative niche. And you know you really must be doing something right when you get approached by Topshop and see your wares being sold in their flagship Oxford Circus store. They also caught the eye of Anthropologie and luxury department store, Harvey Nichols. Lucky for us Perthians, these chic-as headtoppers are now available at Kate + Abel at Many6160 in Fremantle. You can’t say you’re not a hat-person until you’ve visited these guys. There is a vast array of colours to choose from – the lush felt hails from London and the palm frond panama hats all the way from Ecuador to ensure you get the very best and the most authentic result. Trims are fully customisable, from leather to feathers to pompoms, and can be deftly sewn on whilst you wait.
On a bigger picture, grander scale, Matt and Kate are the visionary coordinators of the Many6160 collective, the likes of which Perth has never seen. Many6160 is part of the Spacemarket organisation and movement which seeks to “pair disused spaces with useful people” with a focus on affordability and supporting upcoming local talent. Many6160 is the largest group of its kind in the entire southern hemisphere boasting 22000 square metres of ground space! On the ground floor they host storefronts to many creatives and designers (such as Peaches & Clean and Anya Brock) and conduct small workshops for the Skillsmithery by the beloved Studio Bomba. The other floors are the workspaces for a number of independent small companies like Maeker Studio, A Good Looking Man, and Dunk n Wagnell. This space is such an inviting blank canvas of possibilities that we’ve also seen a pop-up rooftop bar and a top secret concert organised by the one and only Jarrad Seng featuring the ethereal Kate Miller-Heidke.
Kate and Matt pour so much of their hearts, time and sheer muscles into making this project fly. They are so selfless in their promotion of others and have an incredible drive and desire to see the creative community of Perth come together and thrive. They bring their vision and overseas experiences to Perth to create something that is so uniquely Perth. We loved meeting these two so instantly likeable people. In what felt like only a few minutes, we whiled away almost a couple of hours in conversation, ranging from the joys and woes of social media to the dilemmas faced by us modern humans and even fit in a quick tour of the vast space.
Til next time guys!
Be sure to visit Many6160 to meet and support a great bunch of local creatives. The place is also available for venue hire with a variety of spaces suitable for small groups to raging mobs.