Imries. Family affairs.
Just a leap of faith.
Nestled at the edge of a gulch, I find the Maui home of this particular Scotsman, Richard Imrie, who moved his entire family here from New York City in the mid 90s. Their plans back then? “Never a plan! Just a leap of faith!” says Pippa, his wife. “We wanted to live the dream Maui lifestyle. Richard had had the property for a while and wanted to build something on it.” So they did. Richard, the patron, an avid windsurfer and sailor, is pretty gifted in building and designing houses (and fixing those classic cars the family clan is driving). “Back then,” recalls Pippa, “we were living off the grid with catchment water and a generator and a few solar panels.
Imrie clan (from left to right): Richard, Tamsin, Lola, Caitlin, Julian aka Chico, Pippa, Max © Richard Imrie
Sometimes electricity was a bit of a problem. Especially doing homework with the kids by a dim light bulb was a challenge! But we had enough to eat, our chickens in the garden and plenty of wind to dry laundry. It was an adventure!”
From London to Hawaii.
The hippiesque spirit remains within the Imrie clan. But their careers are first class. Pippa Imrie, who grew up in Scotland, landed a job in the British Vogue art department and made her way into the Vogue fashion department in London. “This is where I wanted to be. But then I met Richard and children arrived. When we moved to the States, I started my own children’s fashion catalogue, called Pippers, whilst the children were growing up.” Richard Imrie shot those Pippers catalogues. An accomplished fashion, celebrity and couture photographer, Richard Imrie lived his dream career shooting in all fashion capitals: “I have had the best years from the seventies throughout mid-nineties in this fast changing business.”
Sister love. Caitlin and Tamsin Imrie © Max Imrie
Look no further today, New York’s Sunday Times’ magazine cover recently chose Richard Imries’ portrait shot of a young and freakishly lavish Rod Stewart.
© Max Imrie
“I loved the Pippers catalogue shootings in the early days. We would always get days off school, which was such a treat! On top of that we would get to go on jaunts to shoot at beautiful spots on Maui,” recalls Caitlin, one of their three stunning daughters. Like their parents, the love for the outdoors and the ocean is in their veins. Caitlin: “That is why I love Maui so much, it is so versatile. One minute you are in the rainforest, the next you are on the Northshore with huge waves and howling tradewinds, or you are walking through a mountainous field upcountry. And at the southern shores you would take your dream vacation.”
Richard was originally attracted to the Northshore of Maui to live out his passion for windsurfing, “because the best fun on Maui is for free!” Ho’okipa Beach Park, overlooking some of the world’s best reef breaks for wavesailing, is a great stop to watch the world’s best in professional windsurfing. Caitlin and Tamsin, their eldest daughter, are true watergirls: they practice windsurfing, boogie boarding, surfing, stand-up paddling or longboarding, depending on conditions, winds and waves. Caitlin: “As long as I get in or near the ocean every day I am happy!” The youngest of the pack, Lola, is an avid boogie boarder: “It is so much fun! You laugh a lot and it is really good exercise.” Tamsin’s little son Archer is playing in the sands whilst his aunties hit the water.
Caitlin checking Maui's Northshore surf © Max Imrie