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Behind the scenes of our Curious Leopard collection

Posted on January 22 2021

behind the scenes curious leopard

In the works for 12 months, our new Leopard collection is very close to my heart..

The OiOi bamboo baby clothing range features unique textiles that are inspired by my childhood - from my favourite storybooks to my favourite places to visit in Australia.

As a child, my mum would often play "I Spy" with me - I loved trying to spot things and would always get creative with it! This is why many of our intricate prints have an "I Spy" element to them - whether it is spotting a ladybug in our Secret Garden print or a tram in our Cityscape design.

The initial inspiration for Curious Leopard was one of my favourite storybooks from when I was a little girl called “The Tree” by Tim Vyner. It taught me all about all of the different animals you could find in the rainforest and the main character was a beautiful, grey leopard.

tim vyner the tree storybook


I sent photos of these pages to our talented textile designer Claire and asked if she could create a rainforest scene filled with lush greenery & a sweet little leopard (like the one of the cover).

I was so happy to receive her initial illustration - I immediately thought "Yes! We're onto something - this is going to be a very special print that can be worn by both boys and girls!"

The lush greens were stunning against the pop of grey, but I thought it needed something else to make it extra special. I started to think and an image of a blue butterfly entered my mind - and after I quick google I discovered the stunning Blue Morphos butterfly from the Amazon rainforest.

For me, a butterfly has always been a symbol of hope and whenever I have seen one out & about I have felt a sense of comfort. I loved the idea of a curious leopard dancing about in the rainforest with the playful, blue butterfly.

And so, Claire added it in and we were ready to do our first strike-off!

fabric strike offs

When designing your own textiles, it is important to do a strike off on the fabric before committing to placing your order for all of the metres you requires to produce a collection. This is because it often takes a few goes to ensure the colours, line thickness and scale are all absolutely perfect!

Fortunately, this is mum's expertise. I've always admired how intuitive and confident she is when selecting fabrics and providing feedback to our manufacturing partners to achieve a stunning textile design.

The intricacy of our illustrative style of prints makes this process a bit more complex, as you have to balance all of the elements very carefully so that the textile does not look too "busy".

little model

For the final test, I reached out to my beautiful friend Bee to try out the zipper romper sample on her little girl MJ (who you may recognise from some of our photoshoots!). Bee is such an incredible support and as a plant lover herself, she provided valuable feedback about the colour of the Monstera leaves make them more accurate. 

We went on to make the last little changes, approve the final samples and off the range went into production!

photoshoot behind the scenes children

As Melbourne was in lockdown at the time that we needed to do the photoshoot, I reached out to a Brisbane based mum Bianca from Andie & Ollie photography to see if she could do the Curious Leopard campaign shots for us.

Bianca is the photographer behind several OiOi campaigns so we were very excited to work with her again! I had a hunt on her Instagram feed to see if any of our family photography clients had a little one that could be the star of our Curious Leopard range.

I spotted the cutest little boy called Mikaere and thought "he's the one!" I reached out to his beautiful mum Josephine and it just so happened that she was styling the coolest rainforest/jungle themed nursery that was perfect for the shoot.

curious leopard oioi 

We are so happy with how the photos turned out - so joyful and vibrant! And here we are now, bringing the Curious Leopard collection into the world. It compliments our Natural & Blue Leopard prints so beautifully.

Follow this link to shop our complete Leopard range and use the code BUNDLE for 10% off when you purchase two items or more.

shop now

Thank you for reading and thank you to everyone involved,

Isabella x

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