24 Hours With… Hunza G
Who would have thought that our favourite sunshine essentials were conceived of not in some far-flung beachy paradise, but rather in London’s leafy Notting Hill? Meet Georgiana Huddart, the woman who put the 80s crinkle back on the map, creating the one-size-fits-all swimwear that’s taken the fashion world by storm.
“The wisteria on the back of our house around my bedroom windows is a real joy to wake up to in the morning”
“I try to do a tiny bit of exercise every day - even if it’s just a ten minute stretch.”
What time do you wake up and where?
I wake up when I hear my son Frank shouting for me. Normally at about 7am in Notting Hill.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
I always make a cup of hot water with half a lemon squeezed into it, then I check my phone.
Where are you usually based?
I begin my day in Notting Hill, but head into Soho where our new Hunza G offices are.
What does your average day look like?
I try to do a bit of exercise first thing - even if it's just stretching, 20 minutes of yoga or a quick run. Anything really! I hate to sound like a cliché but it does really help get my mind ready for the day and I find it easier to focus properly. Then I head to Soho and that’s when my day really begins! I love my journey there as I take Frank to school on the way and walk the whole length of Portobello Road.
My morning ritual is that I always get a coffee from my favourite place, Bar Italia, as it’s next to the office – it’s the strongest coffee, which is good and bad… It can really get you in the mood for meetings, or make you feel like you’ve robbed a bank! So I only have one a day.
“Post-lockdown I’ve really enjoyed wearing actual clothes to work, so I am in a phase of very much overdressing for the office!”
“Walking Frank to school down Portobello Road”
“Grabbing a coffee from Bar Italia opposite the office.”
How would you describe what you do?
I run a one-size-fits-all swimwear brand that’s based in London. I'm the Chief Creative Officer, so I do all the designing and branding. My day is a real mix. It involves anything from quite tedious company-related admin to researching for inspiration for new collections and products. I’ve always found it really important to have a general overview of everything, not just the fun, creative parts of the company.
How has your background influenced who you are today?
I come from a really large family. I’m the eldest of six, so probably quite bossy and used to being in charge. I was really lucky to grow up surrounded by lots of lovely objects, books and inspiration. It was a very chaotic household without much order or organisation, so I don’t get easily stressed, but it has made me pretty opposite to that. I am very organised (but don’t freak out if others aren’t.)
How did you get your start in fashion?
I worked for a menswear designer straight out of university called Qasimi. That taught me a lot about what it meant to run a brand, what a ‘brand’ entailed - what that means for your everyday, and the decisions that have to be made. We showed in Paris so I would do all the castings with Khalid (the founder) there and it was all really exciting and eye-opening. My role wasn’t really creative, so it gave me a good understanding of the practicalities of running a company. I then did a paid internship for stylist Camilla Nickerson at Vogue in New York, which gave me a whole different set of skills and experience.
What was the impetus behind starting your label?
I started it purely because I wanted to wear the product and it didn’t exist. My thought process right at the beginning was less about the long term plans of a business and profit – more just I want to wear this to Glastonbury and on the beach and I know all my friends would too. So I made it for them!
What are the most important factors for the brand?
The inclusive aspect of the brand. One of the things that excites me the most is seeing two completely different types of women on the same beach wearing the same item and it looking just as good on both. I often get asked who our customer is, and I like to think that we offer something there for most women. When I design the shapes, the process involves fitting all of the pieces on a variety of body shapes to try and make sure they work across the board. This isn’t just about body shape - it also applies to age, height and skin tone. The other really important aspect of the brand is ethical production. We produce everything in the UK, which means we’re able to keep a really close eye on our quality and fits.
“Some BTS from the kids shoot.”
“Post fitting - checking the measurements to work out the size range for both age brackets of the collection.”
“Sometimes I have lunch with a friend at Quo Vadis. Sitting outside is such good people watching!”
How do you get into a creative headspace?
Listen to the right music and make sure I’ve been outside. When I had Frank I sometimes wouldn’t leave the house all day and I realised it made you a bit mad and your brain just doesn’t focus.When I design collections I normally pick a theme, and this includes the music. So for the new ‘Wonderland’ collection, I listened to 70s soul music. For the Kids collection, I listened to songs that reminded me of summers from my childhood. And I always have a matcha latte!
Can you tell us about starting Hunza G Kids?
I think when I had a child of my own, I realised how often you buy clothes for growing children and it’s so unsustainable - sometimes you’re moving through sizes within a couple of months. With the Hunza fabric, it will grow with your child for four years - so I thought this was a really cool way of launching a more sustainable children’s product. Plus, matching with your child is so adorable!
Do you have a favourite piece from your new collection?
The Olive Bikini for the kids in coral, and the exclusive Thema Bikini in chestnut.
Who would you most like to see wearing it?
Serena Williams and her daughter Alexis, or Gigi Hadid and her baby.
“Reading Sorrow And Bliss which is one the best books I have read in a long time. Wearing the Pamela swim in bubblegum.”
“The Thelma Bikini in Nile is my favourite style - I also wear the top for pilates and yoga.”
What’s on your bookshelf right now?
Catlin Moran’s More Than A Woman, Emma Dabiri’s Don’t Touch My Hair and Expectation by Anna Hope.
What do you usually do for dinner?
I eat really early and something quite simple like fishcakes and broccoli. Sometimes I eat Frank’s tea, which is always so delicious. Fish fingers and chips…. You can't beat that!
What time do you go to bed?
I get into bed by nine and sometimes watch something on my iPad or read.
Last thing you do before you sleep?
Put my ear plugs in.
What do you dream about?
Literally the most boring stuff - it’s mostly fabric deliveries, bikinis and deadlines- so yeah, I guess about logistics. God that’s depressing! “Hello I am Georgie and I dream about logistics.”
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