The Home Journal January 2015

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Dani Wales
Wednesday 28 January 2015
Gone are the days of plain white or grey towels in the bathroom. Don’t get me wrong I am a big big fan of a lush white towel set but these days you’re more inclined to spot vibrant colours and graphic patterns hanging on my towel rail… I like to think of it as a little bit of art for my bathroom.

Well to add to my expanding collection, a new range of luxury towels has hit the market, brought to you by Angela Bellenger and Antoinette Ferwerda, the designer behind Ziporah.

If you love a splash of colour and want some art in your bathroom or by your pool, then look no further than the Ninnhocollection. Ninnho’s pure cotton towels are designed in Melbourne and crafted in Europe. Specialist craftsmen in Portugal, whose trade has been passed down through the generations, weave each unique Ninnhotowel.

The secret to Ninnho is the fact the entire collection is made up of limited-edition design stories. Each story builds on the last and the ‘small batch’ approach means the range will retain its feeling of exclusivity.

With Ninnho an exciting new addition to The Home Journal Shop, Dani caught up with Angela and Antionette to find out a little more about Ninnho.

Can you tell me about Ninnho?
Antoinette & Angela: Ninnho is the gorgeous new towel collection by Angela Bellenger and Antoinette Ferwerda, the creative driving force behind Ziporah. Ninnho towels bring a splash of colour poolside or a touch of art to your bathroom. It is the perfect marriage of design-meets-European-luxury with three stunning designs – Budgie, Wren and Song – available individually or as a set. The Ninnho collection includes bath sheets, bath towels, bath mats and hand towels. Antoinette has created beautiful design stories to complete the Ninnho bathroom product range.

What is your background and how did you come to collaborate on the latest range?
Antoinette: Ange and I have actually been working together for a while, since we met in the Pharmaceutical Industry many moons ago. With me originally coming from my design background, it was a perfect match because Ange brought the sales, marketing and customer service acumen.
Angela: Ninnho was the next step afterZiporah finished. There was no way I was letting the talented Antoinette leave my side!

Can you share a bit about the design process?
Antoinette: Creativity is part of my daily world – whether painting or designing. Being an artist, I work with acrylic paints on canvas. Designing forZiporah and now Ninnho has been a very natural progression, which has extended my painting too. I love the connection I feel with the design process for Ninnho, so that the colours, the story and the final product reflect my artistic process. Every Ninnhotowel design honours my artistic vision. That’s why Ninnho can truly own the saying “art for your bathroom”.

I can see many of the beautiful pastel hues throughout this range that is prominent in Antoinette’s works, has this been a source of inspiration when it came to selecting the colour palette?
Antoinette: My current colour palette is loads of pastels (I do love the 80s!), but I find the softness of the pastels compliments rather than overpowers a space. Having recently held my first solo art exhibition atMinistry of Art gallery in St Kilda, you can see the influence my artworks have had upon the Ninnho colour palette (thanks Tom Teutenberg from The Home Journal for coming in to say hi and taking the gorgeous photos!). Drawing, painting and designing is my passion so Ange is great at bringing all the ideas together and then we start the process of making the stories happen.

Can you share a little bit about the three designs?
Angela: Antoinette’s gorgeous creative soul shines in her art and Ninnho designs. I see the hours she spends researching, sketching, drawing, observing and she is passionate about everything she makes – a true artist and beautiful mind!
The Ninnho design stories build upon her original ideas, and the Ninnho collection links birds to her colour palettes and maintains a local flavour.
The Budgie design builds upon her signature triangular pattern and has 19 colours working in perfect harmony.
The Wren design draws inspiration from origami, the folded paper birds. Song is the break out design, which connects bird stories but is her new, signature pattern forNinnho. I am excited for what we have planned as we develop and extend our Ninnho product range.

Do you both have a favourite?
Angela: Wren design story is my favourite with that stunning jade green.
Antoinette: It’s hard to choose a favourite, but if I have to it would be Budgie. I love the colour mix across the whole design, which was challenging but richly rewarding to have it work. 

Where do you draw inspiration, and what are you go to resources?
Antoinette: The natural world is a great source of inspiration and constantly triggers a flow of ideas. I studied art history and graphic design so my art studio shelves are filled with books about architecture, history and design. I love drawing with my children (their illustrations are outstanding and inspiring!). Each day I take a moment to draw upon my inner creative, which is a subconscious process, and the ideas flow and meld together.
Angela: Well, Antoinette inspires me creatively! From a commercial perspective, my go to resources are my friends and customers. I listen to them to uncover their needs around what is missing for them in their bathroom spaces.

What do you think attributed to the success of Ziporah and do you see this translating through to Ninnho?
Angela: The key was recognising the gap in the market for a high quality, well priced towel, then Antoinette’s clever designs and PR. We surrounded ourselves with a talented team of professionals including photographer Armelle Habib and stylistJulia Green. Working closely with customers and managing day-to-day business needs effectively was key to success too.
Antoinette: Three years ago whilst exhibiting at the Life Instyle trade fair, I noticed there were no coloured, woven bath towels, so it was exciting to work creatively to design them! This is a direct translation toNinnho because I am still the designer and I get to work alongside Ange again – I love that!

What else can we look forward to from Ninnho in 2015?
Angela: The Ninnho brand represents luxury, quality designs by artists and artisans. We are both so excited about our product pipeline and future collaborations – expect homewares and gorgeously unique limited-edition pieces. Anything’s possible!
Antoinette: Ninnho loves art – it’s simple really! So moving forward, any products created will always have a story that ties back to my art and design.


Click here to shop the Ninnho collection.


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