Remember how I had the privilege of interviewing one half of Ginger & Smart, Alexandra Smart, at their Armadale boutique last week? Well, the day before that, Elle Magazine had just shown a spectacular runway at VAMFF, and the Ginger & Smart segment was a highlight.
I must admit, I was a little ambitious with this ‘serious’ interview. Equipped with a big list of questions and a heavy camera, I thought I could capture Alexandra’s answers on video. However, Winston had other plans. He hasn’t yet taken after his dad as the cameraman intern. Instead, his impromptu participation in the interview, in the form of regular high pitched shrills, were a little more distracting than I first anticipated. So I collated Alexandra’s answers from our interview for you to read below, and videoed her taking us through her picks from Ginger & Smart’s AW14 collection, Anatomie.
Having run a successful fashion label together with her sister Genevieve for over a decade, I asked Alexandra what has made Ginger & Smart (aside from both of them being ginger, and smart) go from strength to strength.
“The key to any business success is the commitment and the leadership the business has, and the team. Genevieve and I have been in business for 12 years now. Over that time, we’ve learnt a lot, grown at lot, and we have a wonderful team that we work with now. And we’ve really solidified our handwriting, our customer base, and all that goes around a fashion label. And we’ve been utterly committed to what we’re doing, and love what we do.”
Both Genevieve and Alexandra are working mothers. Genevieve has 2 children and Alexandra has 3. Her kids range from 4 to 11. After our interview, she was scheduled to fly back to Sydney, just in time to have dinner with her family! How does she manage to balance family life and work?
“It’s a challenge. But we’ve always felt that we could do it. We’ve got very good help and supportive families. We include our kids as well in the business. They come into the studio, draw, cut up fabric and have lots of fun. So it’s important that they see what it is that we do and why we work really hard, and what the outcomes of all of that is. It is balance, we don’t always get it right. But we try and try to show our team, who are all girls, that you can do this, you just have to be more prepared.”
2 years ago, the sister label of Ginger & Smart, AKIN by Ginger & Smart was born. I wanted to find out how their diffusion line fits with their artistic vision.
“AKIN by Ginger & Smart is designed for a younger Ginger & Smart girl. We think of her as magnetic, fearless and free. And we design clothes for her that are full of print and colour, joy and happiness, and that really targets the girl from 18-25, although we certainly see customers either side of those age groups enjoying our pieces. AKIN has the DNA of Ginger & Smart, it is just targeted at a younger market, and we work really hard to keep the quality of Ginger & Smart but at a cheaper price point.”
AKIN by Ginger & Smart is stocked at David Jones.
Anatomie was inspired by a recent trip to Paris. Although many wandering through the streets of the City of Lights may be prone to inspiration, not everyone would find it from the French National Museum of Natural History. Unless of course, you’re Alexandra and Genevieve Smart. X-rays and skeletal structures literally became the backbone (no pun intended) of their structured and printed AW14 collection. X-rays of roses dance across silk bodices, embossed croc panels rest snug on shoulders, and strands of raffia intertwine so intimately with wool that they look like Ostrich feathers. With names such as “Dissection Gown”, “Vertebrae Sweater” “Scapula Jacket” and “Thorax Pant”, I am reminded of the anatomy classes during my university days when I studied to be a vet. Talking fashion with Alexandra Smart, however, is so much more entertaining.
[spoiler title=”中文版”]还记得上周我采访了Ginger & Smart的设计师？前一天晚上，在墨尔本时装周上，Elle杂志刚刚显示了Ginger & Smart的冬季系列，是当天晚上的一个亮点。
AlexandraSmart已经与妹妹Genevieve同伙了十多年。她们时尚品牌Ginger & Smart是怎么变得那么成功的？
2年前，Ginger & Smart设立了妹妹标签，AKIN by Ginger & Smart 诞生了。我想问她们新的妹妹品牌怎样仍然有良好的质量。
“AKIN by Ginger & Smart是专为年轻的女孩设立的。我们认为她非常有魅力，无畏并自由。因此我们设计的衣服都充满了印刷图和色彩。她可能是18到25岁，但当然比这年龄段大和小的顾客都有。AKIN有Ginger & Smart的DNA，它只是针对一个年轻的顾客，有低一点的价钱商标。我们尽量保持妹妹牌也有Ginger & Smart的质量和手工。
Ginger & Smart冬季的时装，名叫“Anatomie”（译“解剖学”），灵感来自于最近的巴黎之行。虽然许多在巴黎街头游荡也会得到启发，但不是每个人都会从法国自然历史博物馆找到灵感。除非你是Alexandra和Genevieve Smart。 她们衣服的花纹带有玫瑰的X射线和骨骼结构。服装裁得好像带有解剖课的影响。有些衣服的名字，如“解剖袍”，“脊椎骨毛衣”和“肩胛骨夹克”。让我想起我在大学里学的兽医解剖课。但Ginger & Smart的“解剖学”更有趣多了！。、[/spoiler]