A Luxury Brand Born from a Childhood in Nature
Growing up in the ruggedly beautiful landscapes of New Zealand, Shelley Tichborne developed a deep appreciation for nature that inspired her to pursue a career in environmentally-conscious fashion. Her Maori spiritual beliefs in land and sea guardianship were enhanced by the green movement in New Zealand and her upbringing on her grandparents' farm, where repairing and repurposing broken items and washing and reusing plastic bags were obligatory. This upbringing instilled in Shelley the values of sustainability and inspired her to create a brand that embodied them.
Shelley's creativity and artistic eye were evident from a young age, and her interest in fashion developed while working as a model to finance her studies. After completing her degree in film, languages, and literature from Victoria University of Wellington, Shelley began her career in the media, working in advertising in both Auckland and London. In 2002, while pregnant with her first child, she realised her dream of founding her own creative business and launched Mou, a luxury brand that produces original products made from natural fibers.
Despite the early challenges of juggling motherhood and a small business, Mou quickly gained a cult following among stylists and buyers, attracting orders from prestigious stores around the world. In 2004, Net-A-Porter.com featured Shelley and Mou on its "Next Big Thing" list of up-and-coming international designer brands, and two years later, Shelley designed the Eskimo boot, which became Mou's best-selling and most iconic design. By 2008, Mou was being sold in over 25 countries.
Shelley continues to find inspiration for new designs through nature, London's vibrancy, art, and flea markets. Shelley lives and works in London with her family, and when she's not designing or running her business, enjoys playing tennis and performing with a London orchestra, playing the cello in concerts a few times a year.
Mou's DNA mirrors the values Shelley learned as a child, prioritizing ethical, eco-friendly, and sustainable production. Shelley's vision is to inspire people to stay connected to nature by wearing natural fibers and using hand-crafted, high-quality, and long-lasting products that are ethically made, biodegradable, and sustainably sourced. She avoids faux fur, polyester fleece fabrics, and "vegan leather," preferring the use of genuine fur derived from acceptable sources.