Established by designer Tanya Stewart-Carter in 2008, Koi Girl is an exclusive one of a kind handbags and accessories label, based in Perth, Western Australia. Created from vintage Kimono and Obi, in decadent, flamboyant colours, intricate textures and luxurious prints, these fabrics are carefully chosen to be meticulously hand crafted into stylish individual pieces.
Tanya's inspiration comes from a love of vintage and current fashion, Japanese art, and textile design. From studying Fashion and Textiles, where her love of textile design began, Tanya then lived in Japan for 5 years and studied Tegaki Yuzen, - a traditional Japanese silk painting method on the Kimono. Being immersed in Japanese design, she started collecting vintage fabrics, kimonos and obis. After returning to Australia, Tanya wanted to implement these fabrics in a practical way for everyday use and give these vintage fabrics a second life, to show off how truly beautiful they are. Tanya still continues to travel to Japan every year to personally select her fabrics, for her ongoing collections.
Koi Girl handbags and accessories are for the style conscious woman with a penchant for vintage chic. Blending something old and something new, these individual pieces can be described as elegant, quirky, and stylish, with a twist of playfulness.
How long have you been making your products?
I have been doing Koi Girl since 2008, just after my son was born.
How did you get started?
I started Koi Girl with a few vintage kimonos I had brought back from Japan. I had these beautiful fabrics and wanted to put them to use in everyday life. I started making one of a kind camisoles, and then I was left with lots of smaller pieces of fabrics that were too beautiful to waste, I then started making handbags, clutch purses and headscarves, it became a bit of an obsession.
What is your greatest inspiration?
I am inspired from all eras of fashion, I have a love of Japanese art, design and of course textile design.
What is the greatest challenge to owning and operating your own business?
My greatest challenge is not having enough time!!
What is the best thing about owning your own creative business?
That I have built it up to be brand I am confident in. I love what I do, and I love my product, you should see my handbag collection!!