Anika Ignozzi, best known as Ooh Baby around the Pittsburgh community is a 23-year-old fashion designer who repurposes clothing with her own unique twist. According to the Ooh Baby website, “Anika brings items back to life with psychedelic faces and abstract objects.” Anika began her work in 2018 and built her business from the ground up. Now, she has a flagship store in Millvale, PA, and is styling celebrities including Bebe Rexha.
Through her years of design, she has gained insight into what it truly means to be yourself. Every time I see her, her hair is a different shade of neon and she is always wearing the brightest outfit she can find. Color is Anika’s best friend. For her, this self-expression and crazy style is what makes her, her. Keep reading to learn what fashion as self-care means to Ooh Baby and check her out on Instagram: @o.o.h.baby.
CC: Tell me a bit about yourself. What do you do? Where are you from?
OB: I’m Anika Ignozzi and I run Ooh Baby. I’m originally from Lower Burrell but I now live in Pittsburgh and that’s where the Ooh Baby store is. I repurpose clothing; I paint on it and sometimes I rework it. I’m pretty much known for painting on canvas these funky psychedelic faces and then sewing them on the piece.
CC: Why do you do what you do? What inspires you?
OB: Honestly I don’t think, at this point, I would be able to do anything else. I just love creating art and I love sharing it with people. I love creating an awesome experience that people can also find inspiration from to follow their own dreams. I love it for so many reasons like meeting all my customers, seeing what they do, and creating different pieces all day. Everything about it is just amazing to me. I couldn’t see it any other way.
CC: What are some of your greatest accomplishments in your work?
OB: For me, my store is my biggest accomplishment because I really wasn’t sure how I was going to hand-paint every piece as opposed to when I was only selling at a flea market on Saturdays and Sundays. Styling some celebrities has been cool and I keep styling more but the biggest one is Bebe Rexha who wore the outfit during the Penn State concert. Not so much anymore, but before COVID I would go to Brooklyn and sell at the flea market and it was really cool to get my foot in the door in a much busier city than Pittsburgh.
CC: What is your favorite thing you’ve created?
OB: The walls in my store are some of my favorite stuff. Aside from that, it would just be the faces in general. I honestly couldn’t pick a specific piece. The patches are my favorite things.
CC: Where do you see Ooh Baby in 10 years?
OB: I would hope to have another store in a much busier city, whether that be in Paris or New York or LA. I don’t know if that would be the end goal location for me to live, per se, but I would like to have a few shops that I can travel to all the time to help the community wherever the store is. I really want to keep creating one-of-one pieces because I think that’s the most important part.
CC: What do you wish you could tell someone who hopes to start their own fashion business?
OB: Work ethic!! You can say so many things but if you’re not willing to literally put in the work, then nothing is going to work. So, it’s an everyday thing. You have to create, you have to sew or whatever it is; you have to do it every day. Opportunities will start to come because you’re concentrating on it so much.
CC: What is your idea of “fashion as self-care” and why?
OB: Wearing something funky and crazy will bring you more confidence because it’s daring enough that you’re already wearing something so crazy. You will get compliments from random people and people will come up and talk to you. The more you’re able to express yourself and the more comfortable you are with expressing yourself, the easier it is to live and be happy.