KitchenAid celebrated its 2023 Color of the Year, with a NYFW fashion collaboration with Marta Del Rio and five guest designers photos by Cheryl Gorski

KitchenAid celebrated its 2023 Color of the Year, with a NYFW fashion collaboration with Marta Del Rio and five guest designers. The color – Hibiscus – was seen in everything from the lights to the carpet, to the drinks, to the snacks, to the incredible designs by Del Rio as well as Jackson Wiederhoeft, Tara Babylon, Tia Adeola, Bach Mai, and Man-Made Skins. The event also featured music by international sound designer Alex Chapman.

Hibiscus is KitchenAid’s fifth annual Color of The Year. The vivid fuchsia with a matte finish is inspired by the captivating beauty of the Hibiscus flower in a verdant garden, attracting us to new experiences in and out of the kitchen. Sparking inspiration, the brand uses the power of color to comment on global trends and culture. This year, I am doing so with the motto: The kitchen is for everyone.

The event debuted a capsule collection of twelve one-of-a-kind, avant-garde designs inspired by the Artisan Stand Mixer and K400 Blender. 7 of them were designed by Del Rio. Del Rio has styled some of the leading icons in pop culture, including Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, Dove Cameron, and Paris Hilton, as well as worked with hallmark consumer brands that include Apple, Fendi, Vogue, and Estee Lauder.

Flaunt sat down with Del Rio as well as invited designers Jackson Wiederhoeft and Bach Mai to talk about the designs, the inspiration, and the powerful color.

Marta Del Rio

How did the idea of this event come about?

For the past few years, KitchenAid has been coming out with a Color of the Year program. This year they wanted to do something different and special. They thought with the timing of the launch being in February, it was perfect for Fashion Week. They were very clear about wanting it to be in New York City, which is a very special place for me as I lived there 9 years, and it is a city for everyone, something that I also believe is part of my design aesthetics. The whole inspiration behind the actual aesthetic and design of the event was fully dictated by the color itself, the hibiscus pink, the flower that inspired it, and the KitchenAid products. It was great to have such opposites inspiring the design; a manmade hard industrial object and a super soft floral. We’ve seen people being inspired by vintage vehicles, by architecture, but no one goes, “Let me get inspired by a household appliance, a mixer.” So, in my head, there was a part of “nobody has done this!” and that just felt fun.  I was very pleased when they were on board with me bringing 5 young NYC designers to collaborate on the project as I thought it was important to celebrate people that have developed a design language. You see a Jackson Wiederhoeft and you know it’s a Jackson Wiederhoeft, just like I feel if you see a KitchenAid product, even if it’s a bowl, you know it’s KitchenAid. It felt like a perfect fit. When I reached out to everyone, they were so excited and jumped on it right away. And honestly, the important thing was to keep everything very joyful. We are not trying to make clothes to sell, it is just raising our glass to color, design, and the idea that the sky’s the limit.

What was the process of finding all of the designers?

I already knew the types of designers I wanted to bring on board. All these young designers have already created hallmarks for themselves. Bach Mai has his peplum floral-inspired skirts, Tara has her crocheting and textile development, and Tia has that drape. They’re all very recognizable. I also thought it would be great to bring them on board to support them and get people to know their names. Most of them are present at Fashion Week but they might just be seen by the Fashion Week crowd and if you aren’t a fashion connoisseur you might not know of all of them. I wanted to be able to share their work with a different audience that might not be as aware of them.

How did they pick the color?

KitchenAid goes through a very lengthy process to select a new color each year. This year with the Hibiscus Pink it felt very relevant in the fashion world and the design. This particular shade feels like a powerful pink and a progression of the pinks that we’ve had. I think a big part of it was that this color is made to attract.

You are a designer yourself.

I am a creative director, stylist, and designer. I started as a fashion designer. I studied fashion design at Parsons, but then I started doing a lot of styling, consulting, and creative direction, and when I can, and they let me, I dabble back in design. I designed seven looks, and then the other five were by the guest designers.

How did you get inspiration from the KitchenAid machines?

I watched so many cooking videos, printed so many images of the machine, put it on my drawing board, and drew around it, and I got comfortable with this shape, the silhouette, and the lines within the object. I started looking at the materials that were used and thinking about how to change that into textiles and how to integrate them. And then the florals were easy. The blooming, the petals, the edging. It was nice bringing those opposites together.

Bach Mai

What did you think when you first heard about the project?

I loved it! I love KitchenAid so much! I have been cooking since I was in kindergarten. I used to go to the library as a kindergartener and rent cookbooks and I watched the Food Network all day. I remember I used to dream as a kid of the day I would have a KitchenAid mixer, so when I finally got one for my birthday one year it was the greatest day of my life.

It’s your two worlds coming together!

Yes, when they reached out to me, I was like “Oh my god, yes, of course.” I use my KitchenAid mixer all the time, and I have another special color that they have, because my favorite color, and my brand’s color, is orange, so when they had this bright orange and tangerine mixer, I had to get it. So, I was all for this project.

How did you get inspiration from the KitchenAid machines?

I think the hardest part was making sure we got the right shade. We needed to make sure the pink was the perfect pink. Other than that, we had one of our classic silhouettes. I use sculpture a lot, and I thought it was the perfect match because, not only does it have this 50s housewife feel, which I very much associate with KitchenAid, but it kind of looks like both a KitchenAid bowl and a hibiscus flower.

How did you get inspiration from the KitchenAid machines?

I think the hardest part was making sure we got the right shade. We needed to make sure the pink was the perfect pink. Other than that, we had one of our classic silhouettes. I use sculpture a lot, and I thought it was the perfect match because, not only does it have this 50s housewife feel, which I very much associate with KitchenAid, but it kind of looks like both a KitchenAid bowl and a hibiscus flower.

I loved that in the process they were interested in making sure that we each were able to express our individuality and our iconic things. Even though we are all emerging designers, and we are all young, they chose us because we all, in our short time, have been able to develop a unique style. And this particular shape, our sculptural shape, really took over. I’ve been dreaming about that shape forever before I launched. And we’ve done well with it on the red carpet. So it was a no-brainer what we were going to do. And I am so happy that they wanted to support that.


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