Designer Q&A: Susan Tait and Stephanie Moffit

The Creative Director from Tait and Design Director of Mokum.

"Twenty years ago the ‘hills hoist’ took pride of place in the backyard. Now we have a whole other lounge room/ dining room set up."

With summer on the horizon, Mokum alongside Australian outdoor furniture design house, Tait, have come together to celebrate the southern hemisphere’s latest and greatest in outdoor design. In a collaboration celebrating Australian design, the collections saw effortless assimilation to create ‘An Australian Outdoor Story’.

Susan Tait explains why the brands came together for this design collaboration:

ST: Historically, Tait were mainly producing simple charcoal and black canvas upholstery as there wasn’t much available for outdoor.   I was very excited about what Mokum have been developing, and since 2013 they have continually delivered new luxurious and durable outdoor fabrics for us every year.

Making outdoor furniture, we are constantly looking for new material and colour inspiration, and thinking about what’s going to work outside.   Tait and Mokum started to share knowledge and ideas earlier this year and when Stephanie showed me what they were developing for Mokum’s outdoor Club Tropicalia collection, I was excited about how the brands could work together.

Stephanie and I worked together on a photoshoot with the pieces in situ to create a stroy demonstrating how the pieces worked together.

What is unique about Tait's outdoor furniture?

ST: Ten years ago we did a lot of stainless steel frames, little colour and very minimalist design.  Now it’s about colour, personality and luxury. Tait have started creating exclusive custom powder coat colours which provides us a lot more choice, and just by coincidence, they complement Mokum’s outdoor fabrics perfectly.

Nowadays, people are being brave about their choices and are looking to create an outdoor room. Twenty years ago the 'hills hoist' took pride of place in the backyard, now we have a whole other outdoor lounging/dining room set up.  Tait develop furniture to create beautiful sanctuaries for the home that can remain completely outside all year round.  Tait's low maintenance product frames are finished in hard wearing, UV stable powder coat with timber elements made from dimensionally stable and sustainable timber.


What was the inspiration for the fabric designs in this collaboration? 

SM: At the heart of our new high performance collection is our hero print Tropicalia; the hand painted design is from our collaboration with Catherine Martin, originally featured within Majorelle, her Marrakesh inspired indoor collection. Widely celebrated as La Palma drapery and wallpaper, Tropicalia provides a high performance substrate for this beloved tropical design. Working closely with an Italian mill we were able to digitally print onto solution dyed canvas to capture the beautiful watercolour detail of this hand painted design. The palette speaks to our La Palma colourways, replicating four of the originals plus introducing the bold new Porcelain Blue, inspired by the brilliance of the Mediterranean Sea. 

The woven fabrics are inspired by the desire to bring the luxury of indoor textiles into the outdoor space, allowing people to create outdoor entertaining areas that are as comfortable and as beautiful as their indoor equivalents. 

Club Tropicalia textiles aesthetically suit both indoor and outdoor spaces and meet the technical requirements of both residential and commercial application. The fabrics are durable, UV stable, bleach cleanable, fire retardant and built to last in Australia and New Zealand’s harsh environmental conditions.  Tropicalia, South Beach and South Beach Stripe all feature the added benefit of Teflon Extreme, which uses Nano technology to permanently adhere the Teflon properties within the construction.   It also provides a wicking so if any water is spilt on the product it will temporarily sit on the surface to allow you time to wipe it off. 

For the latest campaign shoot you worked with Stylist, Steve Cordony– can you tell us about this?

ST:  We chose to work with stylist Steve Cordony on our recent Tait and Mokum shoot as he really spoke to the luxurious and glamorous, yet still very relaxed Australian mood we were looking to create.  The brief was luxe, 70s maximalism with an aire of tropicalismo.  Sydney seemed the perfect place to shoot and we found a beautiful home in Mosman right on the harbour with quintessential bay views.  The wonderfully lush, green garden really provided the perfect backdrop to showcase the Tait and Mokum pieces, and really spoke to Australia and New Zealand's outdoor spaces. 

View our Club Tropicalia range here.

Read more about the trends in outdoor living and upholstery here.


Catherine Martin by Mokum




Behind the Scenes: Original design

Trend & Inspiration

The Mokum design studio take us behind the scenes, unveiling the bespoke design process involved in creating the original prints from their latest La Primavera collection, Papillon and Peonia. We also gain further insight into the source of inspiration for these two beautiful designs.