Gold Coast fashion designer Isabelle Quinn is a slave to her sewing machine preparing for her first runway show. We caught up with the fashionista to discuss her brand, style and nerves before her appearance at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane.

How/when did IzzQ Designs begin?

IzzQ Designs started in 2013 by accident, around the time I was graduating Uni. With a champagne taste on a water budget, I started making one off pieces to wear to events because of my financial situation. I didn’t intentionally mean to start a brand, I just kind of fell into it. The demand for my clothes was there and IzzQ has just continued to grow ever since.

What three words best describe your label?

Risqué, feminine and innovative.

What have been the greatest challenges in starting your own label?

Time, fabric and money! Initially working two jobs while trying to start up a business was very difficult. I spent every spare second working on IzzQ, which left me no time to relax or socialize but it was so worth it!! Fabric was also a big challenge, sourcing affordable and interesting fabrics on the Gold Coast or in Brisbane was and still can be hard. And of course when establishing any new business, money! With a lack of, I had to do everything from sewing, photographing, styling, makeup, website design, social media and writing.

What has been your biggest win?

Quitting my day job in marketing and web to focus on IzzQ full time!!

Where did you learn the art of fashion design?

I’ve been creating my whole life, born into an artistic household; I was on a sewing machine at the age of 4. The only thing I’ve ever known is creating and making. Although I don’t have any formal fashion training, I’ve always been consumed by beautiful garments and styling. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my mum, she’s the one who has taught me everything. Nothing was ever impossible when I was growing up, we would constantly be making costumes, presents, painting, sewing and doing craft, you name it we did it.

Who are your fashion icons?

Vogue Australia fashion editor Christine Centenera and social media influencer Margaret Zhang. Both women are so individual, fashion forward and have the most impeccable style.

What inspires you?

I draw inspiration from all around me. Whether it’s the places I’ve travelled to (recently Mexico and USA), my friends, social media, fabric stores, art house films and the costume design in them. I just see things around me and something triggers inside that gives me an idea for a design. I just get so excited sometimes haha.

What is your favourite label to wear?

I adore Australian designers Alice Mccall, Karla Spetic and Dion Lee, but most recently I’m really loving Country Road’s minimalistic pieces.

What’s more important, comfort or style?

Ultimately I would say style because isn’t looking great just the most important thing? I can’t count how many times I have chosen style over comfort and later kicked myself, but still can’t seem to help but always giving in to choosing looking fabulous over comfort!

Your designs are showing at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, is this your first appearance at the festival?

Yes it is, it’s my first runway show ever actually!!

How does it feel to be selected for the festival?

It feels a little surreal, I’m so excited and grateful to have been selected for MBFF but I’m also a little nervous to have my work unveiled, though it’s a challenge I’m definitely ready for.

What can we expect next from IzzQ Designs?

I’m currently in the works of doing a capsule collection with Mel Tan exclusively through Joy Hysteric that I’m really excited to release. I’m also working really hard this year to start getting into boutiques and just really expand the brand.

You can see IzzQ Designs at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane on 26 August in the NEXT Hotel Gen Group Show.

Isabelle Quinn