The young designer behind the Georgia Alice label is attracting an international following.
Few industries are as difficult to crack as fashion. But before Georgia Currie had dreams of working in the field, she had her sights set on an even more challenging career – that of a ballerina. Since the age of four, she had diligently studied classical ballet and at 16 moved to Sydney to study full-time. At the end of the first year she made the decision to leave ballet and pursue a career in fashion. Only a few girls she studied with have gone on – most have quit or been injured, says Currie. “Hardly anyone makes it. It’s even harder than fashion.” Currie began a traineeship at David Jones in Australia and then tried to embark on a buying internship but was told that at 17 she was too young. “It was at that point that I knew fashion was something I wanted to do but I didn’t know in what capacity.”
She moved back to New Zealand and her hometown, Christchurch, where she studied fashion at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology. In her final year she won the Westpac Young Designer 2011 award. hen she graduated she planned to move back to Sydney, but her boyfriend at the time was an artist and convinced her to move to Auckland and start her own brand. “He was like, ‘Start a label’ and I was like, ‘Okay’. I didn’t really seriously think about it – i was just something we threw about – and then I was like, ‘Yeah I’ll give it a whirl’ and now it’s becoming something that’s quite important.”
With five collections to her name, Currie has a strong sense of direction and knows exactly what the “Georgia Alice girl” is all about. The GA girl, says the 24-year-old, is a very conscious dresser, as in she thinks about how she’s put together. She’s not super serious and loves playing with silhouette and texture. “I feel she always has messy hair. She’s like a hot babe that isn’t super groomed, she’s just naturally amazing. “I think she has a modern beach vibe about her. She can be a little bit buzzy and loves horoscopes and she is a really warm person. And she doesn’t dress for boys she dresses for herself”
Already her designs have featured in magazines all over the world from I-D to Russh and recently her Sea Lady top from the Battenberg autumn/winter 14 collection was spotted on American author and fashion blogger Leandra Medine’s website The Man Repeller. As soon as the photo of Medine wearing it went up on the site, which receives 1.5 million page views per month, Currie says emails flooded in. “Do you have this top? Do you have this top? My website was getting hit after hit,” she says. Currie’s Sydney-based sales and PR agency OMGfive has been instrumental in helping the brand grow in Australia and further afield. Recently they sent her autumn/winter lookbook to the Opening Ceremony buyers. Up until then, they had never had a response for any of the brands they had presented. But when they sent the Georgia Alice lookbook, the buyers asked to view the range. So her spring/summer 14 Waves collection (below) was flown to New York.
Later in the year, during Paris Fashion Week, her autumn/winter 15 collection will be flown to the French capital to be shown to the buyers from Colette. “I received a phone call yesterday from the girl who looks after my PR in Australia and they are in New York at the moment. They have now shown the range to Opening Ceremony and it’s 85 per cent likely they will stock Georgia Alice next season.” Even though Currie has hung up her ballet shoes and replaced them with heels, it’s clear that the world stage still beckons. It’s just that it’s a different kind of stage –and one that has, so far, resulted in a receptive international audience.