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Witu for NGV Design Store


We’re BIG fans of local accessories label Witu, whose distinctive neoprene tote bags, backpacks, clutches and laptop cases are all designed and made in Melbourne.

Witu is the creation of two young creatives who we happen to know quite well (!) – local photographer and graphic designer Elise Wilken, and our very own styling assistant Nat Turnbull!  Their latest collaboration with the NGV design store is an impressive new range of polka-dot accessories inspired by NGV’s current Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei exhibition.

12th January, 2016
Lisa Marie Corso
Tuesday 12th January 2016

It can be hard keeping up with all the talented young designers we come across. Just when you are applauding one achievement, you find yourself discovering news of another awesomely impressive collaboration. Nat Turnbull and Elise Wilken of local accessories label Witu are one young creative duo who never cease to amaze us. Since launching their fledgling neoprene empire in 2012, their brand has grown in leaps and bounds. I used to text them every time I saw someone wearing one of their bags. I’ve since stopped, because really, who wants to receive the same text ten times a day?

Witu’s latest collection is a collaboration with the NGV design store, and is a capsule range of accessories inspired by the current Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei exhibition. The young designers were elated to be approached by the NGV, and seized the opportunity to create something special to celebrate the exhibition. ‘NGV approached us with the idea of making a specific range for the show. Their brief was quite open, but they were interested in us creating our own response to the exhibition, in our own style,’ explains Nat.

Elise and Nat opted to add a graphic print to this collection, designing a custom printed neoprene featuring an irregular polka-dot pattern. ‘The design for the show was based around the idea of surveillance, a common thread between both of the artists’ work,’ says Nat. ‘The exhibition designers make reference to this through their use of block colours, giving the impression of the pixelation of a surveillance camera, with a particular emphasis on blue and pink tones. We started from here, and worked this idea into the print.’ The capsule range incorporates Witu’s classic tote bag, backpack and clutch designs in two exclusive colour ways.

Witu’s latest range is available exclusively from the NGV design store.

Witu for NGV design store. A range of neoprene accessories inspired by the current Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei exhibition.

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email