Neo Dia is an up-and-coming label doing amazing things not only with material, but on the Australian and international fashion scene.
Started by RMIT graduates Becky Chua and Gavin Lowes, Neo Dia take their inspiration from art, architecture and academics.
Neo Dia derived its name from the word "Neo" meaning "new" and "Dia" taken from the word "diametric" referring to lines and shapes. When you see Becky and Gavin's amazing designs which push the boundaries of geometry and construction, the name Neo Dia fits perfectly.
I was lucky enough to interview Becky and Gavin who have been working on their much anticipated new collection to learn more about their experiences in the fashion industry.
1.You both met when you were studying at RMIT and went on to start Neo Dia together. How has it helped having a partner in such a competitive industry?
It really makes a world of difference to have a co designer! We both push each other strive in the development of the range, as well as offer a different slant on an idea the other may not have thought of by themselves. It is also extremely comforting to have someone you trust to discuss and nut out problems as they arise. Finally, two heads and four hands are definitely a plus when there is a collection to be finished!!
2. Your designs are very unique, featuring dramatic pleats that create interesting silhouettes. How do you ensure your designs are creative enough to stand out, but are still wearable for consumers?
We spend a lot of time in the development stages of techniques that we use in the collection, such as pleating and folding. Through experimenting all the facets of shape and movement then we understand how to apply it to garments.
3. Your label has gained international recognition. You recently showed your designs at Amsterdam Fashion Week and were one of 6 Avant-Garde designers selected worldwide to show on the ‘Cutting Edge Platform’. Have you found the response to your label from the overseas’ markets different to that of the Australian market?
The response from the overseas market is quite different from the Australian market. However, when you think about it, each individuals reaction to our collection is different from the next person!
Generally, when we were in Europe, many buyers, editors and bloggers commented on how light and refined the garments and collection was.
I think that the overseas market, particularly Europe, has responded in a much bigger way to our label. For example, sponsoring us to show at Modefabriek, Amsterdam fashion week, and we have also been on the Vogue Italia website before we've even graced the pages of an Australian magazine!! I think this is partially because we're from the other side of the world and have a very unique aesthetic which they are intrigued by, and they are more inclined to take a punt on an emerging label.
Neo Dia's bright yellow cape and dress from their
Rhythmic Algorithm collection featured at the MSFW Media Launch
4. You launched your first collection Lucid Construct at the Melbourne Spring Fashion Festival in 2010. What were some of the challenges you faced presenting your first collection at the Festival?
We spent most of our effort on how we would present our label. Since we only had one shot to launch Neo Dia, we wanted to do it right. That meant we wanted our product and look book to be of the highest quality. We want to that our amazing stylist Jam Baylon, for helping us achieve amazing photoshoots which ultimately help us to stand out and to be taken seriously by many industry giants.
5. Fashion is a competitive industry. What are some of the business challenges you have faced starting a label?
When starting a label, there are so many things to think about regarding business. Do I invest my time and money in a website, manufacturing, advertising, or do I delegate to an agent and consultants, etc. I think that most challenging part about business is knowing what to do first and what you can think about later. We have been very blessed to have an industry mentor whom we can ask questions in the moments when we are overwhelmed, but also when we're not doing something that we should be!
Click here for Part 2 of this interview!
Check out the beautiful garments from the Neo Dia Rhythmic Algorithm collection, which was inspired by music.
Images courtesy of http://neodialabel.com, Neo Dia and www.twitter.com