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Letting their worlds collide

Kate Thompson

When creative Southsea couple Nia and Tim Hobbs decided to set up in business together, they knew it was time for their worlds to collide. 

A talented florist with a passion for the natural world, Nia could instantly see the synergy that resulted from joining forces with her fashion designer husband. 

Luvshifting.com is the result and a global audience is now snapping up their range of silk kimonos and scarves created from the material they design in a subterranean studio in Southsea.

Tim is perhaps best known as a barber but when he’s not styling men’s hair, he loves nothing more than to create fabulous fashion garments.

Each brings their individual talent to the cutting table and together they develop delicious, bold designs that are turning heads.

Far from being the least bit twee, their eye-catching designs include quirky additions that might see industrial items, faces, and techie paraphernalia among the eye-popping blooms.

Wedding clients can have their flowers captured on silk and made into a kimono and the designs can also be used for ties and pocket squares.

Not content with simply creating a small scale online business, Nia and Tim regularly let their creativity flow on conceptual designs that allow them to smash through the boundaries.

They tackle themes such as light pollution and the effects of air conditioning, letting their imaginations take them on a journey of discovery. 

Sophia, their latest project, was inspired by a trip to New York, when among many vast and inspiring sights, the pair became strangely and utterly fascinated by air conditioning units.

Nia takes up the story: “Hooked onto buildings and protruding like bizarre futuristic limpets, we started to think about what types of plants could possibly survive in that environment. 

“Turns out we weren’t the only people to ponder – there is a piece of research by NASA all about it: Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement was produced in 1989 and provided fodder for our inspiration.”

For the design, they conceptualised taking an old air-con unit apart and having plants climbing all around it. They created a terrarium and attached components and parts of the deconstructed air-con unit.

“The shape of the terrarium influenced the angular garments we made, evolving into a deeply coloured, prism-printed bodysuit,” explained Nia.

With orders for bespoke garments and designs becoming a regular occurrence as well as their lucrative wedding work, the duo have their eyes set on designing an installation with supporting merchandise at one of London’s top museums.


Posted in: Art & Culture, Articles