At only 26 years old, Georgine Ratelband can look back on a few major fashion accomplishments: she’s launched her own ready-to-wear and accessories label GEORGINE which has been shown at New York Fashion Week, and her designs have graced the pages of Women’s Wear Daily, W Magazine and Vogue Italia. In her most recent collection, clean lines and monochromatic ensembles strutted alongside sequinned standout pieces that we could easily see making a splash on the NYC social scene. We spoke to the designer about where she draws inspiration for her creations and how travel is a huge inspiration in her life.
SUITCASE MAGAZINE: You’re originally from The Netherlands and now live in New York City. In what ways do you draw inspiration from your native country and the city you reside in now?
GEORGINE RATELBAND: Although The Netherlands is a very small country it has a strong history when it comes to the arts – whether it be architecture, art or interior design. Interior designers such as Piet Boon or architect Rem Koolhaas are great examples of modern day Dutch creatives who inspire me and many others. As for New York, inspiration sits at your doorstep. The high octane energy and progressive atmosphere in New York provides me with endless inspiration and excitement to achieve and continue to build on the foundation I have as a Dutch native.
SM: What are the main differences in how people dress back home versus in New York City?
GR: I think that in The Netherlands people are more likely to lean towards a uniform and don’t take as many risks when it comes to dressing. You see a lot of jeans with boots and leather motorbike jackets. However when Dutch people go out they make a lot of effort, whereas New Yorkers like to dress well all day long.
SM: Describe your design aesthetic in three words.
GR: Feminine, fashion-forward, timeless.
SM: What’s the first thing you like to do when you go back to The Netherlands?
GR: Eat a ‘boterham met hagelslag’ (bread with chocolate sprinkles).
SM: What’s been your best travel experience to date?
GR: About three years ago I visited Myanmar and that was an amazing experience. My favorite part of the trip was the balloon ride in Bagan. At that time there was only one company who organised the balloon rides and we had to get up at 4 or 5AM. While we were taking off we heard the monks chanting. It was really magical.
SM: Tell us the top 3 places you would like to see in the next few years.
GR: Bhutan, Brazil and Berlin.
SM: Describe your perfect travel day.
GR: A huge breakfast, a nap by the pool, an afternoon sightseeing, go back to the hotel for cocktails and change for a nice dinner followed by a nightcap at a fun local bar.
SM: What do you always pack in your in-flight suitcase?
GR: Passport, phone, earphones, my coccyx pillow (don’t ask!).
SM:When you’re on the plane do you read/sleep/watch movies, all of the above? What’s your routine?
GR: Usually I watch lots of movies and really treat the plane ride like a lazy day at home. I always bring lots of yummy sweets on the plane and try to take advantage of not having a phone/answering emails etc. In between watching movies and snacking I do try to sleep a lot as well, as we always hit the road running when we get off the plane.
SM: What’s your favourite hotel in the world?
GR: The Siam Hotel in Bangkok.
Words and Interview by Rana Good