Georgia Smedley discusses her inspiration, creative process, and challenges as a young fashion entrepreneur with a focus on sustainability.
With sustainability at the forefront of her creative process, Georgia Smedley's fashion label Asa Fields is creating timeless, ethical fashion pieces that offer a unique and one-of-a-kind style.
In had the pleasure of interviewing her, in which she talks about her inspirations, creative process, and the challenges she faces as a young fashion entrepreneur.
It’s just hit 9.30 am on a cloudless day in Carlton. Georgia and I have pinched the best table at a little corner cafe discussing the Melbourne weather, something all Melbournians love to do. As I listen to her talking about all the ideas she has surrounding her clothing brand Asa Fields, I'm in awe that someone at the age of 20 has the perseverance, drive and fearlessness to create a brand.
In my interview with Georgia Smedely, we dive deep into the intricacies of the realities of starting a business, the inspirations and the struggles. Smedley’s brand and baby Asa Feilds is something you most certainly want to keep an eye out for.
As Terence famously said, "fortune favours the brave," and that's exactly what budding fashion designer Georgia Smedley embodies. Hailing from Adelaide, Smedley took a giant leap of faith when she decided to build her own label, just two weeks before moving to Melbourne.
I asked what motivated her to start her own business, to which Smedley confessed that she had never “enjoyed working under other people”.It made her restless. She had been dreaming of creating her own brand for a long time, and the support of her friends and family eventually gave her the nudge she needed to take the plunge.
Smedley's love affair with fashion can be traced back to the iconic runways of the 1990s and early 2000s. In admiring her unique designs, lies evidence of the inspiration she drew from some of this period’s most prominent figures.
"I am inspired by the elegance and beauty of timeless, classic, and romantic design, and of course figures such as Marie Antoinette, Gianni Versace and Audrey Hepburn.
Smedley's passion for sustainability is also a driving force behind her work. Re-working second-hand textiles into new pieces allows her to create something beautiful and sustainable while honouring the original fabric.
"I love the journey of sourcing each textile and creating a design where I can use every spare inch of the fabric I have available and creating something so unique and special," she says.
For Smedley, fashion is more than just clothes; it's about identity and psychology.When reflecting on a research project she did in high school about the psychology of fashion Smedley discusses the power of clothing to influence emotions, confidence, and interactions with others.
"What you wear is crucial in creating an identity. It not only impacts how others perceive you but also how you perceive yourself," she says.
When asked about staying up-to-date with the latest fashion trends, she says, "I try not to even consider trends. Given the rate we are transitioning through them, it’s not likely I could even produce a collection in time to sell it before the trend has passed." Instead, Smedley focuses on creating timeless pieces that offer slow, ethical fashion, ensuring her designs can last forever.
One aspect that sets Asa Fields apart from others in the fashion industry is Smedley's risk-taking spirit, which she claims has a lot to offer the industry.
"What I create will only become more adventurous and push the boundaries farther as I become more comfortable in my skills and abilities," she says.
Moreover, she started Asa Fields at the young age of 20, and as she grows up with her brand, she aims to expand on her designs, creating more timeless, ethereal, and powerful pieces that will make everyone feel special.
When asked about the challenges she faces, her openness was assuring. Smedley found that 30% of shoppers' decisions are based on the garment. The context, including who is wearing it, where it is pictured, and the website layout, influences the remaining 70%.
“Each collection I have ‘dropped’ has been shot or pictured in a different setting, and the results have surprised me every time,”she says.
Smedley found that social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok are crucial for fashion brands to reach their target audience. However, due to the inconsistency of their algorithms, it is “not always a straightforward process” and seems to be a continuing challenge.
As for her creative process, Smedley begins by scouring Pinterest and second-hand shops for inspiration. She then moves on to the ideation phase, which can take days before deciding on a print, given that she has one chance due to the limited fabric.
She is very cautious to ensure the design and pattern are perfect before creating a sample. When it comes to marketing, she admits there isn't much skill behind it, but from my point of view, her Instagram is consistent, engaging and, most importantly, enticing.
For aspiring fashion designers, Smedley advises seizing every opportunity, taking internships, and staying true to oneself as a creative. "There is no rush," she says, reminding them that the fashion industry is fast-paced, but there is no time restriction on creating art.
"Take your time and trust your gut, and you will find yourself exactly where you are meant to be," she adds.
Smedley's journey is a testament to the power of following one's heart, and as she aptly puts it, "You can't let anything stop you from doing what you love."
Indeed, the fashion world could use more fearless creatives like Georgia Smedley.
To see more of her extraordinary talent and work, you can find her brand on Instagram.