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POPPY CHATS WITH ONE OF OUR MOST LOVED DESIGNERS: NellyStella

NellyStella

Why children's clothing?
I think there’s a part of me that never grew up. Children’s clothing is so much fun and it makes me really happy to see the kids love our clothes. Reminds me of my own childhood, I love dressing up all the time.


When was Nellystella established and tell us a little bit about your line?
I started Nellystella in 2009, 3 months after moving back to Taipei from New York. At the same time I was working on my parents’ apartment, we gutted the entire apartment. The renovation lasted for 8 months. We were staying at our office and my mattress was right next to my desk; I literally rolled out of my bed and started working every day. 
First season we had a blouse’s back opening that came in too short in production the mistake was only caught on after stores were returning them to us. I was leaving for New York within 3 days to showcase the new season. My mom and uncle helped me to take apart the stitchings and I was stitching on our dining room table until 3 in the morning We set up a small assembly line with the 3 of us.
Did you work for any other children's clothing lines before hand, and how long have you been in the children's business for? 
I was designing at Kmart in New York after college, which was wonderful in the creative aspect; I was free to make everything a small component from scratch because of how widely the products were distributed. It’s been 12 years that I have started working in the children’s business.
 
What inspired you for your Spring/Summer 2016 collection?
The vivid Mexican patterns and colour. We love the sensibility of colors and have included some images of our sketch for our embroidery patterns of butterflies, peacocks and birds. I watched a lot of documentary films of Frida Kahlo, I was very inspired by her clothes especially when she has her up do with fresh flowers. I have attached some of the images from our mood board as well.
For the photo shoot, I wanted to have the luscious tropical feel, we built the flower bench from scratch. It seemed almost impossible to make it happen but we did. I’m very happy with how the new collection turned out.  
Where do you get most of your fabrics from?
India.
Where is most of your clothing made? 
Also in India.
What do you like to do in your spare time/ favorite hobbies? 
I go through stages with my hobbies, at the moment I’m very into floral arrangements; mostly body decorations. I started getting into it when we had our photoshoots each season, each season I want to make something more and more complex and I thought it would be nice to take a class.
Every once in a while we have studio days in the office to experiment with some fun things, next week we will be playing with tie dye and natural dyes. Over the summer I took a class with my friend from Botanical Aurora in Brooklyn and we ended up hosting a party for our friends.
In the last few years I have taken up on calligraphy, letter press, jewelry making. It’s getting harder and harder to find time to do the things I want to do.

You live in Taiwan, what's it like doing business from there? 
The world is so well connected now, with many different ways to stay connected. The only thing I can think of is time difference.
Have you always lived in Taiwan? 
I grew up in Taiwan up until I was 13, then went to Switzerland for boarding school. Our high school was in a tiny small village with the 2,500 population in the swiss alps. During winter season we had tuesdays and Thursdays afternoons off with mandatory ski lessons. We traveled a lot during the year, until this day I still can’t believe how lucky I was. For college I moved to Paris to attend Parsons Paris for a year then off to New York.
What is your favorite thing to do when you visit the U.S? 
Too hard to narrow down to one specific thing. I have too many.
- Seeing friends
- Museum, to see exhibitions. MET is always a must.
- Restaurants/bars
- Classes or studio time with my friends
- Going to art supply stores


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