KitchenAid | NYFW Color of the Year

The power of hibiscus.

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Courtesy of KitchenAid

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, 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 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 really 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 really 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 really 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 absolutely 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, they all have already created hallmarks for themselves. Bach Mai has his peplum floral inspired skirts, Tara has her crocheting and textile development, 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 name. Most of them 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 each year the new color. This year with the Hibiscus Pink it felt very relevant in the fashion world and the design. This particular shade feels like a really 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 a 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 take inspiration from the KitchenAid machines?

I literally watched so many cooking videos, I printed so many images of the machine, I put it on my drawing board and drew around it, I got really comfortable with this shape, the silhouette and the lines within the object. I started looking at the materials that were used and thinking how to change that into textiles and how to integrate it. And then the florals were easy. The blooming, the petals, the edging. It was really 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 actually have another special color one that they have, because my favorite color, and my brand’s color, is orange, so when they had this really bright orange and tangerine mixer I had to get it. So I was all for this project. 

How did you take 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 obviously a hibiscus flower. 

I really loved that in the process they were really 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 really well with it on the red carpet. So it was really a no-brainer what we were going to do. And I am so happy that they wanted to support that. 

So you mentioned orange is the color of your brand, why orange?

I have loved orange for so long. I just think it’s the perfect color. It’s a mix of excitement, brightness, happiness, and richness. But we are here to talk about pink though! Don’t get me wrong, this pink has the same vibrancy and energy that I love about orange. It’s “pay attention,” it’s passionate, it’s energetic. 

How would you describe your style in three words?

Can I give you four?


Irreverent Glamour and Unabashed Femininity. 

Jackson Wiederhoeft 

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

Well I thought KitchenAid was a little bit random, but then I definitely don’t cook myself, so I wasn’t as familiar with the brand. But then I told my mom and she freaked out. And I was like “oh, everyone knows what KitchenAid is except for me.” And so now it is quite clear. Everyone I’ve told was like “oh my god KitchenAid,” and “the only reason I am getting married is to get a KitchenAid from my wedding registry.” I don’t know much about food culture but now I have learned a lot. 

How did you take inspiration from the KitchenAid machines?

We took inspiration both from the color itself as well as hibiscus, the flower, so the whole dress is the one color, the hibiscus shade, but we also added this giant, hand-embroidered, sequined hibiscus flower coming down the skirt. So we wanted to activate one of our classic corset-silhouettes and pencil skirt, and just give it a new personality. I feel like the KitchenAid mixer is so iconic, almost like a corset of cooking, if you know what I mean. And I love architectural garments, so I feel like the shape of the KitchenAid products is so iconic in a similar way to how I think about the human body. 

How would you describe your style in three words?

Modern Nostalgia. 

Are you having your own show for Fashion Week?

We have our fashion show next Wednesday. 

Are you ready for that?

Not at all. But a lot can happen in five days though. A lot can happen in half an hour actually. I’ve seen a lot come together the night before. 

Is it your first show?

We showed for the first time last September. So this is our second runway, our ninth collection. And it’s been awesome to have this project interspersed. 

Did you design this Hibiscus pink outfit to match the project?

This is from our Resort collection, so I know I’ve had hibiscus on the mind. 

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KitchenAid, Marta Del Rio, Jackson Wiederhoeft, Bach Mai, NYFW