When I first saw Georgie & Elaine online I was enamored by the effortless, feminine designs. As I chatted with the team I realized that the brand is so much more. With heart, soul, and drive, this brand is headed for the top. Lucky for me, I got the scoop on the brand before they're too busy and too big! Walking into the Manhattan offices, you get this overwhelming sense of a warm home; with the tufted couch and soft rugs everywhere you can tell this is a cozy place to workslashmy dream apartment. I embrace the calm and chat with founder and head designer, Devin, about all things G&E.
Tell me a bit about Georgie and Elaine; how did the brand begin?
The brand was founded in 2012 as a way to pay homage to my grandparents. My grandparents opened their home to me and this idea. I used to use their shower rod as a clothes rack and their ping pong table as a cutting table. They would make me lunch every day while I worked. It was really sweet. It is those small details that I will always remember.
What did you do before launching Georgie & Elaine? What prompted your interest in fashion?
Prior to launching Georgie & Elaine, I was doing brand and marketing consulting for other fashion brands in New York City and London, and prior to that, I was in London for graduate school. I have always been interested in fashion and really dove into the industry when I moved to NYC for college but on a deeper level, my grandmother taught me how to sew when i was a child, so i’ve always been making my own things. Furthermore, the majority of my adult experience has been in fashion related industries from Mood Designer Fabrics to Harpers Bazaar Magazine.
Why "Georgie & Elaine"? What ideas went into creating the brand identity?
Really, my grandparents, George and Elaine, are the root of the identity. I view my grandparents to be honest, full of integrity, loyal, kind, simple, supportive, and successful. I view those qualities to be the foundation of my brand and the root of every product I offer our customers.
What is your design philosophy?
We are focused on Ethical Fashion and Smart Separates (the below descriptions can be found on our website)
ETHICAL FASHION: Georgie & Elaine is proud to be part of the growing design philosophy of ethical fashion. By incorporating non-violent fabrics such as vegan leather and Ahimsa ‘peace’ silk, as well as eco-friendly fabrics such as no-waste novelty fabrics, soy based prints and soy knits, Devin believes sustainability is not simply a trend, it is the future. Through this concerted effort of building a foundation rooted in ethical designs and conscious business practices, Devin is pleased to provide more options of contemporary fashion to a generation who live passionately and care.
SMART SEPARATES: The combination of ethereal blouses and progressive skirts is quickly becoming known as the signature style of Georgie & Elaine. With versatile separates that you can mix and match from season to season; wearable separates that are appropriate for the office and out past five; and ethical separates that are consciously made with the best possible fabrics and the best means of production, Georgie & Elaine offers our customer an aesthetic that is rooted in consciousness and versatility.
Who do you envision in your designs? Who is your ideal customer?
The G&E Girl smart, driven, successful, metropolitan, and cares. We really want our customers to think about what they are purchasing; not just with our products but in every way they exercise their purchasing power.
What are your goals? One year down the road, five years, and eventually?
For the next few years, we are solely focused on building lasting relationships with retailers across the country. There are too many contemporary women’s wear brands and the market is ridiculously over saturated so we believe It is important that we have a personal relationship with each store we sell to; so we are taking our time and doing it right. At the 5 year mark, we will be moving into a different phase with more funding and will finally be implementing our press and sales strategy on a significantly larger level. Ultimately, I’d love to come out with a sister line of just cocktail dresses and/ or branch out into other lifestyle products.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I am most inspired by nature, female ambition, and my grandparents. Those three things are quite different and may appear to not be related at all but each of them drives a certain part of my psyche. I grew up in middle america, surrounded by beauty and I feel a natural desire to protect, preserve, and celebrate nature and natural beauty. I am driven by wildly successful women; i love reading about them and learning from them. I am inspired by women who have built empires, led countries, saved lives. And lastly, and most importantly, I am inspired by my grandparents, George and Elaine. Their integrity, philosophy and character is integrated into everything i do and everything i make.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
Quite simply put, we care. And I know anyone who has a business cares about what they do. But we really care. We care about the product we make and who we are selling it to and how we are selling it. We always take the most ethical road possible, even if that not making as much money. I personally can’t represent something that doesn’t make me feel good and my business is quite synonymous with my life in general.
Do you have a favorite piece from your fall collection?
I personally love our Carol Pea Coat. I love everything about it; its boxy fit, cabernet hues, Italian wool and silk lining. I will be wearing it every day this fall and winter.
What trends are you looking forward to for fall?
Right now, we are obsessed with vegan leather. We can’t get enough. Leather moto jackets and skinny leggings have really made a strong impact these last few years, but taking it one step further with kind, conscious, non-violent materials brings our customers a more thoughtful option. You will see that reflected in our Fall 2014 collection.
What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
My greatest accomplishment thus far, while it may seem very simple, has been walking down the street in Soho and seeing my product in the window at Foravi (located on Broadway between Prince and Spring). It brought me so much satisfaction to see that my products belong amongst all of the other great brands located in Soho.
Where can my readers find and buy Georgie & Elaine?
Georgie & Elaine can be found at Foravi in New York City on the Upper East Side and in Soho as well as Farasha Boutique in Park City, UT. Merchandise may also be purchased on our e-commerce site at www.georgieandelaine.com If anyone is interested in contacting the team, they are welcome to email firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to follow Georgie and Elaine online!
FinalThoughts? Designed by the realest girl with the right attitude, this collection is perfect for any girly girl or a gal with an edge. With plenty of leather accents and dark jeweled tones in flattering silhouettes it's a collection that needs to be in your closet. What are YOUR thoughts!? Let me know in the comments!!