Meet the Creator Behind Everyone’s Favorite Bad-Girl Brand | Alana Pallister of I.AM.GIA

Author: Kristen McCloud / Photos: Angelo Vasquez

As soon as Alana Pallister's clothing brand I.AM.GIA came onto the scene, her effortlessly cool looks spread like wildfire. Some of today's most in-demand supermodels can be seen wearing the military-inspired combat pants and color-blocked sweatsuits, and I.AM.GIA's #GiaArmy is rapidly taking over Instagram. Alana has taken advantage of the new age of fashion that merges high-end and street style, producing a unique line of trend-setting pieces that are easily accessible for everyone. How did the brand achieve so much success straight out of the gate? According to Alana, it's been a no-brainer; GIA embodies an independent and confident woman who turns away from rules in style--someone who women globally have instantly taken to and identified with. We chatted with Alana about her sources of inspiration for I.AM.GIA and how she's paving the way for a new generation of female style. Check it out below!

How has your upbringing influenced your style and how did you get into fashion?
Over my 33 years, I feel as though I have lived 100 different lives, all of which have influenced my style in their own unique way. Fashion came to me at the right time in my life and from that moment there was absolutely no stopping me. I knew fashion was where I was meant to be, I knew it was where I would be for the rest of my life. My first start in fashion was actually as a fit model and that’s also how I learned the technical side of designing. I would sit through six hours of fittings with some of the best designers in Melbourne and absorb everything. I never studied a thing about fashion and have no university degree. Everything I know about design, I have taught myself.

GIA the label has a very specific color palette and aesthetic, where do you find your inspiration for the designs?
We draw inspiration from the character herself, GIA. As we are designing for her lifestyle we find inspiration in all aspects of life. From street style, culture and music, and everything in between. For the aesthetic and color palette, we often think, "Where is she going?" "What is she doing?" "Who is she with at the time?"

Where does the name GIA come from?
The name GIA comes from the character I created, a strong and independent woman. When I first started to think about who she was, I was inspired by GIA Carangi, the first ever supermodel of her time. She was an absolute phenomenon and embodied the essence of what I.AM.GIA is all about. The "I.AM." at the start of the name is also very important. When customers wear the clothes, we want them to truly become GIA and to say: "I am strong, I am powerful, I am an absolute badass."

With all of today’s it-girls obsessing over your pieces, how do you manage to keep the brand relevant and on top of trends?
We don’t try to stay on top of trends, which in turn creates the trends. The most important thing for us is the story of what GIA is doing in her life.

"We want our GIA army to be able to get their outfit from head to toe and feel like the badass that they are."

You recently started the “JOURNAL,” a blog on the GIA site. What do you want consumers to get out of reading/viewing it?
The initial idea for the JOURNAL was to create a platform for a behind the scenes look at our capsules and photoshoots. As we have grown with GIA, there will be a lot more happening on the blog. It will soon feature interviews with our GIA army and become a platform where every woman can find inspiration.

What’s a favorite fashion trend of yours at the moment? 
At the moment, I am really obsessed with combat pants. I feel like that has really become a big trend for every collection that comes out for GIA. She gets a new pair of combat pants each collection. I will wear them out for breakfast or wear them to a nightclub and I feel like a badass.

What has been the most difficult part of creating GIA?
We haven’t had any difficulties with creating GIA because we haven’t set any limitations or standards on ourselves. It has never been about worrying if the consumer will want to buy what we are creating. This concept could have been extremely difficult if it hadn’t received the response that it has. I think it’s had such an insane response because everyone related to GIA so quickly. They understood her.

How has the fashion space changed since you first started and how are you adapting to it? What’s next for GIA?
The fashion space has become much freer than when I first started my career. Luxury brands and fast-fashion are meeting half-way and becoming more accessible for everybody. Designers are expressing themselves in all sorts of ways and the scene has become much more relaxed. For example, Balenciaga doing sneakers and Virgil Abloh’s Off-White collaboration with Nike. We’re about to launch GIA accessories and shoes. We want our GIA army to be able to get their outfit from head to toe and feel like the badass that they are. There may even be talks of a range for GIA’s boyfriend coming soon, too.

What does MISSBISH mean to you and who’s your MISSBISH?
MISSBISH is so aligned with what I.AM.GIA stands for in empowering women and
creating a space for women to share their stories.