Innika Choo: Making A Smockery
The day I saw Innika’s beautiful handmade smocks hanging in Warm store in New York’s Mott Street Soho, in the company of Raquel Allegra and Caravana Montaecristo, I knew she had become the runaway success I’d always predicted. We were acquainted some years before while living in Singapore and then on subsequent trips to Bali where she had moved with husband, Pern, to try her hand at ‘this little idea she had’.
The little idea of billowy linen smocks with impossibly short hemlines and hand-stitched embroidery turned out to be the trend nobody knew they needed. According to Marie Claire the label had hit cult-but-still-niche-enough status by 2018, meaning if you were in the know, you could turn heads wearing an Innika Choo on vacation, and not have to bow your own when someone else turned up in the exact same ‘one-of-a-kind’ flirty gingham.
Fast forward to time of writing and the label has just navigated an epic warehouse sale in multiple markets - the US store servicing the Americas, Europe, UK and the Middle East and APAC store servicing Asia and Australia. Not bad for a team of two based out of Bali.
There is currently the gingham collection and some lovely last pieces from previous collections: Regalia, and Floret. And you can now filter the online store to shop by style, collection, detail, fabric and colour which makes the wait for new collections in the pipeline even more exciting. The gorgeous pieces, featuring hand smocking, hand screen prints, crochet and embroidery, are made in Delhi, Ho Chi Minh and Bali, fulfilled with love in Indonesia or out of their US warehouse. And if your item is from Bali, your order is still delivered with a hand-written love note from Innika.
What I love most about this label is that you know Innika is just working hard at being herself. What you see and get is exactly who she is: the grown up version of the innately creative 12-year-old who always wanted to start her own label; who would take the scissors to an outfit, cinch it in at the waist and head out the door. She has that easy, nonchalant way of a stylist and has been able to capture hearts and minds of the Instagram universe by demonstrating daily the loose, bohemian vibe she’s going for. It’s evolved very authentically and it’s voicey - like many direct-to-consumer brands nowadays, Innika will have a frank conversation with her customers over Instagram, the platform that has rewarded her unique art direction and witty captioning. Life-envy was definitely coined to describe Innika’s Instagram - both her personal account and that of her eponymous label are streams of delightful consciousness. Follow and weep!
Read more about Innika here.
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