The Georgy Collection Story
Q and A with Paul Tsiavlis
Combining timeless design with sophistication and sexiness, Aussie label GEORGY COLLECTION is fast becoming a favourite for glam-loving fashionistas. We spoke with Paul Tsiavlis about the popular fashion label that he started with wife-and-designer Georgina only two years ago. Now stocked in Myer.
How did the GEORGY COLLECTION label come about?
GEORGY is owned by a family company called Suntrak. Suntrak is an Eyewear company that has been developing ranges for both local and international brands for over 40 years. We developed, sourced or distributed eyewear collections for labels such as Table Eight, Johnny Dexter, Charlie Brown, FCUK, French Connection and Von Dutch to name a few.
Due to changing circumstances, it was time for a family decision of “what next?”. Given we had a lot of experience sourcing and developing from overseas, loved fashion and that Georgina just happened to be a seamstress who loved to design, it was decided that we would develop our very own fashion label. We felt we would have more business control if we were the brand.
What inspires your designs and who is the GEORGY COLLECTION woman?
Georgina is largely influenced by many fashion icons of the ’80s and ’90s. This era is full of style, class and elegance – fashion to be worn more than once. With so much of today’s fashion looking to push the boundaries, GEORGY has kept its design ethos to “Feminine, Elegant and Timeless”. Our garments are designed to make the everyday woman feel special and to last a lifetime in her wardrobe.
The GEORGY woman is someone who likes to keep it classy and feel feminine. For those seeking designs with sophistication and elegance, they can find this in our collections. The GEORGY woman attracts attention for all the right reasons.
Congratulations on having so many notable celebrities wear your designs! Tell us how it felt the first time JLo wore GEORGY COLLECTION.
This question is the one we get asked the most, and rightly so as it is an incredible achievement! It felt like we were still dreaming and the whole moment was surreal (still feels like that to this day). JLo went on to wear GEORGY another two times that same month. That’s when we knew she loved our styles and that was an amazing moment of validation.
Although JLo was a huge moment for our label, it was actually one of Australia’s own that put GEORGY on the map. This was the time when Australia’s leading fashion stylist Lana Wilkinson wore our now iconic Red and Pink Chantelle dress to Oaks Day here in Adelaide back in 2018, it was a moment like no other. The reaction we had to Lana in the Chantelle dress was incredible. We have since re-cut the Chantelle dress 5 times and each time it has sold out within 1-2 weeks. So, to Lana we owe a great deal of credit!
How did you grow so quickly to become stocked in Myer within 2 years since launching?
We have only been in business a little over two years with GEORGY, so to be stocked in Myer so quickly is an amazing achievement. Once we teamed up with Adelaide’s Chris Kontos as our PR agent, everything changed. It was Chris that arranged for Lana to wear our Chantelle dress, he also started promoting our label to everyone he knew, and by the time AFF18 came to town we had 20 -30 girls wearing GEORGY to the event each day!
So, when the Myer buyers came to Adelaide for AFF18, everywhere they looked someone was wearing GEORGY! Robyn Ingerson (who was the Event Manager for AFF18) was also helping to spread the word. Without the support from these few people, it wouldn’t have been possible to create such massive brand awareness so quickly.
To this day, Chris Kontos is our go to guy for anything and everything. We love his no BS attitude and we feel he genuinely loves our label and family. So, any advice Chris gives us is trusted and taken on board for consideration.
Regarding the exclusive Chantella dress for Myer, it was just a suggestion we made during our meeting and they jumped on board with it. We even had Hollywood actress Blanca Blanco (who is one of our biggest Hollywood supporters) wear the dress to one of her events, and she provided us with some amazing shots on Rodeo Drive in Hollywood.
What does a day in the life of GEORGY COLLECTION look like?
BUSY! We are a husband and wife team, so we all need to wear a lot of hats. Often people only see what looks like success on the outside, but no one sees the hustle behind the scenes. Those that run their own small business know what I mean, there is literally no off switch, so it’s not like you work from 9-5 then come home and kick your feet up. Once you get home, then the night shift starts. One of the most time-consuming jobs is actually the social media side of things because it’s a combination of marketing, PR and customer service. Nowadays, people expect information/entertainment and or answers instantly, so it’s all very fast-paced and it’s expected daily.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
We all love working together! – We are a very close family and even the few staff in our team have been with us from our eyewear business days. Our amazing team member Lisa, who always goes above and beyond what is expected of her, has been with the family business for over 30 years and we couldn’t do it without her help!
One of the biggest rewards is when someone famous wears one of our garments as it sends a feeling of pride throughout the whole team here at GEORGY. We also love when customers tag us wearing GEORGY to their special occasions. It feels great knowing that we made their day that little bit extra. Fashion is more than a statement of style, it represents days and nights well spent with family and friends. These are the memories that last forever, and we are honoured to be a part of it!
Is there any advice you wish you had been given when you started?
Marketing was completely new to us, we had no idea about photoshoots, no idea about advertising (Facebook/Instagram ads etc), we had never built a website before, so eCommerce was all new. The truth is, until you jump in you don’t really know what to expect! No matter how much research you do, there is only so much that you can learn from reading, there is no substitute for experience.
Every time we were faced with a new challenge, we would dive in and teach ourselves how to do it. So, to answer your question it would have been great to know how time-consuming and fast-paced marketing and PR was as this is what was new to us.
What’s next for GEORGY COLLECTION? What are you excited about?
It’s always great to hear about and see what our loyal customers love about our brand. With each collection we keep that in mind and strive to create designs we know they will love so the lead up to releasing the next collection is always a very exciting time here at GEORGY.
It seems that Georgina’s designs have also attracted attention from more than our loyal customers. She has been approached by some large international labels (which cannot be disclosed) to design for them which has potentially opened a number of new opportunities.