About Us

Elise Design was founded in 2004 by designer Thu Nguyen in Sydney, Australia. The label began at Sydney's Glebe and Bondi markets. After a few months Thu opened her first shop in Leichhardt. Elise Boutique is now situated in Newtown, Sydney with an extensive online shopping service delivering internationally.

The inspiration for Elise garments comes from Thu's love of vintage fashion. Garments are carefully designed in the classic styles of the 1940s, 50s & 60s, and are well-known for their beautiful print and embroidery details.

Thu's desire to build the label comes not only from her passion for fashion but also from a wish to have a legacy for her daughter, after whom the brand is named. She puts something of herself into every design, something she hopes people appreciate when they wear the garment.

Meet Our Sewers

Unique, rare, ethical products.

Elise Design garments are carefully handmade in our ethical workshop in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Through our workshop we employ single mums, providing the financial means needed to support their children's education. We take a lot of pride in our workshop environment and our ethical practices as good employers and responsible members of the fashion industry.

Our workshop team is a small group of women (2 pattern makers, 5 sewers and 1 production manager). As a mother of three, Thu understands how hard it is being a mum, particularly a single one. With this in mind, Elise Design often welcomes new team members based on personal need. Thu will first look into a new employee's individual situation to assess requirements. They will then receive plenty of training from our friendly and experienced team members. This provides employees with the high level of skill required to work at our workshop, whilst also empowering them to begin their own business in the future if they should so choose.


We foster a welcoming environment where team members support each other with care and respect. Whilst most Asian manufacturers pay workers based on output, we pay our team members hourly wages. This ensures that staff have fair and reliable income, that the team culture is collaborative, and that products are made to a high quality. Workshop hours are 8.30am - 5pm with a 1 hour lunch break/nap time. We offer flexibility in arrangements to allow staff to have time with their kids. Unlike most other Vietnamese organisations, our workshop team does not work weekends. Wages are fair, with personal and sick leave provided. A full month of bonus wages is provided, as well as at least 2 weeks off for Tet (Vietnamese New Year). This allows team members to go back to their hometown to celebrate New Year with their families. Private healthcare is provided by Elise as Vietnam does not provide a free public healthcare service.

Our workshop is located in a lovely, quiet alleyway. It’s a beautiful house (not a factory!) with a balcony & rooftop garden for our team to enjoy. These spaces also provide refuge for locally rescued animals (we currently have a cat, tortoise, lizard and lots of birds!). Thu's brother & sister-in-law take care of the workshop team and the rescued animals.

We recognise the need for sustainable practice in the fashion industry. Most of our garments are sewn from cut offs (remainders from large rolls of fabric), reducing waste and transportation demands. We recycle our own cut offs when possible. During the NSW bushfire, leftover fabric was used to make pouches for recovering wildlife. We also donate cut offs to be repurposed as quilts and various craft items.

Shop Clothing

Meet Our Shoe Makers

Most of our shoes are custom made in Europe, by family owned businesses. 

Custom-made for Elise in Spain by a family business. The Brako range is designed to help maintain a healthy foot while being stylish. This is one of our favourite brands for its quality, comfort & generous fit. All materials used are natural & chemical free. They also feature removable anatomical footpads for orthotics.
  Shop Brako Shoes

Bueno, Miss M is developed in Melbourne by brothers Nick & Ben. Handcrafted in Spain, Portugal & Turkey. Comfortable flats with extremely soft & colourful leathers.
Shop Bueno Shoes



Charlie Stone began with a simple concept – shoes that were like vintage heels from the 1920-50’s, but without the heel. By bringing together the quality and elegant aesthetic traditionally reserved for heels with a comfortable design made for all-day wear, Charlie Stone Shoes sets out to empower women with the right balance of vintage class and modern practicality.
  Shop Charlie Stone Shoes

Gianni Crasto shoes are developed in Melbourne by David & Ingrid. Hand-made in Italy. David & Ingrid have been working in the shoe industry for over thirty years and are madly in love with reproducing vintage shoes. We love that this range draws from the same style inspirations as Elise clothing. Their range are truly well-made and the style is very vintage.

Developed by David & Ingrid in Melbourne. Made in China. Retro/vintage inspired, but a bit more affordable compared to the Italian range.

  Shop Lunar Shoes


Directly imported from Spain. Handmade beautiful ballerina flats. 

Conceived out of SoHo, New York City. A team of European designers seeks out only the highest quality imported leathers, while incorporating design elements aimed at achieving the utmost comfort throughout the collection. At Elise Design, we love the Miz Mooz retro/vintage inspired ranges- they are perfect for our dresses. We value versatility and with the closed toe of these retro style shoes, it means that you can wear them all year round. 
Shop Miz Mooz Shoes

Directly imported from Spain. Wonders is one of the well-known shoe labels for its stylist & comfort. Extremely lightweight & flexible shoes. Developed in Western Australia by senior shoes developer John, and made in Spain. These shoes are very comfortable and affordable sandal & low-heel ranges. Made of natural cork and soft leathers.
  Shop Yokono Shoes


We are proud to continue our partnership with our good friends at Birdsnest, offering exclusive Elise designs and early release items.