Australian law graduate, turned designer Georgina Akkou is taking the world by storm. With her label DUKE n co only launching at the beginning of this year, it’s already won over the hearts of the public, when Model/Former Great Outdoors host Laura Csortan stunned viewers on the red carpet (radiantly pregnant!) in one of her gorgeous gowns.
We caught up with Georgina to ask some of the harder-hitting questions, including at what age she thinks women should still be able to dress that little bit sexy and about her easy decision to donate a percentage of the labels sales to a very worthy cause.
At what point through the design process, did you decide that you wanted to donate to the Tanzanian Children’s Fund?
Before I even formed the label I knew that I wanted to donate a dedicated amount of profits to a foundation. I had been making donations to Tanzania since I was 15. I put in a lot of research into what each foundation was doing in the region. The Tanzanian Children’s fund is a completely non-for-profit foundation based in northern Tanzania in the Karatu region. They have built a primary school, are in the process of building a library and they have started micro-financing loans that help the people of Tanzania to start businesses to build their community.
If a customer was spending $320 on a dress, how much of that sale would actually go to the charity?
10-15% is donated off the sale price and converted into a resource, which is usually medical or educational. We receive monthly updates from the foundation of what is currently needed most within the community and we donate accordingly.
I wanted to be sure that we could be actively involved with the charity, we are flying out in November to personally make the donation. We will be filming it and taking photos so that people back home can physically see where their donation is going too.
Your dresses seem to be quite tightly fitted and sexy. Do you think this style will suit women of all ages, shapes and sizes?
I feel like our designs could suit anyone at any age, for example, Laura Csortan wore our dress (she is in her 40s) and the fabric was even able to cater for her baby bump. We cater for a lot of different sizes, from a 6-14 and we would be happy to extend into plus sizes if the demand for it was there. We use a material that is similar to that used in Spanx; it holds the shape of the body and stretches with you.
We want it to flatter as many body types as possible and we want women to feel sexy no matter what age they are.
Your products can be purchased through the online retailer ARCHFASHION. How do you think this benefits customers?
I think it benefits customers as they offer the zipPay system. Women can purchase clothing that they like, receive it within days and then pay later. They can choose to pay in different sized increments and it doesn’t gather interest. This allows women to find the perfect dress for their occasion and not have to worry if they don’t have the exact amount of money at the time or purchase.
DUKE n CO products can be purchased through www.archfashion.com.au