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.