How Gemma Lee came to be

How Gemma Lee came to be

Today I thought I’d share my crazy story of how Gemma Lee came to be. One I haven’t shared in a while.

I was that kid that always knew what she wanted to be when she grew up- I wanted to be a fashion designer. I lived my days out in my swimwear, competing nationally in pool/ ocean swimming, synchronized swimming (turns out it’s a lot harder than it looks!), to surf life saving. I was swimwear obsessed! 

Fast forward to 2014, and I am about to start my 4 year degree in fashion design to get one step closer to my dream. In my final year at university my graduate project was to take a boring black wetsuit, and absolutely bedazzle it. The goal? To make the most beautiful wetsuit I had ever seen! This turned out to be the start of everything to come! Check it out here.

With this collection I entered an international emerging designer awards, where I became a finalist of 41, from 29 different countries around the world. We all congregated for the finalist awards show, which saw our local 6pm news channels following my story. I ended up receiving the award for ‘most commercial collection’, and this became my springboard for the craziness that was that year. 

After receiving international publicity from this award, I was then asked to show in a group show at New Zealand Fashion Week. I quickly said yes! It was always my dream to show at NZFW, and I couldn’t believe this was happening in my first year out of uni. 

Behind all the scenes of all the fun things that were happening that year, was where the hard work was really happening. I set about to start up my own surfwear company, find a manufacturer and everything in between. 

I was that kid who lived by the quote “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. 

By the end of that year I had launched Gemma Lee and it’s been my precious baby ever since!

Wetsuits and swimwear
colourful wetsuits nz

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