Pandora Sykes x HunzaG: How Essex Inspired a Swimwear Line

We caught up with Georgiana Huddart, the designer behind iconic 80s revival label Hunza, and her pal Pandora Sykes to talk all things swimwear as they launch their five-piece capsule collection.

Last year Georgiana Huddart orchestrated a revival of the iconic 80s label Hunza. She dug the crinkle-stretch fabric out of the archives, where it lay resting like an ex-raver reminiscing on the glory days (Julia Robert's famously flaunted her cut-out number in Pretty Woman). Georgiana has moulded HunzaG (as it is now known) to the modern-day woman and, in the process, has created a hugely successful line with a strong it-girl following.

Georgiana's bestie, the fashion blogger/writer/stylist/overall superstar Pandora Sykes is a loyal fan of the brand, so it comes as no surprise that these two babes have collaborated to create a five-piece capsule collection that has already sent the Instaglam world into a colourful frenzy.

Forget Paris or Milan, this collection pays tribute to Essex, the county bordering London where the duo's friendship blossomed. The capsule's campaign was shot on Essex's pastel-coloured East Mersea beach and each piece is brought to life with the name (and personality) of an Essex girl.

Sharon, Denise, Kerry, Tracey and Debbie are playful like Pandora and Georgiana. They don't take fashion - or themselves - too seriously. And before you let the body-con style intimidate you, Pandora has an extensive understanding of women's sartorial complaints thanks to her role as Wardrobe Mistress of the Sunday Times Style, and we can vouch for the super-flattering fit of each design. SUITCASE caught up with the girls to hear about the birth of what Pandora has called their "stretchy baby"…

How did the collaboration with HunzaG come about?

P: Very organically. Just two friends shooting the sh*t!

What is special about a HunzaG swimsuit?

P: It moulds to your body, rather than clings. A joy in a swimsuit!

G: It's very hard to find swimwear that is individual, flattering but also really comfortable.

Can you describe the HunzaG girl in three words?

P: Happy, friendly, playful.

G: Not too precious.

How has HunzaG transformed since its origins in the 80s?

P: Georgie has brought it into a modern world, for a modern girl.

What are your favourite trends from that decade?

P: Ones very much evident in our collab: exaggeratedly puffed sleeves and ruffled ballet-skirt swimsuits.

How did you find the transition from pals to business partners?

P: I am really anal and Georgie is quite a relaxed person, so we brought different strengths and never successfully killed each other, which is always the main aim! But the production element is so good; it's all made in London, to order. I've never worked with a brand that can produce so efficiently.

G: I was blown away by Pandora's organisation. I am relaxed, but in the studio I am considered to be like Anna Wintour. It's funny how the dynamic of such a long friendship never changes: Pandy and I have always been the same with each other, it's never really changed since we were 13. I have always found her very inspiring and it's interesting that we don't fall out or argue considering how different we are in some ways.

How does the line reflect your personal styles?

P: I was really focused on fit; it's a huge issue in swimwear. And we both love a frill.

Who would you want to see wearing one of your pieces?

G: Rihanna

P: I would love to see just any cool chick I admire, like Yasmin Sewell, in one.

Who is your swimsuit icon?

P: Brigitte Bardot or Jane Birkin.

So your pieces are named after Essex girls, what would the Pandora look like?

P: Probably a total headache; bells and whistles hanging every each way...

Where could you find a HunzaG girl hanging out in Essex?

G: On Mersea Beach where we shot the campaign, there is a great place called The Shed that does fresh seafood.

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