NAME: Kiki Kouthoofd
BORN IN: Groningen, the Netherlands
LIVING IN: Amsterdam
YOU ARE WORKING AS: founder/editor/curator/creative director for thecoolheads.com
PLEASE DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN 1 OR 2 SENTENCES: Daily inspired by my boys, an emphatic optimist, sometimes too much of an idealist. “Master the art of observing” is definitely me…
Kiki grew up in a little village up North of Groningen with a contemporary artistic family… open minded parents, a big house with room for a swing
in the living room and a climbing wall. Not too many strict rules and with her best friends very close every day, her mind was curious, observing and free!
The only girl between 4 brothers and with an husband and two boys of 14 and 6 years old, Kiki can honestly says she knows something about boys!
She studied fashion design at Artschool, but soon after graduation Kiki found out she was much more interested in ‘the image’ than working as a fashion designer. A course in photography was the start of a new career as a photographer. Working as an assistant of a lot of talented fashion photographers (between Amsterdam, Paris and Sydney) was a lot of fun, but after a while the empatic character took over and she chose the more personal approach of portraits and lifestyle.
“I always had a very outspoken idea about clothes and design. I’m very picky on precisely this or that since I was a teenager. It really helps me nowadays in my business. Not afraid to choose or creating new directions. I always feel the urge to select images/design for me, clients or even friends… and that is my favourite thing to do. Making selections and curate. Creating moodboards. Bringing unexpected things together. I am honestly an out-of-the-box-thinker. Never fitted in a box and it took me too much time to accept that. Now I do.“
In 2013 Kiki gave life to THE COOL HEADS, the blog for cool boys and their contemporary parents… “To share my vision towards styles, art, design for boys. When my eldest was born there was no such thing as a kid-shop filled with cool shoes or clothing…”
With her blog she wants to get away from the typical boys ideas about clothes and interior. “I believe what they wear is a reflection of what their parents wear or would love them to wear. So it is the mirror of us. Secretly a mini version. There are some parents who will let their kids wear whatever they want and that is something I really love, but if I can get it in a certain direction I’m extra happy. Comes with the job… ; ) In the end it doesn’t matter obviously. As long as our kids feel comfortable and can be themselves.“
Curious about Kiki’s cool tips? Have a glance at The Cool Heads!
1.Which is the most fascinating even simple item you ever bought for children?
LEGO! It is soooooo brilliant!
2. Is there one children’s shop which has put a magic spell on you?
There are many! Also online, never visited those live obviously… Der kleine Salon, Annual Store, Betòn Studios.
But for us, KID Antwerp has that magic spell: a mix of very good taste of Charlotte together with streetstyle, the coolest designers and a jealous making store!
3. Which children’s brand you just love?
Repose AMS, The Animals Observatory, East End Highlanders, Someday Soon, Munsterkids, Finger in the Nose, the pico jacket of Mini Rodini is a classic!
… too many… can’t choose… It depends on the fit and their own strong identity. There’s a lot of copying going on… unfortunately… And we love to support the cool independent brands…And for the almost 15 year old, we focus on adult streetwear… Although he has his own taste, but sometimes he’s quite happy when I bring him a fashion present home (he’s very interested in Olaf Hussein, Daily Paper, Patta, Supreme and Nike).
4. Children shoes… In which brand one can conquer the world?
My boys just wear sneakers… I’ve tried with both of them the classic Clarks, but they only wanted sneakers… #verybadmom! So Nike Jordans (forever) for the little dude and Yeezy’s for the oldest (his own choice)… At a certain age they are very keen on expensive street brands. My wallet doesn’t like that. But I taught him to choose wisely. Better less but good! Quality is, quantity isn’t in our vocabulary.
5. As a child do you remember one special item you had been wearing almost day and night?
Actually I don’t… I only remember during primary school I didn’t want to stand out. And just blend in the regular lifestyle fashionwise.… Not to wear the ones my mom chose or made herself. And when I look at pictures I look amazingly and fashionably cool. What a great taste my mom had. Already a lot of black and dark blue… and different tones of colour, a lot of skirts with tights and dresses, but not typical girly. I think it’s was a response to the outspoken artist dad… I was embarrassed quite some times… My friends thought he was cool and now I know he was…haha! As a teenager it all changed and I became very into fashion.
6. Your favourite children’s book?
So many… the books of Chris Houghton’s We have a Plan, Le Petit Prince and the Dutch Rop van Mierlo’s Some Logic and Loes Riphagen’s Bij de news genomen (A trunk for a Nose).
7. Which museum even kids would spend hours in?
NEMO, in Amsterdam, for sure!!!!! It’s one big, smart, innovative playground. And for the parents to have a coffee on the roof (stairs) with the amazing view is also worth to visit.
8. Which hotel and restaurant do you recommend for friends visiting Amsterdam with kids?
Hotel: Volkshotel for the fun with different rooms (a view are available for families), stylish but comfy. Lloyd Hotel (around our corner) and Hotel Arena, Hotel V Fitzeaustraat and Hyatt Regency Amsterdam. But there are also a few boutique hotels we recommend. Just write us a note, so we can give some real non-touristic tips. Every family has their own values and ideas about traveling, so therefore it is better to give some personal feedback from our beautiful but sometimes also overcrowded city.
Food: You definitely have to go to de Bakkerswinkel Amsterdam-Zuid… my second home… for lunch or a high-tea (you won’t regret). Pizza or steak at Rosa and Rita, House of Watt, FC Hyena (simple food, pizza, winebar and movies where you can bring the food and drinks!), Newwerktheater, our favourite (work)spot at the moment… and delicious Bonanza Coffee.
9. The best place you had recently been with kids?
To the beach… It makes everyone of them breathe, relaxed and a they will instantly act free, the way kids supposed to be. You don’t need much. As long as they have good coffees for us and some ice-cream or hot chocolate for the kids (depending on the weather) … Everybody is happy!
10. The ONE family ritual you cherish most?
Lazy sundaymornings together…. #norush #together #allthatmatters
11. Share with us your favorite Instagram accounts.
Do you have a moment? Hahaha… hawkeyehuey, cool_dudes_nz, nor_folk, liveloudgirl, its_a_bondi_life
Funny enough I follow a lot of accounts with girls… I don’t have daughters, so that will be it, haha! britthughan, wendy_and, suussies
and then bonjourgeorges, laiaaguilar, minimockspetra, and so many others…
12. Children should be raised with…
… LOVE! Respect, empathy, and a safe warm and loving place growing up where they can be a child.
Follow Kiki on Instagram