By Meena Thiruvengadam
December 05, 2020
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Credit: Marius Chira

Kit Kemp — the British designer and hotelier who created the dishware Bergdorf Goodman once used for its elegant afternoon tea service — is bringing a whimsical world of wonder to the iconic New York City department store for the holidays. 

Credit: Marius Chira

Kemp is converting what was once her seventh floor secret garden into a holiday pop-up that sells custom artwork, trinkets, and of course, that iconic tea set from the Bergdorf Goodman restaurant. 

Credit: Marius Chira

Kemp's Sailor’s Farewell collection was created in partnership with Wedgwood, and is inspired by a drawing of a sailor's wife waving farewell to her husband, her red scarf flying in the wind. Her husband’s adventures — and some of the creatures he comes across — also are depicted.

Kemp is a woman of many talents and is also founder, co-owner, and creative director for Firmdale Hotels, which owns The Crosby and Whitby Hotels in New York City as well as the Soho and Covent Garden Hotels in London. She designs everything from homeware to fragrances and is also a published author. 

Her space at Bergdorf Goodman is her first brick-and-mortar retail presence in the U.S. She plans to make over the space seasonally and describes designing her holiday pop-up as a welcome respite from the pandemic. “It has been an exciting project to create amidst all the doom and gloom,” she said. 

Kemp’s latest collection features decorative mushrooms in glass domes that look like they came straight out of “Alice in Wonderland,” cozy geometric blankets, one-of-a-kind wall art, comfy floral pillows, and jeweled trinket boxes.

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets, and walking on beaches. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.