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Another great thing about being part of Pigeonhole is that we get to stock some really incredible brands from around the world. We pride ourselves in selecting from some of the coolest design houses out there as well as working closely with some super talented local designers and makers at a grassroots level. We'll be introducing the people behind these products to you through our BEHIND THE BRAND series on this blog!

We thought it fitting to kick this off by introducing fledgling Brisbane fashion label IVY NIU to you! Tomorrow, our friends in Brisbane will be celebrating IVY NIU's new season range at an exclusive in-store launch at our Wintergarden shop, but for the rest of us who can't make it, here's what we learnt from Ivy and Max, the creators of IVY NIU.

Tell us about your label, how did IVY NIU start?
IVY: The brand started from my frustrations working as a freelance illustrator for 5+ years. I wasn't excited to work on the projects I was given and eventually it wore me out. I've always loved fashion so it seemed like the right time to take the leap and pursue something I'm passionate about. I combined my two loves - Illustration + Fashion, and created IVY NIU.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

MAX: This question always gets us because we cannot pinpoint where we get our ideas! IVY NIU is so eclectic with our prints that we almost want to stay away from one source of inspiration. I've got to say though, our hometown of sunny Brisbane translates into our garments as we release transeasonal pieces every collection, instead of Summer or Winter.

We'd love to know what your workspace is like?
IVY: We have a small home studio, which just means we work from the 'living room', haha. This is where we paint/draw all our prints before they are scanned into adobe to be tweaked, coloured, and perfected into a repeating pattern.

Would you say fashion has always been in your blood? Got a favourite childhood outfit?
IVY: Max used to wear a rainbow striped button up shirt, with a black trench coat, topped up with a grey fedora. Yep.

How about a brand that inspires you?

IVY: We recently had a chat with @paredeyewear. Their story on starting up their label has inspired us to keep trotting.

Any other favourite creatives out there right now?

IVY: Currently, I'm loving @tropicophoto. They're a creative duo making beautiful work in the US. We will be working with them for our next shoot!

We are stoked that you are going to launch your new range in our Wintergarden store! What was your first interaction with Pigeonhole?

IVY: My first true interaction was as a customer! I used to work in the Wintergarden centre, and would wonder over on my breaks. But as a supplier, we reached out to Pigeonhole via good ol' email and pitched IVY NIU to Johann.

Why did you choose to stock with us?

IVY: Our brands align so so well! Pigeonhole stocks products WE love, and it makes us so happy seeing IVY NIU sitting along them. 

Any interesting facts about your new collection launching tomorrow?

MAX: In the current collection, IVY NIU is spelt out in the Matches print. See if you can spot it! 

Anything else you want to tell our customers?

IVY: We love your support and all the great feedback so far!

And how about some advice to others wanting to start their own label?

MAX: Just start. In particular, starting a fashion label requires some cash to start up. Be prepared to spend. 

So what does the future hold for your brand?

MAX: We are taking babysteps in expanding the IVY NIU range. Our next collection will feature our first accessory: a tote bag. We will also be revealing our first men's button up shirt... shhh.

Guys... before you go, tell us a joke!
MAX: What do you call cheese that isn't yours? Nacho Cheese.

IVY: That's so cheesy!

Finally... When I say pigeon, you say...

MAX: The obvious answer is 'hole'... is this a trick question??

If you're in Brisbane tomorrow (Friday May 18) make sure you pop down to our Wintergarden store  for a glass of wine, and to try on the new IVY NIU collection and meet Ivy & Max in person! Shop the collection here & make sure you check out @ivyniu_label on Instagram!

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