Meet the designer and WIN

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Meet Emily Cooper – owner of Silkbody, Silkliving and Silkbaby

Dunedin’s Emily Cooper started the fashion label Silkbody ten years ago with three tops and a selection of gloves and socks and now the collection has grown into a full fashion range.  The success of Silkbody lead to Emily starting two more labels; Silkliving which consists of beautiful silk bedding and Silkbaby which is a gorgeous range of silk baby wear.  To celebrate 10 exciting years Emily is offering one lucky insider the chance to win a beautiful silk pillow slip from her Silkliving range. I’ve been sleeping with a silk pillow slip for a number of years now and they are not only beautiful to sleep on but are the best way to avoid facial lines and wrinkles while you sleep. See below on how you can win your very own gorgeous Silkliving pillow slip.

Emily can you tell me a little bit about yourself please?
I am the designer/founder of Silkbody clothing. We’re based in Dunedin, a city I’ve lived in since forever! I never saw a reason to move after finishing university, I love the small size of it, the way it’s surrounded by hills, the buildings, the down-to-earth nature of the people here. I even love the weather. It gets under your skin I think. Last year I became a mum to our daughter Mae, now 18 months, and discovered a whole new side to life, the best side! I’m working on the work/life balance thing, trying to juggle childcare with my husband Sam so we can spend as much time with Mae as possible as she grows up. My sister, Tamsin Cooper, is also a designer, she designs beautiful silk accessories and velvet coats. Tamsin recently moved back to Dunedin from Arrowtown and it’s really lovely to see the cousins playing together (she has two boys). We have our offices and stores in the same historic building in central Dunedin, so we see each other a lot.

Can you tell me a little bit about Silkbody?
Silkbody is 10 years old this year. I started it with my Dad and we still run it together. We actually started with something called a Silksak, a silk sleeping bag liner that can also be used on its own in hot climates. We discovered the amazing properties of silk through this product, being light, breathable, warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot. Silkliving silk sheets were added and the idea for Silkbody clothing came next. The first Silkbody range only had three tops in it and some gloves and socks and we sold mainly through outdoor stores. Now we have a big fashion range and we sell a lot online and in our own studio store. Our baby range, Silkbaby, was put to the test with Mae and now that she is getting older I really need to add a kids range!

What is the best thing about your job?
I love hearing people’s stories about how they discovered us, how their Silkbody are their favourite clothes to wear, how long they have had them (some people are still regularly wearing original pieces from the first range!) and where they have worn them. Silkbody goes all over the world and I still find it hard to believe it was me that designed it. It takes on a life of its own this business.

Can you tell me a little bit about the silk pillow slips and why we should all be sleeping with them?
Sleeping on silk is actually good for you! Silk is a protein fibre, which means its makeup is very similar to our skin and hair. Silk is the kindest fabric to sleep on as the smooth fibres won’t irritate your skin or muss your hair. Silk also contains many essential amino acids that are said to be beneficial your skin. Silk proteins are used in skincare a lot. My sister Tamsin has recently tried one of our silk pillowslip and she swears by it for keeping her complexion dewy and her hair glossy. Silk warms easily to your body temperature and will help you maintain a comfortable temperature while you sleep. You won’t easily overheat or cool down. The fabric will absorb 30 percent moisture without feeling damp but won’t dry skin out. Beware that a “satin” pillowslip is not necessarily made of silk. The cheap satin pillowcases that you can get in a mulitude of colours are made from polyester and will give none of the benefits of the silk fibre, despite having a shiny appearance. Our pillowslips are available in the beautiful, undyed colour of natural white silk, so you know there are no dyes affecting your skin either.

What’s your top selling item across all of your ranges?
Our lounge pants. These babies are so comfortable yet good-looking. People LOVE their Silkbody lounge pants. They’re good for lounging, yoga, sleeping, walking, pregnancy, new motherhood and traveling. A flattering straight leg and our warm but light Silkspun fabric make these pants pretty addictive.

Are you a fashion girl?
You probably wouldn’t call me a fashion girl in that I don’t wear lots of make-up or heels much or follow the trends. But I did get voted “Most Admired Wardrobe” at high school and I do love clothes and fashion. I just have my own style.

How would you describe your personal style?
I mix a lot of vintage with classic Silkbody pieces. I have Silkbody in practically every colour, so I can usually match a simple Silkbody top to a patterned vintage skirt, for example. I’m a little bit quirky and like wearing lots of belts with simple shapes. I hardly ever wear pants. The cardigan is my all-time favourite article of clothing.

How do you decide what you are wearing each day?
Sometimes it’s just something that was close to the top of the pile I hadn’t put away yet! Other times I think of a Silkbody colour I feel like wearing and match something to that. At least I always know I will be warm/cool enough if I am wearing Silkbody, no matter what version of the weather Dunedin decides to spring on us.

Where do you get your fashion inspiration from?
I like to design with the Silkbody customer in mind so my inspiration can come from customers, people on the street, films and magazines. Anywhere really! I always have my designer eye storing ideas away in the background.

Whose style do you most admire?
Anyone who rocks their own confident style gets my vote.

Tea or coffee?
Tea always.

Best moment of your day?
Coming back home with Mae from preschool to Sam and hanging out having lunch together.

Every woman should own?
Why some Silkbody of course!

Guilty pleasure?
A spot of chocolate at the end of the day and a delve into a magazine.

Gardening books by Monty Don.

I’ve just discovered the “play radio station based on this song” on Spotify, so I’m hearing so many cool new tracks. You play a favourite song and choose this option, it’s brilliant for lazy-new-music-seekers like me.

I need?
More hours in the day. I know it’s a cliché, but wow it’s hard to fit it all in sometimes.

I want?
A beautiful summer so we can all spend lots of time outdoors together.




Emily is offering one lucky insider the chance to win their very own silk pillow slip valued at $95 from the Silkliving range.

To win this amazing prize leave a comment below telling me why you’d love to win then click here to whip over to my Facebook page and click like. Everyone who has left a comment below and likes my Facebook page will automatically go in the draw to win.

Winners will be drawn and announced here next Monday (13 December).

Good luck!