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Julia Roberts might feel right at home at the Hunza G swimsuit store that just popped up in Los Angeles.

The British label, which decades ago saw Roberts wear one of its crinkle-knit cutout dresses in the movie “Pretty Woman,” was resurrected in 2015 as a swimwear company. It sells mostly online and through wholesale accounts, but lately it has been putting out retail feelers. It recently opened its first U.S. pop-up store at 8402 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles and another pop-up shop followed days later in London.

About 35 percent of Hunza G’s revenues come from the United States with another 35 percent from the United Kingdom. The remainder is filled in with shoppers in Europe and the Middle East.

The woman behind the brand is Giorgiana Huddart, who fell in love with the label in her youth. In 2008, she rediscovered a treasure trove of vintage Hunza clothing, as the brand originally was called, in a shop in Berlin. “I found a whole rail of Hunza by chance, and I bought all of it,” Huddart recalled, noting her mother had been a fan of the brand launched in 1984 by Peter Meadows, who shuttered the label in the ’90s. “I spent 100 euros for 10 pieces. I was like, ‘Wow, that’s the fabric my mom used to wear.’ It was a massive part of my childhood memories.”

Fast-forward several years and Huddart was wondering what had happened to the label. So, she contacted Meadows, who lives in England as well as Costa Rica, where he surfs. He agreed to meet and she convinced him there was a new life waiting for the brand. They resurrected it under the name Hunza G, with Huddart serving as the creative director. From there, things moved fast with postings on Instagram hitting the right people. “Within two years, Rihanna and Kim Kardashian found it even though we don’t pay influencers,” she said.

The Hunza G pop-up sits on a busy shopping street.

SYDNEY KRANTZ

Swimsuit sales also got a boost during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown in 2020, which was a surprise to Huddart. “I had assumed during a period when nobody could travel or go on holiday that swimwear wouldn’t be a big purchase. But we had never been busier. I think it is because we have a one-size-fits-all suit that sculpts the body, and we had a heat wave in the U.K. as well. People were hanging off their balconies taking photos of themselves,” she said.

Hunza G suits, priced around $230 to $260, are sold on several e-commerce sites including Revolve, Net-a-porter, ShopBop and Mytheresa as well as in 350 boutiques. About 70 percent of business is wholesale and the rest is direct, sold to consumers who are primarily between the ages of 28 to 38.  

Hunza G’s crinkle nylon/spandex fabric is said to be manufactured in a factory in Europe, but its identity is kept under wraps because Huddart said so many people have tried to copy it. The swimsuits are manufactured in Morocco, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

The suits can be seen in the 1,200-square-foot Melrose Avenue pop-up store on a popular high-end shopping street. Inside, the mostly monochrome-colored swimwear styles are the main color event. One-piece and two-piece suits in red, blue, turquoise, green, pink, lavender, brown, black and white hang from the racks and are stretched across the walls. A California vibe is infused with posters of Hunza G swimsuits hanging near a row of surfboards.

Most of Hunza G’s styles are swimsuits, including children’s silhouettes, but there is a push to add lifestyle collections. Recently Hunza G introduced a weekend collection of three shirts and shorts sets available in linen and cotton poplin.



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