by Nicky Cossins

 

Established in London in 1984 as Hunza by Peter Meadows, the clothing brand took over the 80’s with a signature crinkle-stretch fabric made famous by Julia Roberts’ dress in Pretty Woman. Relaunched 30 years later as Hunza G, it is now responsible for bringing back the 80’s crinkle through contemporary swimwear. With one size that fits all, the label now offers unique styles and colors to beautifully flatter any woman with any figure. Creative director, Georgiana Huddart, tells Jute Fashion Magazine how she achieves this and more.

 

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Originally known as Hunza, how did you and Peter reinvent the brand to Hunza G to appeal to the women of today?
I wanted to create Hunza G with a reference to the old Hunza by using the same fabric, but update the designs and move beyond the fluoro 80’s aesthetic. The fabric is so flattering that it seemed crazy
that no one was using it anymore, but I felt it needed to move towards more contemporary designs and colors.

What differentiates your brand from others?
It’s one size; the fabric is very distinctive. It’s made on a circular loom so its tubular (it has no seams), which is what creates the sock like suit that takes a woman’s best shape. And everything is made in London… which I think is pretty unusual. Our customer is so varied- which is what makes it so fun; it’s inclusive not exclusive.

 

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Famously known for Julia Roberts’ dress in Pretty Woman, how did the brand come to involve swimwear?
Swimwear has become such a big thing these days… people are excited about their swimwear as they are about their evening outfit. Instagram has meant there is no escape from imagery of people on holiday. I think it’s unusual to find swimwear that combines comfort, ease, is flattering and aesthetically enjoyable to look at and wear. Crinkle is all of those.

How does the creative process behind designing swimwear differ from designing clothing?
It has to be a lot more practical. I have never wanted to design swimwear that you can’t swim in and that is just for posing in. That would totally defeat the purpose for me. I do see a lot of swimwear that I know would not be comfortable or practical to swim in. I don’t mean Olympic lengths. I just mean being able to jump in a pool and not wreck it after one wear.

 

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How would you style a Hunza G swim piece?
I wear them with denim shorts. Sometimes just with an open shirt and a bandanna. I tend to prefer them when they aren’t worn with lots of makeup and high heels.

With one size that fits all, how do you ensure every piece also flatters all?
The fabric is naturally quite flattering, but of course different bodies suit different shaped pieces, which is why we offer such a range of styles and colors. Not everyone wants to wear a really high cut leg, so we offer styles that have lower cuts like the Kerry. Or ones that suit larger busts. I think it’s just about offering a variety and hoping that someone can find something in there which works for them.

 

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How does being based in the fashion capital of England inspire you?
It’s amazing. I love the style in London, not because its particularly ‘Londony’ but because it’s so varied- it incorporates so many nationalities, cultures, styles- that it is constantly visually and mentally stimulating.

Where have you felt the most inspired and why?
I find Morocco incredibly inspiring. I am not someone who wears much color and I often stick to the things I know and love, so I love going there as it really throws me in the deep end. The colors are
Incredible: the noise, the pottery and the fabrics. It has a really good energy about it. I went to the YSL museum earlier this year and you can absolutely see the thought process behind the pieces that he designed through his inspiration from Marrakech. Inspiration doesn’t have to be literal; it can be just a reference point or hint.

 

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How do you want females to feel when they wear your brand?
Strong, sexy, fun and empowered.

What pieces from your latest collection would you say are a must have in every woman’s wardrobe and why?
The Zora swim is one of my absolute favorites; it’s classic, but with a tortoiseshell detail on the back, which makes it quite sporty, but also a bit chicer than your normal sporty one piece. The new Leya & Mila bikinis from the new Isolde Collection have glitter detail hoops in heart shapes and they are a realization of my 12-year-old spice girls phase swimwear dream… so for me anything with glitter from the new collection.

What does the word ‘fashion’ mean to you?
It doesn’t really. I think fashion can seem very disposable; it’s very current and very quickly changes and trends become disregarded so quickly that I can’t really get on board with it. Style is a different thing. I want people to buy a costume and love it forever. Even if they get bored of it I don’t want it to ever get thrown away because it’s no longer fashionable. Hopefully that is what Hunza G
Does. Lots of people still have their Mother’s old Hunza pieces from the 80’s, which I find really inspiring. I love the idea of things being cyclical and never over: wait long enough and everything will come back around.

 

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Who is your fashion inspiration and how do they influence your own style?
My mother and sisters; we all have completely different taste in clothes and jewelry, but we are so close that there is a connection to each other where we all appreciate (and sometimes really don’t like) each other’s style. Which makes it fun and not too serious. Alek Wek & Gisele I was obsessed with in my teens. I also love people like Grace Kelly & Marilyn Monroe. I am quite nostalgic for past era’s.

Which celebrities have you most enjoyed seeing in your designs and why?
I loved seeing Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in our pieces. Not just because she made them look so sexy and accessorized it and styled it so well, but also because she managed to reference 80’s glamour without making it look tacky, but also keeping it current.

Having taken a modern twist on the crinkle, what other 80s trends would you like to see make a contemporary comeback?
Bows- (YSL style) and Whitney Houston- I love 80’s music.

What can we expect in the future from Hunza G?
It’s a secret/ I am trying to figure that out!

 

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