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Meet Our Featured Designer Nina O'Brien of Kindling Clothing

Meet Our Featured Designer Nina O'Brien of Kindling Clothing

A hopeful design that blossomed bright orange out of a tough Melbourne lockdown, we're so pleased to share some more on our pal Nina, who is the designer behind iconic Melbourne label 'Kindling' and our current mini tampon box artist too. Read on as we take a walk down memory lane with Nina, and share some very important information about the perfect period pants. 

Tell us about Kindling and how you got into fashion design.

I started Kindling over 15 years ago after graduating from Fashion Design, study I undertook when I realised I made all my own clothes but didn’t really know how to construct a pattern (and that I really wanted to know)! Fast forward to now, we are a brand with roots that lay in fairly made and sustainably focused ‘special’ clothing - that is beautiful and ageless but most of all functional and practical too! 

Thankfully GST on period products was removed in 2019. Kindling got behind Tsuno's Axe the Tax campaign back in 2015 and hosted a party to support us, tell us why you wanted to get involved in that.

Good memories! The party - ‘BLING ON A STRING’ was pretty fun!  Emboldened by the sheer ridiculous-ness that period products were taxed as a ‘luxury product’ when they are so obviously a basic necessity, we decorated Kindling with tampons dipped in gold paint, created excellent cocktails like ‘Bloody Mary’s Period’ and ‘Stained Panties’, hosted amazing change makers in the space like Roz (Tsuno) and Chantelle from One Girl to speak to the audience about Period Poverty. It was a great fundraiser.

And what about your Tsuno box design, tell us about the pattern and inspiration here. It sings summer to us, we love it!

Thanks! I love abstract floral pattern design, and bold femme colour palettes. I designed it deep in lockdown, I guess it channels my hopeful mindset for a bright and amazing Summer, which did wonderfully eventuate in Melbourne.

How has your 2021 been, 2020 was a big one for small businesses - did you pivot or pause?

I didn’t have a choice but to pivot - for business survival but also to keep staff employed.  It was creatively exhausting to stay present and relevant from behind closed doors for so long, however there has been many silver linings and the business is much stronger as a result. The best thing has been the community support and renewed sense of place. I really love our neighbourhood and what this city accomplished together.

Period Pants. The perfect period pants exist and you're about to tell us all about them.

We very proudly call our Rodeo style the 'Perfect Period Pants’, they look fabulous with their tailoring and beautiful lines (hugging beautiful bums) but also are as comfortable as trackies… bloated, fluid retentive or achey, they are a pair of pants that grow a little with your body and don’t press hard on anything making them all-month-long flattering and more importantly comfortable good-looking pants!

We're sold. Especially on that Watermelon colour, match to your Kindling designed tampons - go on!

Thanking the lovely Nina. You can shop Kindling here, or visit in-store if you're in Melbourne! Plus, don't forget to shop Nina's design here before it's gone ;) 


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