Remember the risqué red and white dress worn by Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman? It was by Hunza G. Of course, it was before the addition of the valuable ‘G’ — Georgina, the co-founder and Creative Director of this cult brand responsible for revolutionizing swimwear shopping for women.
Her idea was to eliminate the size trauma from the swimwear category and democratising the market beyond the one category that it catered to. Owing to their signature crinkle stretch fabric, women across were able to look and feel amazing in the swimsuits they made.
In a detailed chat with Emirates Woman, Georgina talks about building a brand on the philosophy of body positivity and centralizing it on the unified principles of sustainability and eco consciousness.
What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like?
I generally wake up with both my kids. Frank is 4, so he normally wakes me up just before my alarm, then I go downstairs for a coffee with him and Stella. I am very lucky if I have managed to get dressed before they wake up.
What was the inspiration behind co-founding Hunza G?
I genuinely just wanted the product. I thought it was crazy that it didn’t already exist, and I felt there was a huge gap in the swimwear market for something accessible, but aspirational that made women feel amazing. We were one of the first, if not the first, to be a diverse and inclusive brand in this category. It felt like what existed in swimwear was very one dimensional and only catered for certain groups of women. Each brand took on one customer and catered to that woman only. I just thought it would be cool if there was a brand that spoke to multiple women and eliminated size trauma when shopping for products.
How do you get into a creative headspace?
Honestly music and making mood boards. I am a big music person, so I have lots of different playlists for different moods. Normally, I just get to do a few solo evening sessions to focus on a collection and then I sit with my team, and we hone it over some long design meetings. They are amazing. The addition of the “G” to “Hunza” marked a significant transformation in 2015.
What inspired this change?
The G stands for me! It’s when Peter and I launched it as a new brand together with me as creative director and co-founder.
Body positivity is a key aspect of Hunza G’s philosophy. Can you elaborate?
Firstly, as I said earlier, we eliminate size trauma for the women buying the product and the men giving them as gifts. But also, we have all women wearing the same product and all looking different but equally amazing in it. The actual product is incredible and the feedback we get daily is astonishing because of the tubular nature of the crinkle fabric and its stretch abilities. It’s really flattering and comfortable. Women who said they didn’t imagine themselves ever feeling confident on a beach in swimwear at their most vulnerable, feel truly amazing in the crinkle product, so that’s how I think we promote body confidence. All women are invited to the party.
Sustainability and ethical practices are central to your brand’s ethos. How do you integrate it in every aspect?
Production wise, every factory we work with is ethical and audited. Their credentials are truly inspiring.We are also carbon neutral and work with a company called Be Zero on this. The team is conscious of the culture we have created, so it feels intrinsic to the values outwardly and internally at Hunza G. The fact that it’s one size means there is limited wastage on stock and production, any waste fabric gets turned into scrunchies.
Julia Roberts famously wore one of Hunza’s cut-out mini dresses in Pretty Woman. How did this iconic moment influence the brand’s journey?
I think it was one of the coolest moments for us as a brand and certainly in Hunza’s first iteration without the G, the biggest and most iconic moment. It’s such a brilliant film and kind of timeless. Julia Roberts recently just did a video about her five most iconic outfits and that was the first one she named. She also now wears Hunza G products on the beach, which feels like a full circle. It was one of the most exciting moments for me while re-launching the brand, as the original icon who was wearing it back then is still wearing it 30 years later.
How do you envision the future of Hunza G and what innovative directions are you exploring?
It’s exciting, but you must wait and see. We get copied so much that I can never really discuss our plans, but more collaborations with amazing women/ brands and launching some of our own new products in new categories.
How do you balance your role as a fashion entrepreneur with your commitment to environmental and ethical causes?
It’s a tricky one to navigate because we are still a consumer brand, but I think there are ways to do it and ways not to. I have always loathed fast fashion, and that’s not because of the price. I think it’s amazing that it makes fashion accessible, but I hate the speed of the changing trends and therefore how much product people buy, and that is also linked to low prices. It’s boring and obvious to say, but you just need to buy good items, in great fabrics that last for a long time and that don’t feel trend orientated when it comes to design. I still wear clothes I had at university, and I am in my mid 30s now.
This is The Tech Issue, how does technology improve your daily life?
Being connected to the world and to people is incredible. My grandpa died last year at 96. I was able to WhatsApp him regularly, that’s kind of incredible, isn’t it? My car is electric- (not a Tesla!) but that’s amazing. I think in terms of medical advancement, communication, and accessibility to information it’s brilliant. I built my brand on social media, so I am grateful for that, but social media also scares me a little bit.
February’s – The Tech Issue with Christiana Maxion – Download Now
– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram