Simplicity spells success for Sydney fashion label

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Karen Gee is a Sydney-based women’s wear label specialising in flattering and classic designs. Starting as an online store in 2013, the brand has now grown to become the go-to label for some of Australia’s most well-known television personalities. The label’s namesake, Karen Gee, explains the philosophy behind brand.

Can you introduce us to Karen Gee – what is the label about and what is the clothing line known for?

Karen Gee is a collection designed in accordance with our three core values of simplicity, elegance and timelessness. We are known for our flattering shapes, structure and impeccable quality.

We have a unique level of customer service, and I like to believe we are also known for not simply providing a purchase but a truly special experience that the customer can enjoy time and time again. It is our absolute pleasure to work with women of any shape, size or ethnicity – at Karen Gee, every woman is welcome.

How was the Karen Gee label started and how has it developed since its launch?

The brand was established by me in 2013 following my experience with Mrs Australia Globe. Once crowned, I took on roles as ambassador for a number of organisations and had the opportunity to meet many inspiring people and establish solid business relationships.

Following this experience, I was inspired to create a line of beautiful, structured dresses that would complement the female figure and give the wearer confidence to take on their day.

The Karen Gee (KG) label started as five basic black pieces, originally sold on our online store. In the years since, the brand has evolved from a one woman show to a team based at the KG headquarters in Pemulwuy, Sydney.

Where do you manufacture your goods?

All Karen Gee designs are proudly manufactured at our KG Headquarters in Pemulwuy, Sydney and are Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA) accredited.

Your business ships internationally – where are your most popular markets and who is your typical customer?

Recently, we have been taking steps to move into international markets. While our foundations lie within Australia, and I believe our strongest market will always be here, I am still extremely excited to explore future opportunities to expand the brand overseas.

We are currently shipping to New York, Los Angeles, London, Singapore and Hong Kong. One recent international highlight for the KG team was sending an order of custom-designed dresses to a number of television personalities at Bloomberg News in New York and Hong Kong.

Our typical customer is the working woman. We produce pieces that are simple and elegant, which is exactly what is needed by women in the corporate world. In saying that, the KG woman does not fit into just one mould. She is whoever and whatever she wants to be, and through our custom fit service we are always up to the task in dressing her perfectly and ensuring that she not only looks but also feels beautiful.

Why do you think Karen Gee appeals to these customers?

I believe our core values – simplicity, elegance and timelessness – and our customer-focussed approach is what appeals most to our customers.

Women today live very busy lifestyles and we aim to make it as easy as possible to order a custom made garment. A lot of our existing customers simply call us or send an email of what they want with a brief of their preferred colour and style. We have all their measurements stored in the customer’s file and can reach for it at any time – our customers love this.

When designing our collections, we work to ensure that every garment is both timeless and elegant. We strive to create garments that are versatile and stylish, while always making the wearer feel beautiful. Our garments will be your forever pieces that can take you from one event to the next.

Our custom fit service provides customers with the option to tailor their purchases, rather than just buying our ready-to-wear pieces, and allows our team to go that one step further and help to design the perfect dress for them. This level of service gives our clientele the opportunity to be hands-on and leave feeling a treasured part of the process.

Has social media assisted in your business growth?

Social media has presented another wonderful forum in which we are able to connect and interact with our customers. Here I can not only share what is new with the brand, but I also get to see the ladies enjoying their designs and hear their heart-warming feedback. Social media has most definitely spread the word and has allowed us to connect with even more spectacular women.

In recent years, online shopping has become an experience in itself for many consumers – have you had to adapt your packaging to be ‘delivery friendly’?

We have always kept our branding and packaging simple and elegant, much like our designs. We have a strong aesthetic that is taken into consideration through every part of the process.

We have not had to change too much from the beginning as being ‘user friendly’ has always been at the forefront of our minds. This brand started as an online store and delivering our product to customers is not a foreign concept to us in any shape or form.

And, to conclude, what role has DHL played in helping Karen Gee achieve success?

The Karen Gee brand is not just about the dress, it is about the entire experience. It is important to ensure we provide quality old fashioned customer service, attention to detail and dedication to building long-term relationships.

The service we provide does not end after the order is taken, it is also about aligning ourselves with a renowned delivery service to ensure all parcels are tracked and delivered on time.

We chose DHL because we feel that we share similar values and level of customer service. DHL genuinely cares about people receiving their parcels on time. They have procedures in place for efficiency, and are arguably the most recognised quality courier service in the world. The staff at DHL are always efficient, helpful and will go the extra mile – something we love.

For more information about Karen Gee, visit www.karengee.com.au