Alana Pallister sits chic and pretty in a beret, high-rise trousers, and a corset-inspired top with her brand’s logo proudly on display—a full I.AM.GIA look, and here’s the thing: We want every single thing she’s wearing. If you check her Instagram, I.AM.GIA is basically all that she wears—same goes for almost any model, though. Kaia Gerber, Emily Ratajkowski, Romee Strijd, Bella Hadid—the model squad fangirl list goes on and on, and rightfully so. Plus, that under-$200 price point? Of course, InStyle had to get the low-down on the brand that's dominating our Instagram newsfeeds and, subsequently, our shopping carts.
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When we caught up with Pallister, the Australian brand’s co-founder and creative director, she admitted that the label is, “brand new. In May, we launched the first line,” making I.AM.GIA only six months old. “In January, was the concept. It was in a meditation session. I was actually in a sensory deprivation tank—” we had to stop her right there. A sensory deprivation tank; as in a lightless, soundproof floatation tank filled with Epsom salt and water set at skin temperature to encourage the effects of—you guessed it—sensory deprivation (e.g., relaxation; enhanced creativity; hallucinations; heightened introspection; and, in some cases, extreme anxiety). So yeah, Pallister first got the idea of I.AM.GIA in one of these freaky tanks.
She continues, “I was thinking, 'I need to do something new.' I started thinking of Gia Carangi, who was a huge inspiration for me, and the fact that she was the first of her time—the first ever supermodel—and I wanted to create this virtual character that doesn't exist but she is a phenomenon, which was the goal.” Pallister goes on to describe the moment she came home, fresh from the sensory deprivation tank, to tell her sister and business partner, Stevie Cox. “I was like, ‘Alright, I have an idea. I’m going to create a character, and this character is going to be this label.’ And she was like, ‘You are crazy.’” But it didn’t take long for her to get on board. Soon enough, (four weeks later, to be exact), the concept for the first line was done.
Fast forward to Paris Fashion Week and an Instagram direct message from Bella Hadid’s stylist Elizabeth Sulcer. Pallister shares, “I was at home,” in a nature reserve in Melbourne, Australia, BTW, “It was 5 a.m., and I was like, ‘OK, is this really happening? I’m sitting in my nature reserve. I have a small factory down the road. I’m going to get in my car with my wet hair and go and pack this for Bella for Paris Fashion Week!' I rang my sister up, like, ‘You wouldn’t believe it!’ And a week later, Bella wore it. It was literally a dream come true.”
Never underestimate the power of social media marketing and a good DM. Candice Swanepoel, Romee Strijd, and Madison Beer are just a few notable figures I.AM.GIA has formed a relationship with via Instagram. “I think that’s the most powerful thing about social media—how quickly you can communicate with people in real time. And it just shows you how all these models and these celebrities are real people and super sweet. Their communication with us has just been incredible. So we’ve been on a high for, like, four months.”
Now the question begs: Who is Gia? “I feel like she’s everybody. Nowadays, with social media, it's been a real hard one because so many girls aspire to be these certain types of stereotypical girls who are out there. But every woman is so beautiful in their own way, and I wanted Gia to be that. I didn't want her to be one particular woman—I wanted her to be, like, every nationality, every body type. Every look that there is, I wanted Gia to be. And I wanted her to make every type of woman to feel like a badass when they put [the clothes] on. When someone asks me to explain Gia, I'm like, 'Three words: She's a badass.' A very powerful, strong, independent badass."
While you can shop an entire I.AM.GIA wardrobe right now on iamgia.com (with more launching on the site regularly), we had to ask: What’s next for the Aussie brand? All we can say is keep your eyes peeled for 2018—Gia menswear just might be coming your way. Oh, and more accessories (excuse us while we squeal).