We recently sat down to chat with our very own textiles designer Ellie Whittaker. She's responsible for our RAD textiles designs. I wanted to chat with her so you get a behind the scenes look at the design process of our pieces. Welcome Ellie!
Ellie creates patterns that are filled with the wonder, colour and whimsy of childhood nostalgia, literature and popular references. Ellie is rapidly gaining repute in the indie-children's clothing market, designing fabrics and collections for labels such as Alfie Children's Apparel, Minouche, Kapow Kids , Goosebumps Boutique Bedding and Kippins as well as Cotton On Kids and Target Australia.
Hi Ellie! Tell us about your business?
Hi! I am a freelance textile artist aka. rad fabric designer, mostly for kids' brands (and the brave and young at heart!)! I create designs both by request, like I have for you, as well as for outright sale (through my website www.elliewhittaker.com.au and my agent, Nerida Hansen).
You design all of our textiles here at Frankie and Taj [thank you!], can you tell us where you get your inspiration?
When you came to me, Frankie and Taj already had such a strong vibe and voice, and really supportive customers, so keeping your original vibe in mind and expanding upon that was paramount. For inspiration I love to trawl through Pinterest, Instagram, the news, catwalks, fashion show reports, but I try to avoid the kids' space necessarily so as to bring something new to that area.
Obviously we love what you do. We're working on the A/W17 collection, can you tell us what's in store for F&T? (even a little sneak peek of the new designs)
Oooh, A/W is exciting! We're heading into character prints here, with a hint of Frankie and Taj quirkiness! I love how each design evokes a different story. My aim with any design is to create prints that you wouldn't see anywhere else - ones with hidden elements or a sense of humour or something that leaves the viewer smiling. This is a thing I think we both have in common so it's been so refreshing working with you!
You've worked with some leaders in the industry including Kapow Kids, Goosebumps Boutique, Target and Cotton On. Did they approach you or did you approach them? Tell us more!
Yes, I've been so very blessed. With the larger jobs I did the initial, scary reaching out in both instances and then things played out very magically with offers to freelance or purchase my work. Some of my favourite clients heard about me through Instagram competitions in my earlier days (tagged by friends as companies who might like my prints), some of them through my activity on their pages, others I've just reached out. I can't say enough for just contacting people if you're enamoured. I've never heard back from some of my idols and been a tad disappointed (but the more times it happens the less disappointed I am! Ha! So no harm done). But some of my favourite artists/companies would never have found me if I hadn't said 'hello!' and I now consider some of my idols to be friends, colleagues and clients. Social media is amazing for being SOCIAL! Who would've thought! Hehe
A massive thank you to Ellie for taking the time to chat to us! Stay tuned for our RAD new A/W17 designs....hitting the store soon!