Ivy Niu, Fashion Designer

Talk about following your dreams! Having just launched her first collection, Ivy is sharing her insights and what drives her to create. Her designs are just the right balance of fun and bold, full of sweet details and beautiful lines. Keep an eye out for these threads!  

What do you do?

I am the Fashion Designer behind IVY NIU.

Do you have a maxim that you live and work by?

You won't know until you try.

What are the three milestones that have led you to where you stand?

Going on an exchange to San Francisco.

Being published as an Illustrator.

Quit my part-time job!

What projects do you have in the pipeline?

I am currently working on the Autumn/Winter 18 collection. The production process can take up to six months, so I've already started on next year's designs. It is still in early in stages but I can confirm the collection will feature an amazingly cut kimono style jacket... stay tuned.

What is your dream project?

Starting a fashion label has always been my dream project. To see people I do not know, walking down the street, wearing and enjoying IVY NIU pieces would be the cherry on top.

What’s something surprising about you, that we might not know?

I collect miniature toy food.. is that weird?

What places are important to you?

Honestly, I am a homebody so I feel most comfortable in my quiet little apartment. I have transformed my living room into a studio space (thanks IKEA!) and that's where I am most motivated to work, surrounded by all my knick-knacks.

What is the best advice you’ve been given, or wish you had been told sooner?

Just start.

Do you have a supportive female network in your field? Was it always this way?

Yes. Almost every point of contact in my business is lead by supportive females. This includes our patternmaker, production agent and marketing team. Before I started IVY NIU, I worked as a freelance Illustrator and almost all projects I received were male led. I think the fashion industry has a lot more strong female role models.

What are you listening to, reading, watching of late, that is inspiring or entertaining you?

Gudetama. Search it up y'all.

Can you share a creative experience that you have found defining?

I flatted with a Fashion Illustrator during my exchange in the States. She is the total opposite of myself in every way, from style to personality. I meticulously plan out everything before starting an illustration/print/pattern, whereas she can find a scrap piece of paper in her handbag and draw a masterpiece on a whim. Seeing her confidence in her own work has inspired me to do the same with my own.

What is one facet of your field that you want to see change?

I am relatively new to the fashion industry, so I don't really have a well informed opinion yet. But speaking as an Illustrator, I have learnt exposure should be a by-product and never compensation for your work. At school, it was suggested to take on as many opportunities as you can, but I have learnt this approach is not healthy for the industry, as it can lower the value people place in freelance work.

What do you want to be asked about that no one ever asks you?

How many cups of tea do I drink in a day? Triple what you're thinking.

How can we find out more about your work?

ivyniu.com / @ivyniu_label

Who would you most like to answer these questions next?  

Jacinta Conza. Host of Creative Mornings Brisbane and one half of the creative duo, Outro.