Georgia Dant worked for seven years at Burberry menswear followed by another seven years as head designer at Rag & Bone in New York. In 2018, she set up Marfa Stance, a fashion house that specialises in utilitarian outerwear. Currently sold online, the brand is also going to be available at Net-a-Porter and MATCHESFASHION this autumn and there is a pop-store at 59 Greek Street in Soho opening today 16th September until 18th September (11am – 7pm). We talked to Dant about the inspiration behind the brand, her go-to places in Notting Hill and where Marfa Stance goes from here.
The Marfa Stance Pop-Up. Photo by Jason Lloyd Evans
Why did you call your brand Marfa Stance?
I wanted to immerse myself in the world of Donald Judd a few years ago and I visited Marfa in Texas. I love how he combined function and design in his work. As he said himself,’Design has to work, art doesn’t’. I was looking at his desk and it had all these compartments in it and I thought, wouldn’t it be great to create a beautiful piece of clothing that looks simple but has these hidden functionalities. So that is where Marfa came from. The word Stance came from the meaning of value and beliefs – I’m trying to help change the way people think about fashion so it felt that Marfa Stance
combined utility and creativity. That’s what I hope to offer our customer. Form and function in a single item that you keep forever.
You worked for design houses such as Burberry and Rag and Bone before you set up the company. How do you think your experiences there influenced your work at MF?
I was lucky to work under Christopher Bailey at Burberry and really learnt the craft of tailoring, that you have to understand the rules before you can break them. Burberry is an interesting house in that you are making something heritage relevant again. At Rag and Bone, it was really a catalyst to doing my own thing. I realised that if you have a strong idea and interest outside of fashion, you can do it – after all, owners David and Marcus weren’t classically trained in design. It made me realise that I really wanted to create a label that wasn’t about fashion but for people and women who wanted enduring style.
Where do you find inspiration from for your designs at MF?
Our customer base is incredibly diverse – we have a 93 year old who lives in Connecticut and drives around in her golf cart wearing her pink quilted jacket. Now the whole family has a piece of Marfa Stance
clothing, from the grandmother to the grandchildren and I love that. And Sandy Bleakley (below), who was the model in our campaign, she is a real woman. That’s really important to me. Our customers are my muses. They give me ideas – in fact the shearling vest came about because a customer asked for it. I really want and encourage the customers to be incorporated into the brand, to become part of it.
We love the versatility of MF coats. Is this part of your commitment to sustainability? And which other commitments have you made to be ecological at MF?
I really wanted to create a brand that created clothes that last a lifetime. To do this you have to have both quality and versatility, for it to work across seasons and different occasions. For example, take this jumper – it’s long at the back to cover your bum but short at the front to tuck it in. It has padded shoulders so doesn’t rub when you wear your handbag. It has a cowl neck and sleeves that come off so you can use it throughout the year. We are also very transparent about our factories – in fact we are releasing a behind-the-scenes series of films about the process. There is a lot of care and attention in the factories, everything is cut by hand and they are tailored like menswear. We only make limited quantities and although we are now launching wholesale and selling through MATCHESFASHION (end of September) and Net-A-Porter (and of October), plus a few boutiques in Scandinavia, Europe and Japan, we do have only limited stock. We are also very careful about our fabric – we use dead stock or stock that we know we will use up and the padding is recycled. The trousers are made form 2Q wool made by a small mill where we can buy small quantities and we can even trace the sheep!
Is the brand going to expand it’s offering beyond coats (plus one jumper and a pair of trousers)? In which areas do you hope the brand will grow?
Yes but only with items that I feel are authentic to the brand. So I created the trousers because a client asked for them and we are about to launch bags early next year. I’m really excited about them – they’re beautiful. We’re also branching out into menswear.
What was the last piece of clothing that you bought and from where?
From Marfa Stance
, I have a parachute vest from this season’s collection that I’ve worn a lot. It’s been such a dire summer – too hot for a jacket but too cold for just a dress so it’s been great to layer up when I needed to. From other designers – I actually don’t shop a lot but I did just buy this vest top from the brand Toteme
. They do great tank tops in organic cotton. They’re my latest find.
Where do you live in London? Which are your favourite places to eat, drink and shop?
I live in Notting Hill and love going to Portobello Market. It’s really close to where I live and I go most Fridays. You always find something from the vintage dealers and I love feeling part of that scene. I think the last time I went to a restaurant was pre-Covid and it was Casa Cruz
but I’m definitely more of a pub person. I love the Ladbroke Arms (below), again it’s very close to where I live. I’ve also been cycling a lot recently and you can really discover parts of London that you don’t know that well. I love living in London.
Georgia Dant, founder of Marfa Stance
Pop up shop: 16 - 18 September, 11am - 7pm