OiOi Baby bags are the brainchild of Lisa Bennetts. During her first pregnancy, the handbag designer found herself on the receiving end of a chorus of enthusiastic, identical instructions: "You need to get yourself a baby bag." To which she replied, "A baby bag?" recalls Bennetts, looking as if she has caught a whiff of soiled nappy. "What is that?" Unimpressed by the "patchwork, dotty and character-emblazoned bags" on offer, Bennetts adapted "a little black handbag" after her daughter, Isabella, was born in 1997 - a stylish idea soon defeated by the paraphernalia that newborns attract. "I needed to get organised," says Bennetts "but I wanted something very plain that my husband would feel comfortable carrying."
Her search resulted in another birth: the Classic Messenger bag, an "incognito" microfibre model. The design was the first in the new mum's range of OiOi baby bags - sassy satchels with not a fluffy bear in sight. "I tailored the designs for mothers like myself, with careers, having their first babies in their mid-30's, and in search of bags that reflected their style, not their baby's."
Star mums and dads are also rejoicing. Fans of the range include Lisa McCune, Rachel Griffiths, Kylie Minogue, Rove McManus & Cate Blanchett, who calls the bag a "godsend".
Early days, "a few boxes went out with drawings on them," says Bennetts - OiOi thrives alongside it's inspiration, Isabella. Does it ever feel like Bennetts had two babies back in 1997? "It's true! she says with a laugh. "And I'm passionate about both of them."
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