Family Values
Harper's Bazaar Australia|October 2019
Family Values
As a deal with an equity giant supercharges their expansion plans, Ginger & Smart founders Genevieve and Alexandra Smart talk to Rachelle Unreich about parental influence, the brand DNA and the enduring magic of storytelling.
Rachelle Unreich

When Alexandra and Genevieve Smart were growing up, it wasn’t obvious the sisters would wind up together in fashion, as the duo behind the Ginger & Smart label. Theirs was a bookish family — their parents were in publishing — and Genevieve remembers scanning the shelves of the family home with the scent of books in the air. But there was one clue: their mother collected hundreds of thrifted silk blouses “and would drag us to vintage stores and second-hand shops,” she says. “[Mum] would make us touch velvet to show how sensual it feels. Other kids were wearing ’80s polyester dresses and we wouldn’t be loving it at the time, but now I appreciate that introduction to how cashmere feels and how silk breathes. Then we’d get back home and take [garments] apart or customise or dye them. There was a lot of getting inventive.”

The siblings haven’t put their literary roots completely behind them. “Our collections always have a story to tell,” says Genevieve, who likens the layers of a collection to the unfolding of a novel’s plot. “We tell a story through the woman who’s wearing our clothes; whispering stories to our customer is part of what we do.”

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October 2019