Fiona Kempton, designer and owner of Kempton & Co., was born in 1977 and raised in a house by the sea in the countryside of southwest England, setting the stage for a unique childhood and a lifetime connected to the ocean–and horse riding.
Fiona’s parents owned a scuba diving business, where she’d often catch her father stitching wetsuits and canvas fly fishing bags–inspiring her to sew her own creations. As a schoolgirl, she started a business of hand-sewn makeup bags, made of fabric remnants and zippers from vintage clothes.
Her father, John Kempton, was an eminent racehorse trainer and jockey, winner of England’s famous Grand National in 1967. Growing up around the distressed leather of her old riding boots and the heavy waxed canvas of the horses’ rain rugs, leather straps and buckles inspired Fiona’s lifelong love for equestrian design and culture, as well as active life on the water.