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Isabella Oliver

Isabella Oliver

Couture Maternity Wear to Flatter and Fit Every Bump

Isabella OliverIsabella Oliver launched in 2003 and will be celebrating their 10 year anniversary this October 2013.  Baukjen de Swaan Arons is the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Isabella Oliver.  The company originally started with three co-founders, but in the past years, it has been Baukjen and her husband, Geoff.  Offering maternity styles best described as modern, chic and effortless, Isabella Oliver has forever redefined the term “maternity wear.”  Freeing pregnant women from frumpy, outdated and oversized maternity clothes, their tagline of “Same Woman-New Curves” is really their design and brand philosophy.  The collections keep pregnancy styles simple and sleek as their designs are flattering and contemporary with pieces that will last throughout every stage of pregnancy and beyond.  Isabella Oliver is unique from other lines because of their branded look using their signature techniques of wrap, ruche and drape detailing to create iconic pieces that are instantly recognizable.  These clever techniques combined with excellent quality means that their designs offer a flattering fit at every stage and even look great post pregnancy.

Baukjen was inspired to launch Isabella Oliver when she was pregnant with her first child and found it difficult to find maternity wear that reflected her style and flattered her pregnancy curves.  “I was inspired to change this and offer a solution for women who wanted to look and feel good about themselves at this special time.  “So in 2003, we launched our first maternity collection and haven’t looked back since,” she shares.  Creativity runs in her blood as Baukjen grew up in a family packed with stylists, fashion photographers and more.  She was surrounded by lots of creative people right from the start and has always loved the energy of the creative industries.  Baukjen adds, “Working in the fashion industry is really just a home away from home.”  She graduated from the University in Holland with a BA and MBA in Business Economics.  Her father was a professor in Holland at the time and she wanted to enjoy a few years there.  Baukjen also met her husband and co-founder, Geoff, in Holland.

Isabella OliverOne of their signature designs and most popular items is the Ruched Maternity Wrap Top, which looks fabulous on anyone before, during and after pregnancy.  This top is crafted with the company’s technique of wrapping and ruching, perfect with jeans and heels or a skirt.  Easy to wear as you just wrap the long waist ties around the tee and tie at the hip for an effortlessly stylish look.  What we love about this fashionable top is that it grows with you, making it a sophisticated option at every stage as it works particularly well during pregnancy, nursing and post pregnancy.  Isabella Oliver is a staple among pregnant celebrities, including Natalie Portman, Angelina Jolie, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Lopez to mention a few.  As for designs, Isabella Oliver has core styles which they carry forward through seasons because they are loved staples of customers.  The company introduces and adds new colors to these styles each season while adding new styles through its continuing need for creativity.  The demand from their customers varies each season and the brand strives to accommodate every need from season to season. 

Baukjen says, “It is important that our customers see us as a resource, where they can be inspired or pick up styling advice, which is why we created Isabella Oliver World.”  Isabella Oliver World offers a unique online destination where pregnant women can read about features, watch videos and learn how to create a Isabella Oliverpregnancy wardrobe that they will love to wear.  Baukjen’s own personal favorites from the Isabella Oliver collection are pieces from the dress department.  For everyday casual chic, she enjoys the Betty Loose Stripe Dress, which can be worn with or without a belt or over leggings.  If you are looking for color and something that pops, Baukejn likes how the Vivien Print T Shirt Dress fits and its fun graphic print.  Special occasions call for something a bit more extravagant and since the options for formal maternity wear are slim, every woman should consider the Marie Sequin Dress.  Chic, modern and easy to wear, this take on sequins in a rich luxe hue of bronzed khaki is perfect for summer days and nights.

The company starts sourcing fabrics from around the world 14 months before a collection launches.  Baukjen shares, “How a garment feels in your hand is very important, as are the colors they come in.  But the deciding factor is the quality to ensure they last under intensive wear.”  Fabric is of utmost importance since they look at how it will feel on the skin, how it fits on the body and how it wears and washes over time.  If the fabric does not tick all the boxes, they do not work with it.  “For pregnant women, luxe jersey is a wonderful fabric as it grows with you and flatters your curves,” Baukjen adds.  Using their signature techniques of wrap, ruche, drape and tie detailing, Isabella Oliver creates pieces that perfectly fit around a woman’s new curves.  Their collections feature lots of different jerseys – there’s something for everyone as they want women to feel like themselves – Same woman. New curves.

Isabella OliverAnother staple we want to highlight is the Maternity Wrap Dress, an iconic adjustable maternity wrap dress designed in Isabella Oliver easy care signature jersey for chic style, day or night.  This fitted dress is flattering and an essential as it skims curves, offering comfort and style at every stage, during pregnancy, nursing and post pregnancy.  Baukjen and her co-founders named the line Isabella Oliver after the first born children of the original founders.  Isabella OliverHer firstborn is Oliver.  When it comes to ideas for their designs and collections, London is their runway of inspiration, not just for fashion but exhibitions as well.  There is always so much going on in the city that they are never short of inspiration.  Bauken has been inspired by fashion designers such as Celine, Chloe, Stella McCartney and others.  They begin with sketching up many design ideas from their inspirations and then put them through a rigorous edit where they select the styles that will look great at 4 months and also 9 months at pregnancy.  “Our main objective is to create styles that are both contemporary as well as flattering to your new curves,” Baukjen says. 

Baukjen has traveled far, but she loves her birthplace, Amsterdam.  She enjoys cycling from one place to the next there for the beauty of it as well as the food and her endless cousins that hold a special place in her heart.  She also likes New York and Paris.  In her spare time, Baukjen enjoys travelling, evenings with friends, and spending time with her kids.  Their collection has grown a lot over the years and they still continue to develop it by adding more product groups, such as loungewear, footwear and jewelry.  In doing this, women can create their whole look as Isabella Oliver also offers styling advice.  Baukjen cares about what her customers want and says, “We ask our customers for feedback on a regular basis and I love to hear what they say as it helps steer our direction.”  Her hope for the future is to dress more and more women around the world in Isabella Oliver. Isabella Oliver is sold at Pea in a Pod and will soon be available on ASOS, Galeries Lafayette and Fenwicks.   


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