By Alex Zaragoza / Photos by Aalia Osbourn
It's summertime, the time of year when we can at least dress like the living is easy. And whether you're heading to a gorgeous tropical locale on holiday or planning staycations by the pool or beach, designer Kendall Zundel has your wardrobe covered with her line of clothing, Kendall K.
Zundel's Spring/Summer 2012 Collection offers hot-weather basics with a vintage vibe intended to carry women through the hot days and nights. Think tops and dresses in breathable natural fabrics spiced up with ethnic-inspired embroidery, bold colors and bright geometrical prints.
For inspiration during the design process, Zundel drew heavily from a vacation she took in Costa Rica.
"I left in awe of that country. When I got home, I still wanted to be there," says Zundel, who builds her collections in Oceanside. "That's when I referenced back to all the pictures I took. I missed it so much. It was the easiest collection to sketch. There's relaxed, free-flowing silhouettes, but with that Kendall K aesthetic that's feminine and girly."
Through this line, she gifts herself and other vacation-minded ladies with a non-stop Costa Rican getaway, working hard to create "something you can throw on but still look like you tried, but not too hard."
To capture that essence in print, Zundel teamed up with San Diego-based photographer Aalia Oursbourn.
"Kendall's clothing is really colorful," says Oursbourn, a former model from the U.K. who has since stepped behind the camera. "We tried to keep it very tropical, so we went to Paradise Point to shoot. It's a beautiful location with the palm trees and water."
Using the Mission Bay resort as the backdrop for the photo shoot lends what Zundel calls a "lush and exotic" feel, capturing the vacation lifestyle her collection exudes. All that's missing is the passport.
"Aalia is very talented," Zundel says. "We bounced ideas. Her European background brought a more editorial look to the shoot, while my look is more vintage. That brought a nice combination."
Considering Zundel's originally from Palm Springs, a mecca of midcentury modern design, it's easy to see where that retro sensibility comes from.
The Kendall K Spring/Summer 2012 Collection can be found in about 30 stores along the West Coast. Find additional retailers or shop online at kendallk.com.