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Five Minutes with the Founder

Georgia Dant, Founder, Marfa Stance

Over the next few weeks we will be spending five minutes with the founders of our 12 new Brands of Tomorrow, getting to know them and their businesses, and finding out the stories behind their brands. Today we meet Georgia Dant, founder of Marfa Stance, the brand that focuses on seasonless, reversible, and modular garments with complementary buildable accessories that can be bought alongside each piece. Here Georgia shares her sources of inspiration and motivation, and what success looks like to her.
22nd Mar 2021
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Five Minutes with the Founder Georgia Dant, Founder, Marfa Stance

Marfa Stance offers a sustainable, buildable and customisable approach to wearing and investing in versatile signature pieces. Each item is designed and crafted for longevity.

The brand focuses on seasonless, reversible, and modular garments with complementary buildable accessories that can be bought alongside each piece or as a future purchase, to transform and add function to key styles across climates, seasons and occasions.

This unique concept allows customers to buy stylish yet multifunctional garments that can evolve and be updated for life.

Tell us the story of how you built your brand
I had been working in luxury menswear and womenswear as a designer for over 15 years prior to starting Marfa Stance. My sense of style was very much wearing menswear as I really loved that androgynous aesthetic but I also felt I could never find the same performance element in womenswear. I was also traveling frequently between London and New York for work and my struggle was trying to pack lightly for all weather conditions as-well-as for different occasions, and as a result I started to realise there was a gap in the luxury market for multifunction yet playful and stylish womenswear which was crafted at a luxury level.

I started to imagine how to combine the concept of function, style and a sense of individuality so that each piece could be personalised to your style taste, adapt to the climate and to your lifestyle while being timeless enough to become a truly essential piece. From there I started to develop the brands DNA and concept, travelling to Italy to source expert artisanal partners to help execute this vision, fusing quality, sustainability and functionality!

Why did you choose to set up your business in the luxury sector?
Having learned so much during the 15 years I worked in the luxury sector, I felt as though I had gained a real understanding of the market, the importance of style and of course expect garment execution. I started my business with a wealth of knowledge and level of understanding of this sector and so it was a natural positioning for the brand.

What is your favourite thing about  your job?
Having the ability to design garments that I love and that my customers will wear for a lifetime! As a designer for big luxury brands, you contribute your ideas and designs to someone else’s direction, so now being my own creative director able to make those creative decisions during the design process with a purity of thought and vision, it’s so rewarding! I also love getting to know my customers from what they do, hobbies, family,  interests etc. They become part of your life and you establish real friendships.

What and/or who is your source of inspiration and motivation?
Wow, such a great question! I’m really inspired by many things! When I first started designing for menswear I was, and still am, inspired by Massimo Osti and his vast legacy of work. He was my initial inspiration for my modular and architectural approach to design and I learned a real emphasis on form and function before ‘fashion’. I’ve been to visit his archive in Bologna where I explored fabrics, textures and old archival styles. I was especially inspired by his intention to find a solution for style and function, for myself, I find it very rewarding to create a garment that does just that and can be beneficial towards my customers' lifestyles. I’m also really inspired by minimalist and abstract art, I love the confident aesthetic and how distilling ideas can be turned into simplicity and a form.  Artist’s that I really admire for their colour, feeling and symmetry are; Rothko, Flavin, Joan Mitchell, William Eggleston, and Richard Serra. Especially Donald Judd who really is the muse for the brand, I stood in his architecture studio admiring one of his well-designed pieces and feeling so inspired by it, I decided it was then I wanted to create Marfa Stance. The name of the brand is in celebration of Marfa, a west Texan town where the late artist Donald Judd lived.

If you could have any other job in the world what would it be?
I love going to galleries and seeing the latest exhibition therefore I think being an art curator would have been an interesting job to have. I love exploring and being inspired everyday so being surrounded by art does sound like a really rewarding vocation!

If you could do something differently in your career what would it be?
I learnt a lot from working for other brands, what works, and what doesn’t work. I’m a big believer in learning from your mistakes and growing from them. I think in terms of doing something differently, perhaps it would have been to have the confidence to trust in my instinct earlier on, when you have an idea or thought and you know it's the right decision, then you go for it. But I think for me, I needed to take the time to gain the knowledge, experience and resolve  to have that conviction.

Where do you see yourself and your company in 10 years’ time?
I see the business in 10 years as an established thriving brand representing and carving out a new vision of sustainability. I hope we can contribute to improving and reducing the untenable issue of over production and waste currently caused by fashion industry, and I hope to see myself and my team exploring new avenues to pioneer change with new technology and materials, so that sustainability becomes the normal rather than a niche.

What does success look like to you?
Honestly, being content with life!  Waking up and doing something that you love, being excited about it and creating an inspiring place for others to work in, that is truly success to me.

What advice do you have for any young entrepreneurs looking to start their own business?
Go with your instinct! But also learn in depth what it is you want to build or create. Pace yourself and be prepared for sacrifice and insanely hard work! I felt learning from books, magazines, podcasts, people you start to carve out what you want to create. I also believe that you do learn from your mistakes and grow! Don’t feel defeated by them as your mistakes can be the reason for your success.

What is your greatest luxury under £10?
I was actually given this amazing book for free when I was 21 : ‘Bauhaus Textiles: Women Artists and the Weaving Workshop Weltge by Sigrid Wortmann’. I find books such a great place to learn about art and creativity so when I got given this and what it entailed about these incredible women, it’s really priceless to me.