#050: Creating an iconic fashion brand with Kim Michaelides

By Jordan Michaelides
January 24, 2018

Kim 1

Image: Kim Michaelides with spouse & previous guest, Chris Michaelides

🎧 Listen via iTunes or Stitcher

Kim Michaelides ( @spencerandrutherford ) is an iconic fashion designer, creative genius, colour savant and incidentally, my auntie.


I could make the excuse again that this is another selfish episode, where I look to document as much of the knowledge and experiences from members of my family. My reasoning is pretty straightforward, having had a grandmother develop dementia over the last few years I feel it’s necessary to interview the family around me.

But it would be disingenuous of me to say that this episode with Kim is only for selfish reasons.

As you may have learnt in our interview with her partner Chris, Kim is a well regarded Australian handbag designer. Spencer & Rutherford is an iconic local brand, designed by Kim for well over 18 years now, appreciated in both the local and international markets.


Chris would be the first to admit that she’s the smarter of the two. My first memories of Kim are the witty dry jokes she would tell, that I never really understood at such a young age, but have come to appreciate in time.

Kim has achieved more than most in her career, all the while being able to have children in the process. There’s immeasurable lessons that both young, career driven women, and couples considering entering business together, can learn from this episode.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Key topics we covered in this episode include:

  • Her earliest fashion/design memory

  • Artistic disciplines and how she got started

  • Early work experience and how it shaped her career

  • Her grandmother’s influence

  • The transition from school to the workforce

  • Spencer & Rutherford, and working with your spouse

  • Advice for women looking to juggle children and work

  • Creative process

Enjoy the episode!






Show notes

  • 01:55 - Introduction

  • 05:02 - Her earliest fashion/design memory

  • 07:37 - Artistic disciplines and how she got started

  • 15:05 - Early work experience and how it shaped her career

  • 17:17 - Her grandmother’s influence

  • 21:25 - The transition from school to the workforce

  • 27:51 - Spencer & Rutherford, and working with your spouse

  • 33:54 - How to keep both your working and personal lives

  • 36:26 - How having children has changed her life and career

  • 38:34 - Advice for women looking to juggle children and work

  • 46:02 - Admired illustrators

  • 48:28 - Creative process

  • 52:19 - The production side of handbags

  • 57:01 - The manufacturing process

  • 01:07:14 - Reflecting on her career and if she’d do anything differently

  • 01:10:14 - How she envisions her future, post-career

  • 01:13:52 - Travel stories

  • 01:16:24 - Morning rituals

  • 01:17:16 - Favourite TV show

  • 01:17:40 - Meditation and relaxation

  • 01:18:23 - What she’s most proud of & best purchase under $200

  • 01:19:21 - Recommended books, and cats vs dogs

  • 01:21:18 - What seems obvious to her but not to others

  • 01:21:34 - Most insightful travel experience

  • 01:24:12 - What historical figure she most identifies with


Links