Love to love … DUKE n co
Introducing the Australian label giving back.
Meet the designer: Georgina Akkou.
The DUKE n co woman knows what she wants. And, more importantly how to get it. With long, clean lines and a classic black-and-white
palette, it’s eveningwear with a touch of Hollywood glamour – all now on
ARCHFASHION.com.au. But there’s more: a percentage of each sale goes
toward buying real resources for the Tanzanian Children’s Fund.
When DUKE n co Designer and Founder Georgina Akkou talks
about designing, she talks about grace, about elegance. Her designs are made
for seducing. Each piece is beautifully lined, with a need-to-have texture.
“I’ve always been a big believer in quality over quantity in
all aspects of life, particularly my wardrobe,” she tells us. “All of our gowns
are lined and made to fit like they were tailored for your body.”
Only one season in, Akkou has seen celebrities dressed in
DUKE n co and is fast becoming a must-have wardrobe essential. With a
collection fronted by international model Megan Blake-Irwin, Akkou sketches
each piece and sources the fabrics herself
When asked where she finds inspiration, she smiles.
“Anything and everything.”
First up: fabrics.
“I’m obsessed with fabrics. Sometimes I will buy a dress
simply because I like the fabric so much. Then I’ll pull the dress apart and
make it my own.”
Also: from movies, from books – most recently from the 1958
romantic comedy Gigi.
“I think I was born
in the wrong era, dresses in the 1950’s were to die for! I always have my
sketch pad out with any film I watch and I like to draw inspiration from
different eras, styles and people. ”
She’s a collector of images, a scrap-booker even, with her
photo roll on her phone always fit to burst. And her latest obsession?
“The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” she laughs. “I mean, some of
Hilary’s gowns … They are ridiculously eccentric but also absolutely amazing.
The heavy gold buttons and luxe detailing – you can’t help but love her fashion
The end of this year will see Akkou head to Tanzania for two
weeks to make DUKE n co’s resource donation and volunteer her time at the
Tanzanian Children’s fund orphanage.
“I was lucky enough to grow up in Australia, where I have a
myriad of opportunities available to me, whilst others grow up without access
to any form of education or health services. I’ve always had an imperative urge
to change this, to stop simply accepting that things are the way they are. I
didn’t want DUKE n co to be a company that simply make a charitable donation at
the end of the financial year, I wanted our customers to see that every
purchase they make, every dollar they spend, has a tangible impact. I firmly
believe that we can better people’s lives through business, it may in fact be
the most powerful tool we have for improving the world.”
“DUKE n co works on a one for one basis, whereby each DUKE n
co purchase equates to a medical or educational resource donated to the
Tanzanian Children’s Fund. The fund is a not-for-profit organisation providing
access to education, free healthcare and microfinance trainings and loans in
the Karatu region of northern Tanzania.”
Her obsession with Tanzania all started with a geography
“In year seven one of my geography projects was to
pick any country in the world and research its culture, socio-economic aspects
and political systems and I just randomly went with Tanzania. The country has
been an obsession ever since.”
The rest, she smiles, is DUKE N CO.