Dutch born Georgine Ratelband graduated from Milan’s Istituto Europeo di Design in 2011 and created her eponymous luxury brand GEORGINE in 2012, with partner Chris Roshia, the brain behind the business. Georgine is dedicated to one concept: to create beautiful, chic clothing that every woman will feel great about wearing.
We caught up with Georgine before the show.
What were you like as a child?
My parents were very liberal so I had a lot more freedom than some of my peers. I never really had to ‘rebel’ or act out because my parents trust I would make the right decisions. Truth! ;) I started going out very young and was mostly hanging out with older people. I think this gave me a different outlook on life and had experiences not necessarily kids of my age would have.
My family also traveled a lot so I got to see a lot of different cultures and worlds. Traveling opens your eyes. My parents are all for hard work and party hard. Since a young age I took over this mentality. My father made it very simple and told me I should look at my school performance as a business. If I don’t pass an exam it means my business would go bankrupt. I think I’ve always been quite mature for my age. I love to go out and meet new people, but could just as well spend quite some time by myself.
How did your fashion career begin for you?
Right after graduating, a prestigious boutique in Antwerp contacted me to see my thesis collection (they had heard about it via a client of theirs), they put in a decent size order! It was probably the biggest moment for me as I had zero intention of starting my own brand. Chris was working in Singapore at the time and would help me on his free time. Our clothing was hanging next to major brands and we didn’t even have an official company! This taught me you can do anything you put your mind to.
Describe the GEORGINE girl
The GEORGINE woman is bold and unapologetic. She is an international, feminine and powerful individual. She has an eye for detail. She is fashion forward.
What has been your biggest a-ha moment?
One of the first times we did several trunk shows in a row and I realized how much of a market there is for our brand.
You’re originally from The Netherlands and now live in New York City. How do you draw inspiration from your native country and the city you reside in now?
With a Dutch upbringing comes a strong work ethic and a kind of pragmatism that I try to apply to my pieces as I like to create a versatile wardrobe. The GEORGINE woman is constantly on the move, whether traveling, working or bringing up a family she needs a wardrobe that works for her and makes her feel like her best self.
What is the inspiration behind Fall17 collection?
The inspiration for my Fall 2017 collection comes from permanent hotel dwellers, those glamorous creatures that have called the world’s most interesting properties home. Ranging from Coco Chanel’s suite at The Ritz and Oscar Wilde’s chambers at Hotel d’Alsace, to Howard Hughes bungalow at The Beverly Hills Hotel, and Edie Sedgwick’s room at The Chelsea Hotel, the transient energy of a chic enclave fueled their creativity and made everyday feel like a permanent vacation.
What's been your best experience as a designer to date?
Working alongside the extremely talented and passionate people in our factories between New York and Italy are by far my every day highlight! In terms of one specific experience. I don’t know! Dressing Queen B!!! LOL
What has been the biggest challenge?
There have been so many it's almost impossible to highlight. One in particular. However from the countless challenges both Chris, myself and our company have faced over the years, have made us much stronger and that is the biggest take away from it all.
What are some of the must-haves in wardrobe for you?
Our mink heart purse, Red and Aqua silk stripe t-shirt dress and our yellow coat with intarsia fur shawl collar is a real showstopper!
Who is your muse? Which celebrity do you want to see wear your designs?
My muse is my client. She is my friend, she is the woman on the street you can’t stop starring at.
What is next for Georgine?
Besides the obvious of increasing our sales distribution in luxury multi brand boutiques and department stores we want to continue growing an amazing team of unique and exceptional individuals.
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