I Love Ugly was established in March 2008 by Valentin Ozich while he was pouring over his desk making illustrations of his intricate and entangled subconscious thoughts. Once described as a starving artist, he came to the point where he had to choose to stay making music in his experimental hip hop group or do the visual art thing, which he was equally passionate about. Choosing the art side of things he soon realized his potential being commissioned by clients such as MTV, adidas Originals and Vodafone. He then began to fuse his passion for illustrations with clothes. Season after season Valentin introduced different products and expanded the range of I Love Ugly until it resembled a street wear brand. In December 2009, Valentin decided to take on I Love Ugly full time and ditched his job. With his wife, he opened a flagship store in Auckland and also stocked other labels and art exclusive to New Zealand. By the end of 2010 the label took precedence and Valentin decided to close the store and fully concentrate on the brand. Soon, I Love Ugly family added new members: In January 2011, Valentin and Barnaby found an office space together to share their vision of building their businesses. From there it was a natural progression to become business partners. It didn’t take long from there for the other projects they were collectively involved in (among them a website design company and a labeling business) to trickle off the radar. Soon I Love Ugly was their only focus. Together they shared the vision to create a premium street wear brand. Nikolai was the next addition to the I Love Ugly team in early 2011. He brought a new critical way of thinking and great technical skills to the business.