We sat down with the beautiful and talented #Girlboss of Sunnies Studios, Georgina Wilson.
We all have our staple accessory essentials and amongst them are a statement necklace, a pair of black pumps, but the one standout item that comes bags the Most Important Accessory Award is a pair of sunglasses of course! A firm believer that a pair of frames can take a look from zero to hero, Georgina Wilson brings her impeccable style to her own eyewear brand, Sunnies Studios. Together with fashion designers Eric Dee Jr, Bea Soriano and Martine Cajucom, they founded the label in 2013 in Manila, Philippines and are now spreading their love to Singapore, exclusively on Zalora! We recently caught the beautiful model off-duty and hung out with her at the swanky pool deck of Hotel Jen during its launch to find out more about Sunnies Studios and why she’s so obsessed with eyewear.
A warm hearty welcome to Sunnies Studios to Singapore! What inspired you to stock your brand with Zalora Singapore?
We started in The Philippines with Zalora and when the site first launched, we were one of the first few brands that worked with them right away. I believe in what Zalora is doing and we’re very aligned in terms of branding, what we’d like for the future and we’re both very progressive and have with a vision that really works well with each other.
I also really love online shopping and it’s something that I want people to get more used to and it’s only with a company like Zalora that has the marketing power and the strength that they’ve had in the past years that Asia can get used to shopping online. Zalora has put in a lot of work into educating people on how to shop online and I feel really comfortable having Sunnies on that type of platform.
Besides founding Sunnies Studios, what are your other roles?
Sunnies Studios was something that me and my two best friends wanted to work on together and I told them we just had to do this with my cousin who was working with American Apparel that time. I said that we can’t do it without her! So the three of us decided to get together and start on a sunglass brand called Sunnies Studios. We each have our own division and roles but Martina and I work really closely. I oversee all the marketing campaigns, but with Martina as the Creative Director there’s a lot of back and forth. Because it’s a thing that we started together, we handle so many things from the HR to logistics and as entrepreneurs, I would really do just about everything and anything at this point! On top of that, I think about the PR and marketing aspect of the business, who I’d like to be wearing it, who should be seen in it, online strategies and more.
Your brand is known for its playful campaigns, was this a strategy from the start?
Yes, right from the start. In fact, I’d advise this to anyone starting a brand – before anyone met our brand, we knew it so well already. Before we had our first store, we were already working on it for over a year prior. We had so much content and we knew it so well. And I think that’s really important to start by knowing your brand well. We’re also really comfortable to evolve and we’re not just sticking to one look. We’re always open to to ideas and no matter what people will always relate it to the brand. Sunnies has become so much more than just sunglasses. There’s a lifestyle aspect to it too.
Last year we had our first anniversary party and we told everyone to come in their own Sunnies outfit and it was really cute how we can just be a sunglass brand but everyone who came dressed in their Sunnies-inspired best and they looked like they belong in our Sunnies office! It’s really important to us that everything we touch, or when people work with Sunnies or wear the sunglasses that they get an experience.
What makes you passionate about eyewear?
I’ve endorsed so many products but one thing that I was particular of in starting my own brand was that I wanted it to be accessible to people, for everyone to be able to afford it and for it to be non-exclusive. So if you love it, you’ll definitely be able to afford it and I wanted people to feel good about themselves when they buy it. People tell me that it’s one of those purchases that even if they don’t have that much money, they don’t feel guilty about it because the brand makes them feel great. I was looking for a product that I knew for sure didn’t matter that it was expensive or inexpensive as long as it looked good and sunglasses is one of them. There aren’t that many products like for example a pair of shoes say if it’s cheap, you would know it’s cheap but for Sunnies we really maintained the affordability and quality to ensure that it’s effortlessly stylish.
Do you remember what your first pair of frames were?
I think they were aviators…
What’s your favourite silhouette from Sunnies?
It’s so hard to answer that! I feel like I change my mind almost everyday. When you have a company like Sunnies and there’s new stuff coming out every week there’s no such thing as a favourite. It’s more like my “Flavour of the Week”. We have so many styles to choose from that I hope that not only the people who work with them but for everyone to have at least five pairs each. We find it shocking that people who buy Sunnies actually come back after a week and ask us if we have new stuff! We always make sure that our sunglasses are made with UV protection and are in good quality but we realized that people aren’t buying them just to protect themselves from the sun but because it makes them look cute. And that’s what Sunnies understands – that sunglasses aren’t just a functional purchase.. it’s an emotional thing, a fashionable item. When you walk around the streets wearing a cool pair of sunglasses, people know that you care about how you look and that you’re fashion forward, stylish and you’re not afraid to play with fashion and that’s something that I want everyone to understand.
It’s not just about being loud and quirky but its about style. And we play with a lot of different types of lens colours, which I thought people wouldn’t be as receptive to initially but we have models in pink and people love it. There’s a brand loyalty to Sunnies in The Philippines and I’m sure it’ll hit off in Singapore as well.
You guys have garnered a massive following within two years of the launch. How does it feel knowing that your brand is loved by many?
When I walk in the streets and I see people wearing Sunnies, it just feels so amazing. When I see people wearing them.. I keep thinking, did I give that pair to them? I travel so much and I work so much abroad and somehow I don’t realise what it means to have so many people who love the brand. Sunnies, at the moment is the most followed brand in The Philippines. The growth is great but I have’t really stopped to think about it. I guess it’s really cool? I wished I had a better word for it!
Any plans for expansion?
Definitely! Southeast Asia and Hong Kong is the first step and I’m just really happy that we have a partner in Singapore like Zalora to help us. It’s not easy to move outside our home country and Zalora has a lot of local market information and they’ve really helped us plan and understand.
Will there be any collaborations in the future for sunnies?
Hmm.. I’d love for Alexa Chung to collaborate with us, and Kiki Mizuhara too! They definitely embody the Sunnies spirit and I’d like to see what they can do with our sunglasses.
How many pairs of Sunnies do you travel with?
The start and the end of the trip different.. I usually come with about 12 pairs but as the trip goes along and when someone likes a pair, I’ll give it away!
What silhouette is perfect for a Sassy Girl?
I’d say the Nikka, Anaise and Layla!