Using the pause to "focus on the customer and their desires and inspirations"
Few designers can count a two-decade-long career as successful as that of Australian sister duo Alexandra and Genevieve Smart. The flame-headed pair behind GINGER & SMART has cultivated a reputation for sophisticated, high-quality, sustainably-made garments that set their wearer apart – whether through a gleaming metallic thread woven atop a structured skirt, or a silk shirt emblazoned with a hand-painted print that’s rich with hidden symbolism.
Even a label imprinted into the Australian fashion ethos has had to adapt to the current health crisis, and not only has GINGER & SMART managed to continue creating their unique and recognisable designs in the sustainable fabrics that its customers have come to know and love, but the brand has also been committed to helping others throughout the pandemic.
"Our brand has always been committed and at the forefront of sustainability, both from a sourcing and longevity point of view," the designers tell marie claire. "More than ever this will be an important consideration for our customer moving forward beyond the pandemic. We are also looking at how we can be more relevant to the seasons, to our way of life and how we can build connections in the GINGER & SMART community."
A brand imbued with social responsibility, it's unsurprising that Alexandra and Genevieve launched the Floral Charts Mask, a face mask made in a signature print from the brand's winter collection, crafted from upcycled sustainably sourced silk viscose jacquard. The label will donate 25 percent of the RRP to the Sydney Women's Fund, a charity that supports vulnerable women.
“Creativity to us is a symbol of hope for humanity and so we continue to create beauty in our atelier for you to enjoy when the time comes," they said.
The brand also donated masks to the Royal Hospital for Women as a gift for expecting mothers. “Staying safe and giving back to those in need is the main objective in creating these masks."
GINGER & SMART Floral Charts Mask, $25
On top of creating a more conscious consumer, Alexandra and Genevieve hope, despite the uncertainty of the pandemic, the pause will allow for a rethinking of how the industry works - and rather than creating products based on seasons, creating collections on the needs of consumers.
"The Australian fashion industry is creative, unique and committed," they say. "We hope this COVID-19 pause will highlight the importance of sustainable fashion, a rethink of seasonality and a focus on the customer and their desires and inspirations."
The Smart in their studio library
This thoughtfulness has trickled down in the labels most recent collection, which dropped online last week. The collection was inspired by a book of Celestial Maps and speaks to journey's and navigations, hopes and possibilities. Four very relevant words as we find ourselves in this new normal.
See some of the pieces below:
GINGER & SMART Astrology Wrap Dress, $699
GINGER & SMART Venus Blouse, $449
marie claire is supporting #WeWearAustralian, helping to shine a light on the Australian fashion industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.