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Suitcase Series: Haeni Kim, Founder of Kitri

KITRI is, quite frankly, the brand you’ll want to wear this summer. And on top of that, it’s perfectly suited to the Citizen Femme woman.

Ideally situated between Primark and Prada is where you’ll find Kitri. Created by Haeni Kim, this brand is not only embodied by Kim herself, but she has captured the 20, 30 something woman who wants to wear a special item at a reasonable price.

Moving to London from South Korea at an early age to pursue a career in ballet, Kim has always been surrounded by fashion. Growing up in Korea, her aunt was a seamstress and her father worked in a fashion business. Similarly, her experiences of living in Paris and Hong Kong helped shape her fashion vocabulary; combining London and Paris’ monochrome and classic styles with Hong Kong’s vibrant colours and prints.

“I saw a gap in the market for beautiful, contemporary brands with an accessible price point. In my late twenties, I felt there were no brands out there sitting between high street and high end. I also started feeling uncomfortable about mass produced fashion and how long it lasts – we wanted to offer an intelligent alternative. So we are online only, cutting out the middleman (no wholesale markup) and going direct-to-consumer, which lowers the price point.”

With the brand motto ‘we make feel-good, wear-forever clothes’, we look at Haeni Kim’s only personal motto as we delve into her suitcase psyche…

What’s the first trip you remember taking?

Accompanying my father on his work trip to Hong Kong when I was 9 years old. It was my very first trip abroad. The main airport at the time was in the middle of the city and the plane descended in between tall buildings onto the landing strip – I was mesmerised and terrified at the same time. I remember thinking how different everything was – the food, the smell, the humidity, the colours. I fell in love with Hong Kong then and went back to live there for 5 years later on in life.

What’s been your favourite vacation?

My husband’s family has a lovely farmhouse in Tuscany overlooking vineyards and we have so many amazing memories holidaying there with friends and family. The food and wine is always fantastic. It was where we got engaged and married too, so it will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Where or what is your escape?

A long lie-in whenever I can. I really love relaxing in a big, comfortable bed with fresh sheets surrounded by newspapers, books, music and breakfast.


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What’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from your travels?

Turn off your devices and eat where the locals eat. I try to avoid all the tourist traps where the prices are expensive and food is not as authentic. However, I think it is important to visit some famous sites if you have the time. Although it might seem cliché at the time, I always regret not having visited certain places when I come back home.

My first stop post isolation is..

Italy – it’s hard to imagine now when we’d be able to go back but I always found Italy a huge source of inspiration. I love the lifestyle, the food, the wine and the scenery. We always try to go twice a year but we only managed to do that once since we started our business three years ago. This time, I’d like to go travel to the coast.

If I could go anywhere tomorrow, I’d go…

Home to South Korea where my family still lives. We were supposed to go visit in April and it’s been nearly a year since I have seen my family in person. I would love to see them and give them a huge hug when this is all over.

What’s your idea of a luxury holiday?

Delicious food & wine. Beautiful view. Family and friends.


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Where do you get holiday inspiration from?

Mostly from my friends. I have a lot of friends who travel extensively and I get huge travel-envy looking through their photos. Duncan Campbell & Luke Edward Hall are the masters of finding beautiful and inspirational spots wherever they go and I always ask them for inside tips before planning my trip.

If you could sit next to anyone – dead or alive – on a long-haul flight, who would it be?

My husband ☺

How do you recover from jet-lag?

A shower normally does the trick for me, followed by a meal. I normally can’t wait to tuck into some delicious local food as soon as I land.

Your flight’s delayed an hour and your phone’s out of battery. How do you pass the time?

I normally spend the time in a drugstore followed by the bookstore. I can spend hours picking out new products, books and magazines.

Favourite hotel? Why?

Le Sirenuse, Positano. The décor, the setting – you really can’t get better. The ultimate Italian getaway hotel.

Photo credit: Roberto Salomone

Roberto Salomone/Courtesy Le Sirenuse

Favourite airline?

British Airways.

What’s on your travel playlist?

Lana Del Rey, Blood Orange & Classical Music.

I’m currently binge watching…

Killing Eve. Although technically it’s not ‘binge-watching’ as the whole new series is not yet released. I’m also really looking forward to the TV adaptation of Normal People on BBC.

What are your must-have suitcase picks?

Who is the KITRI woman?

She’s smart, fun and creative. She’s a busy professional, working in the creative industries and living in a city. In the summer, she enjoys travelling to beautiful and inspiring cities for culture and sunshine.

Where next?

We originally planned to go celebrate our anniversary at the Gunton Arms in Norfolk. We’ll try to do that as soon as possible. The Holkham beach is one of the most beautifully English and cinematic beaches and a favourite place to visit when we get a couple of days off in the UK.

First thing that comes to your mind

Your hand-luggage essential?

Hand sanitiser I guess!

Packing: roll or fold?


Inflight book or inflight film?

Book followed by film.

Music or podcasts?


Time killer on a long-haul flight?


Holiday tipple of choice?


Bucket list top destination?


Best shopping gem found abroad?

Little hand embroidered bed jacket from India. Linen place mats & napkins from Tuscany.

Beach or City?

I used to love cities but now prefer the total relaxation of a beach side town.

Ultimate holiday treat?

Sleeping in late and having a glass of wine or two with lunch.

What to Pack

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What to Pack?