For Baina Co-Founders Anna Fahey and Bailey Meredith, lasting friendship has woven the enduring business partnership that has seen the brand evolve from strength to strength.
Aptly named, Antipodean towelling brand Baina was founded in Melbourne by best friends Anna and Bailey. Originally hailing from New Zealand, the pair have brought a sense of vitality to traditional trappings of bathing by crafting a considered range of conscious towelling. Informed by years working in design-based industries of fashion, furniture and interiors, Bailey and Anna’s high school aspiration to become business partners came to fruition with Baina’s genesis. Taking inspiration from their common experience, Anna describes that “Baina was born from a shared need to create our own brand, company, product and culture. We both have backgrounds in fashion and have a deep respect for design.” With a vision to elevate the ritual of bathing, Baina delivers a range of textural organic cotton towelling that employs colour and pattern to enliven bathroom spaces. The latest offering, Collection 03., was recently shot by photographer Tasha Tylee in the home of architect Patrick Kennedy of Kennedy Nolan.
Woven together in succession of collective passage and aligned ambition, Baina is the outcome of years of friendship. Anna recalls how “the idea first came about when we were only 16, but with no real context surrounding it.” Growth ensued with the progression of their close relationship and experience working in design. Teamwork has been a common theme for the two. “We worked together at a well-known New Zealand womenswear designer in our early 20s, and the conversation resurfaced. Still a little young, with lots to learn. Fast forward to our early 30s, we worked together at Jardan, and we finally had the confidence and ability to action the dream.” Drawing upon their friendship to set the stage for a solid working relationship, Bailey asserts that “given we had worked together twice before, we understood each other professionally and felt we were well matched in this domain.” Creatively, the pair’s complementary expression gives rise to harmonious process. “The friendship layer only strengthens the intuition we share,” she says. “Knowing someone as well as we do often makes for knowing what the other is thinking and seeing inspiration in the same ways.”
Emerging with emphasis on creating pieces that transcend typical fashion seasons, Anna recounts their desire to counter the constant flux of fleeting trends. “After a decade in the industry, we felt a certain burn out from the cyclical pressures the fashion industry promotes and decided if we were wanting to create a business, it needed to be seasonless.” Baina is grounded in a strong desire to create sustainable, conscious pieces that challenge the traditional seasonal scramble with timeless designs that thoughtfully endure. There are four pillars on which the Baina brand is built. “Our product needed to be well designed, with a strong brand presence, environmentally responsible and of high quality.” Each sentiment is as important as the last to the co-founders. Anna insists that “if it wasn’t achievable to do all four then we couldn’t see a future.”
Woven together in succession of collective passage and aligned ambition, Baina is the outcome of years of friendship.
Solidifying Baina in the bathware space was a fruitful first collection stocked by Lee Mathews – an iconic brand synonymous with effortless, perennial designs. “We were optimistic; straight off the bat we approached Lee Mathews, an Australian brand we admired, and got an appointment to show the collection,” Anna explains. “It went so well, and pretty quickly we were selling out. For us, seeing the sell-through confirmed all the dreaming, the back and forth on product development, and our understanding of the market – it confirmed we were heading in the right direction.” In addition to the overwhelmingly positive response, being named as a finalist in The Design Files 2020 annual awards ceremony further affirmed Baina’s impact within the Australian design industry. Now a global cult name, Baina is stocked by renowned e-retailers End, Ssense and Goop.
Telling of their “love of brands, and the thrill that comes with buying into a brand we covet,” Baina’s distinctive pieces are instantly recognisable by their iconic checkerboard design. Designed in 2018 as an answer to avoiding the expected striped bath towel, the archetypal motif is whimsical yet measured, in creating disruption of typical bathroom neutrality through ordered graphic repetition. Anna and Bailey’s bold dissent from the humble stripe has swept the design world, with checkerboard being an undeniable standout print for 2021. “We can’t believe the strength of this trend in its wake,” Anna exclaims.
Employing luxurious cut pile velour, the collection is crafted from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, offering rich tones of noir and tabac.
Collection 03. is predicated on Baina’s continual evolution and draws on inspiration from a trip to Sydney. The period wrought iron gates of Paddington terraced homes inform the jacquard gate design seen in the collection’s ‘Greenwich Bath Towel’ and ‘Woodford Pool Towel’. Employing luxurious cut pile velour, the collection is made from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, offering rich tones of noir and tabac. Thoughtful in their curation, the luxe designs reference tradition and innovation with the return of nostalgic checkerboard and introduction of the new ‘Josephine Hand Towel’ and ‘Beppu bathmat’. Bailey affirms the pair are “mindful that each design has a purpose for its existence and a story to tell.” Their expressive pieces celebrate the conscious observance of bathing rituals by adorning bathroom spaces and proposing luxurious comfort as a reminder to sink in and connect to the moment.
Baina’s latest unveiling enjoys a delivery that is injected with elevated design and takes proud place to prompt mindfulness in the daily bathing routine. As the collection has thrived, so too has Anna and Bailey’s continued friendship, fortified in the wake of becoming business partners. “Our relationship has certainly strengthened; we are very honest and know how to navigate decision making from different perspectives but with respect.”