Nina Govan is the creative director of London based childrenswear label Olive & Moss, whose retro inspired prints and animal graphics have been gracing babies everywhere since 2007. Govan was previously a freelance print designer for labels such as Diane Von Furstenberg and today her childrenswear empire is distributed in over 200 stores worldwide. Junior catches up with the busy designer and chats about Zammo from Grange Hill and the French exchange!
Where were you born and brought up?
I was born in Farnborough, Kent but brought up in Surrey.
Do you have brothers and sisters? If so, can you tell me a bit about them?
I have an older brother called Michael AKA ‘Brother Bear’ who is three years older than me. He’s a lovely big brother - extremely loyal, supportive and creative too. I also have a younger step brother and step sister, Max and Jojo both of whom have been fantastic new additions to the family.
What were your favorite pastimes as a child?
Eating sweets, colouring in and making up plays with my favorite neighbour Lucy.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A wedding dress designer or a nurse/doctor.
Do you have any particularly funny childhood memories?
Dressing up my cat Sooty in dolls’ dresses, disastrous attempts at making toffee apples, bunking off school, being made to put my hands on my head for talking when I was 16, experiencing the French Exchange... The list goes on.
What’s your family life like?
Not the most conventional family in the world. it is pretty chaotic, humorous and extremely noisy but always a lot of fun!
How did you get into what you do?
Studying hard, working very hard, remaining 100 per cent focused and being tough on myself combined with a desire to work creatively, but most of all to work independently.
What do you do in your spare time?
With the arrival of our new baby girl Beatrice May Govan coupled with a hectic pace at Olive & Moss, spare time is not an option at the moment I am afraid!
Tell me some interesting facts about yourself...
I’ve run a Marathon.
I’ve worked as an Art Councellor at Camp America.
I won an industry award/sponsorship ‘Texprint’ in 2000 for my University Textile Collection.
I’ve been asked out by Zammo, a character from television show, Grange Hill
I’ve redeveloped an entire property alone and from scratch! Not the easiest one, I have to say.
I met my husband on a dark and muddy night whilst training at BMF!
I sold some textile prints to Diane Von Furstenberg in New York when I was in my early twenties. She was lovely but the funny thing was, I did not have a clue who she was!
Any unfulfilled dreams?
Not that I can think of. Completing a marathon was always a big dream; I’m sure it’s time for another challenge!