We love showing you the background to our collections... It takes our entire team to design and deliver each funky new Oishi-m range to market. Wanna see some 'behind the scenes' pics of the makings of Winter '17? Come with us as we share some insights into what our team did to create this new range of unique baby, toddler and children's clothing, from inception to your doorstep. Welcome to another peek into the life cycle of an Oishi-m range.
Before we started designing this range, we had a team meeting and reviewed last year’s range (in this case, Winter '16). We analysed our business and marketing campaign, reviewed all the feedback received through our customer service and social media platforms, and our team suggested new ideas for product development. We are driven to create collections that allow children to be children, and help them live a life unplugged. Our creativity is not limited by anything, we do not follow trends or colour predictions, we just do what feels right to us and what’s practical, fun and functional for the season. We knew we wanted to cover off on our bestselling favourite shapes in amazing new fabrications, colours, textures and yardages, but also add a new and fresh element - this time by developing our own artwork for specialty panel printed art tees.
See pic above for the Daydreaming L/S T Shirt, with the original artwork created by a local Torquay artist to suit the brief we presented. The scenic artwork was an exercise in transferring a 'daydream scene' watercolour painting of mountains, valleys and meandering creeks from textured paper into a digital panel print. You can see how the texture and brushstrokes of the painting are evident in the final art, applied to both front and back of this beautiful piece.
And here's the boys art tee, Transmitter L/S T Shirt. This art was inspired by facets of a crystal, and how it casts beams of light. Playing around with colour, texture, transparency and layering in simple bold shapes, this is an exercise in using a digital panel printing process. We also designed in colour themes and outfits again even more strongly in the W17 collection, and these themes are then used in Shop The Look image groups on our website. The beauty of Oishi-m is how many ways it can be worn - there's a plethora of outfits possible, with new or older pieces in your collection, so just have fun mix n' matching it.
The making of Swell Lines Longsleeve Pocket Tee - this pic shows two essential tools of the trade. Firstly, a pattern to follow. And a Spec Sheet, or a Tech Sheet, that contains all the technical information needed for our makers to produce the garments we've designed, including fabric swatches of every element. Our Crew Jumpers can use up to seven completely different fabrics, so it's really important we're specific about our requirements!
Specialist machinists make most of our garments in Melbourne; we are so proud of our local Aussie production! Looks like a hint of fabric leftover from Autumn '17 Wishful T Dress or an Enchanted L/S T Shirt. Sometimes we get samples made up in existing fabrics to trial new shapes too, and if you're lucky enough you might snaffle one at our infamous Seconds and Sample Sale ;)
The girls are constantly on the look out for amazing fabrics, and often see things at the fabric market that screeeeeam to be used for a particular category, so we'll buy it and squirrel it away until the time comes to bring it to life. This happened with our winter Wilderness Jacket and Bluebird Jacket - the main body fabrics were so outstanding that we knew we had to have them, and while that ties up dollars and storage space until the season-proper arrives for production, we are ok with that if it means securing such awesome materials.
Fabrics often steer us into a product - they speak to us! Another example is that we found the oriental print bonded unbrushed fleece and could immediately visualise the Kyoto Hoodie. Or the splatter print fabric that screamed out for a crew jumper and Splatter Sweater Dress! Range themes are independent of trends so it’s more about analysing our business and campaigns, and the feedback we received. We consider what the strongest and weakest sellers were, fave colours, best fits, what we need more of or less of, and share ideas for new pieces, yardages and innovation. All of this happens at our Torquay HQ, right next door to our beautiful store.
Feedback flows from everywhere; colleagues across the business, retail staff who are in front of customers daily, customer service who responds to positive and negative feedback, and our brood of workers 'back of house' who always think "what's best for the brand" when submitting ideas.
Each garment has a story to tell, and we try to reflect that in each photo, web description or social media post. We like to talk to our customers like we're talking to close friends, and we hope that our jovial, lighthearted tone comes across in all of our communications. This range was inspired by, and photographed in, the beautiful Australian bush, with clothes made for wintery adventures in the great outdoors. It gave us a collection for the senses, not only the fabrications and textures of our garments, but the environment in which we play. Oishi-m is made for real life, not just the special occasion days...