georgia alice is taking over the world one positive message at a time

Young New Zealand designer Georgia Alice Currie wants her brand Georgia Alice to instil confidence in people.

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02 December 2014, 10:30pm

Derek Henderson

Georgia Alice Currie is having a very good year. Since releasing her fifth collection WAVES to critical acclaim, she's enjoyed the resulting attention and been featured everywhere from The Man Repeller to the cover of New Zealand glossy magazine Fashion Quarterly. But earlier this month things got even sweeter when the 24-year-old was awarded the coveted DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship. Unlike many other fashion bursaries this one is firmly rooted in the practicalities of the industry, providing $10,000 worth of international freight plus coaching in freight and logistics. It might sound a little dry, but it's big news for a burgeoning designer.

Although she already has stockists throughout Australasia, Georgia is now readying herself for some serious international expansion. But it's not just wardrobes she wants to infiltrate with her collections—Georgia has big plans to use her work to instil confidence in other young people.

Congratulations on winning the scholarship! Judge Dan Gosling (of Stolen Girlfriends Club) described your designs as very recognisable, and compared you to Karen Walker. How does that feel?
To be compared to someone who has basically lead the New Zealand fashion industry to the international stage is amazing. I hope I can achieve as much as Karen has, she is a legend and someone I definitely look up to.

Beyond bragging rights, what does it mean for you practically?
It's comforting to know that the cost of exporting overseas is taken care of. It's a really crazy time for my business and it can be a little scary. Having that extra support makes a huge difference, and I am so excited!

Obviously expanding is every designer's goal, but have you thought about what it means in terms of change in your design direction? Are you going to tailor your collections to a more international market?
I think the collections will become more trans-seasonal to cater for both northern and southern hemispheres, and I suppose as my market grows so will the collections.

You've said what drives you is, "the challenge to create simple, wearable luxury", yet you use a lot of commonplace fabrics like cotton and denim. How you do define luxury?
Well, if you look to the official definition of luxury, comfort, elegance, and expense are all terms used. I suppose for me there is something very special about giving as much thought and time to an item like a pair of jeans as I do for a more typically "luxurious" garment. Considering the price point of Georgia Alice, I know girls who buy pieces are often making a real investment—an investment in everything the brand stands for.

Simple menswear is something you've expressed a fondness for, and it's obvious in your tailoring. Do you have any desire to branch into that market?
I'm really interested in the pacing of menswear seasons. Silhouettes and trends shift a lot slower I think, and it is something that I have always been conscious of with Georgia Alice. I'm always looking for new challenges with every new season, but at the moment these are all focused around women's wear and the desires of the Georgia Alice girls.

I like that although your designs have a strong classic design element, there are subversive touches like the silver hat in your latest collection that feel like you're having fun with it.
Yes, I definitely love the juxtaposition of something super-refined and essentially layered with something that is a little jarring. I have fun with the styling in look books and campaigns—this is where I think you can really push things and make more of a story, create scenarios and characters.

You've said you started the label because you had something to say. What are you trying to say now?
What I'm trying to say now hasn't really changed that much from when I began. I suppose if anything, I am just feeling more confident in what I have to say. I want Georgia Alice to be a positive example and I want to instil confidence and strength in everyone who comes into contact with the brand.

Credits


Text by Sarah Gooding