Tropic Now Article

Tropic Now Article


A weekend with Ugo Kennedy

Ugo is the founder of a custom made hat brand that bears his name. Born in Nigeria, then raised in London from the age of 2, he's now a North Queensland local spending most of his time in Townsville. Ugo is self-taught and has had his studio and hat shop for 3 years now, from which he designs one-of-a-kind hats for people all over the world. Beyond hats, Ugo is widely interested in art, fashion and design which led him to travel to many places from Spain, Tokyo, Nashville Tennessee, Jamaica, Berlin, Milan, New Zealand, Bali, New York City and Montréal Canada to name a few. This all-encompassing experience has helped him to channel his creativity and soak up cultural inspiration.


  1. Favourite way to sign off the working week?

After a long week, I really like to go for a swim in nature. Living in Tropical North Queensland, I'm fortunate to have natural swimming holes, hidden lagoons, rock pools and creeks to visit. It's the best way to reset or unwind after a long day or week.


  1. Night owl or early riser?

A wanna be an early riser! I pride myself on the fact that I spent an entire 12 months, during a full body cleanse and sobriety challenge, a part of the 5am club! I woke up at 5am and by 7am would have completed yoga & a breath work routine with a sunrise view and then run 10K and swim. Nowadays I get up at 7:30am and sometimes snooze until 8am so call it what you want!


  1. What's for breakfast on the weekend?

I don't usually eat breakfast, instead down heaps of lemon water or a dirty chai or latte on oat milk, until I get hungry later in the afternoon. On occasion I enjoy a breakfast burrito at my favourite local joint.


  1. A weekend errand you secretly enjoy?

I like to head to Spotlight to grab materials, fabrics, tools and equipment. I also love hitting local op-shops for some 'Treasure Hunting'. There is a plethora of hidden gems to discover and I am pretty good at it too! I usually manifest/envision the exact thing I need or want and it actually appears. It's a fact, ask my partner!


  1. Beach, waterfall or pool, and why?

Waterfall all day! Beach is nice but I already have a tan. Pool's are where I do laps so it's all about swim caps, goggles, breath work and good technique. Waterfalls are a true escape for me, truly zen.


  1. Do you have any kitchen essentials?

A very sharp knife comes to mind. If you're trying to cook a good meal with a blunt knife - forget about it! Also with a few good ingredients, spices and herbs, sparkling Shiraz, a bluetooth speaker and dim lighting. It's a total vibe, I promise you!


  1. What's your vice?

I really like long distance running, swimming (in a pool) but mainly running. After a mentally strenuous few years from 2019, I took up running not only for physical fitness but also for mental health and clarity. I am an avid runner and have even joined a running club called CraftRun, we run every Thursday. It's a 3K or 5K run then we come back to a pub to have a well deserved beer.


  1. What are you reading/watching/listening to?

I'm currently reading books with my 6 year old son Leo who is learning to read independently, the most recent book I have bought him is called 'A World For Me And You'. Personally I read self-help and motivational books or autobiographies. I'm watching TV only occasionally as I have chosen to not have a TV in my home. I watch Netflix with my partner and we watch all things from Lost & Ancient Civilisations to really crappy low budget international horror flicks!


  1. Any Sunday rituals?

Here in Townsville they have a weekly Sunday market called Cotters Market and it can attract several hundred patrons throughout the day. It just so happens that my hat shop and studio space is also on the same street as the markets, so I occasionally open my studio doors and do a whole lot of socialising, fresh juice or tea drinking and dumpling eating with the locals!


  1. A glass of something you’d recommend?

A bottle of Zimzala Wine - Shiraz or Chardonnay in a large glass with some ice cubes on preference, or my own beer that I created in partnership with Townsville Brewing Co. called "The Mad Hatters" Beer. This delicious session XPA has a subtle scent of Pineapple, taste tones of Coconut, Pear & Lime and was designed by yours truly!


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