I’ve long admired Goosebumps Boutique Bedding. In fact, when I received an email from Inga asking if I would be interested in designing for her company it was because she had seen me liking her pictures on Instagram! Of course I was over the moon and honoured. Goosebumps is very well aligned to my core design values: designs that are bright, happy and nostalgic but in a contemporary fashion. As a fellow catwalk trawler, I love talking trends with Inga and receiving her briefs in the (snail!) mail is like Christmas Day: I carefully open the tube, unfurl the A2 sheets and grin as I pore over her concepts. So I thought it fitting to pick Inga’s brain and share some of the inner-workings of my fellow colour lover.
Would you describe yourself as a creative person?
A creative mad hatter more like it! I get inspired by so many things from film, art, fashion and other like minded creatives. I have tear sheets all around my house, it’s like a forever changing mood board.
Do you recall some of your favourite patterns from childhood?
Well having a Russian background I can safely say that leopard print runs in my blood! I’m a 90’s aficionado and ex-dancer so I’ve always loved colour and print and had some hilarious costumes over the years. My favourite print of all time would be this white two-piece I had which was a crop top and long pants that was all white but had this 90’s hip hop, pop print! I thought I was the bomb!
Pac Mate design detail for Goosebumps Boutique Bedding.
Where are your favourite, obscure places to gather information?
Definitely the good old people-watching. It’s all about positioning yourself in the right spot and observing everything whilst looking like your actually not looking! Sounds creepy. I sound like a nanna but I love young kids’ street fashion. They are so much more fearless. I love the runway and follow everything fashion from around the globe.
What are your first steps in planning a range?
I start with aspirational images and this is created visually on a mood board. The we look at colour combos and fabrications for the season. I then start to create a theme or storyline about what the collection is going to represent. We always look at what new products we want to introduce and start to map out the entirety of the collection. It’s an arduous labour of love but amazing to start the process from scratch and give it life.
Do you wear pattern?
Yes, always. I love florals and vibrant colours. My go to is @misterzimi. Easy, breezy and cheerful fashion.
What is your favourite thing to dress the boys in? Do they ever match?
My 5 year old twin boys are very rambunctious so I dress them in clothes that will stay on, wash well and not tear. It’s usually a pair of jeans, tee and sneakers or shorts and tee. Because they are twins, I never dress them the same same. They are different little dudes and deserve their own personality!
What is your favourite design so far?
This is tricky one because since we’ve started working with @elliewhittaker there’s not much to dislike. You’re the bomb and bring our vision to life like no one else has done! If I had to choose it would be Ladybug Love and Mr Toasted. Our SS/16 collection was the first time we did novelty cushions and Mr Toasted was hot (pardon the pun) and such a cutie.
What would be the ultimate dream for you/Goosebumps?
A huge, creative team in an equally huge warehouse space that had sexy arch windows. And to crack the U.S market! Not asking for much!
When I discovered there was a fabric printer in Australia who could match international prices and quality with speedy turnarounds and only a 1m minimum order I had to give them a buzz and check if they were legit. Absolutely. No catches. AND phenomenal customer service to boot. Chole and Geoff, who run Next State know their stuff, are helpful as can be and are dedicated to progressing the Australian textiles industry. A shared dream we have is that manufacturing in Australia will boom…but more on that later – I’ll let Chole do the talking…
Tell us what Next State does?
Next State is a digital textile printer; we print customer’s artworks onto fabric. Our customers might be fashion designers, interior designers, home ware brands, students, artists, or from a variety of other industries. We get to print all sorts of artwork for all sorts of projects; it is amazing to see what people come up with. We have natural and polyester fabrics that can be printed on.
Have you always loved textiles? What sparked your interest and where did you go to learn more?
I’ve always been a textile lover. My grandmother worked in textiles and on the other side of the family I’m a third generation printer. I think there is ink and fibres in the blood. My professional studies were in Fashion design so I could get a holistic industry approach and understand garment construction, textiles and design. I’ve worked for fifteen years in the Fashion and textile industry. My true love I learned very early on is in how manufacturing happens and how things are made. I love the technical component design whether it be knit, weave or print and have been very fortunate to work in textile manufacturing companies in Australia, which are not all that common.
Do you wear pattern and if so, what’s your design of choice?
I love patterns and wearing them. I have a wardrobe and house full of our customer’s designs. I definitely lean more towards bold and colourful and really like contemporary design and modern prints. I love a photographic element in a print and seeing it paired back with a texture painterly design.
Where do you go to for inspiration?!
I’m lucky I get to look at beautiful designs all day coming off the printer! Our customers are so talented and inspire me on a daily basis.
I get a lot of business inspiration from talking with people and hearing their stories and experiences. Successful business people always have time to share their story and I really enjoy talking with them, especially those that have been at it for a long time and can provide valuable insights and lessons learned.
What do you think makes a good design?
Whatever you are designing understand how it is manufactured. Know the strengths and weakness of a product/technology/process and design accordingly. I definitely think that research is the most paramount step in successful design, I often see with creative people they start at the end with a concept and then have to work backwards to fill in all the gaps, it is much easier to be informed. Even if it is a print design you may be painting, work with the correct paints, on the right paper stock and use good quality scanners for the best result.
What design trend do you love right now?
I’m really excited to see what next year will bring in the design trends. I think there is definite change coming; we have had a lot of bold geometrics, and tropical plant elements so I think there is room for some really fun new ideas. I’m starting to see a lot of cultural influence coming through in design, which makes for a really eclectic mix of colour and texture, which I would like to see more of.
What is your dream future for Next State and the Australian fashion industry?
Gosh I feel like we just managed to develop so much in 2016. We are about to launch a web to print platform and collaborate more with designers. We are also about to launch a range of polyesters which is really exciting.
I hope into the future Next State can continue to grow and fulfil the needs of the industry we are guided by what our customers want and feel there is a lot of potential for us to offer more in the printing sector, and collaborate with other organisations. The future of mass customisation is a really exciting area for growth in manufacturing and it is underpinned by such wonderful sustainability principles, we feel privileged to be in this space.
I would love to see more “on-shoring” in the fashion and textile sector. I would love to see other companies invest in technology and expand the capabilities of what is available in Australia. It would be amazing if the industry could grow instead of contract, there is so many hungry designers that want to produce in Australia and I think with the right technology, guidance and support we could become a very innovative design hub.
You’re due with your own little bubba in March, will you be sewing your own threads for him or her (in all of your spare time!) or what trend are you most looking forward to trying out on him/her?!
Yes, my first baby is due in March, it is very exciting. We are lucky enough to print for lots of fantastic children’s wear and baby businesses so I can’t wait to dress them in all the amazing creations our clients produce.
Finally, your other baby is the new website! Tell us how it will work?!
We wanted to make it easier for customers to print with us, so we have developed a new upload tool and fabric creator. Customers will be able to go onto our website, upload their files and select all their print requirements and submit them to us. For those that love digital printing and support custom design, yet lack the design skills they can connect with designers and buy their prints to print on our fabrics. Even though digital design is something which is becoming easier to do and more accessible, it is not something we are all skilled in. So to be able to select a print off an Australian designer and print it onto a textile of your choice makes for great collaboration. Our focus is on quality design and supporting good designers to create a cohesive collection of prints.
How did Next State get its name?
We wanted something that was positive sounding and related to development. We work with the latest in print technology and wanted to bring that element into the naming while not sounding to tech heavy. It is really important for us to be an open company and have a name that is approachable for customers from all levels of industry. We are part of a process in bringing a design to life. A designer will have an idea then next an artwork, then next a print, then next a product. We had great advice when naming the business to reflect on the name for at least two months to make sure it still sat well and encompassed what we want to be as an organisation.
Babes love the comfort and Mummies love the designs: KaPow is certainly the word to describe this bold and exciting kids’ brand. What started out as a hobby for designer Andrea Goulding has now turned into a buying hobby for Mamas who can’t get enough KaPow in their closet. All of KaPow’s prints are exclusive, distinctive and cohesive: not just within seasons but from one season to another. (They’re also often unisex, making them a fabulous gift for new babes!). Andrea kindly agreed to answer a few questions about where she gets her inspiration and what’s next for this exciting Aussie brand:
KaPow has a great, cohesive vibe. How would you descibe the KaPow look?
I think the KaPow look is bold, a little quirky, and never plain or boring!
What inspired you to start designing kidswear?
I was working part time as an Architect after having my first child, and just wanted a little hobby for something to do: to be creative. So I bought a sewing machine and taught myself to sew! My first pieces were really bad. But I started an Etsy store and sold some things, it quickly exploded and I had to quit my job. I was in heaven! I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. Working in pyjamas is living the dream. People thought I was crazy but things kept getting busier and busier so I hired sewers and got stockists…so back to your question, I started kids clothing out of boredom! I needed something to do…and I have always loved fashion.
I recently learnt that you had a past life as an architect! Do you think that influences your work now? Not at all! But at least the things I learnt in Archi hasn’t been a waste. Lot of lessons learnt in Archi can be applied to fashion. But theres still so much I don’t know.
What’s the hardest part about running your own label? Finding time to do things is hard. Theres always so much to do, the list is never ending. Also, I have no one to bounce ideas off.
Where do you find inspiration for your prints? I just choose themes that I like, say leopard print for instance, and compile a little mood board of all the leopard prints that I like the look of, then it sort of evolves from there. Im always thinking about prints, looking at prints, Ill be walking down the street and ill say to my husband, check out that print, that would be a cool KaPow print!
How long is the KaPow process from idea to season launch? Its about 6 – 9 months, kind of like making a baby I guess. It takes ages..
What’s next for KaPow?! Not much for now, just trying to enjoy Willow (6 months). Im pretty happy with where it is now so just hope that people continue to like it.
What was the inspiration behind your AW16 Winter collection (below)? We have just released a cool new AW16 collection which features a cute penguin, a cheeky raccoon, a leopard print and a Boom Pow! print for the little superheroes. The collection was inspired by my childhood, some of my favourite animals growing up were Raccoons and Penguins, and then I loved reading and collecting comics, hence the Boom Pow print. The leopard print was a must because everyone knows that leopard is a neutral and goes with everything! The colour palette this season is minimal with black, white, beige, charcoal and grey.
Lastly, whose Instagram are you loving right now?! I love @twolittleducklings, such cute stuff.
UPDATE: Last night KaPow launched their AW17 range (none of these designs are by me, I just adore them, particularly the unicorn!), keep scrolling for some graphic goodness!