Gabrielle AdamidisCertificate IV in Clothing Production (2003)

At just 27 years old, Gabrielle Adamidis has already made a name for herself in the fluctuating world of fashion. Her label, Hopeless, specialises in intricately crafted pieces of retro-themed lingerie, all handmade by the designer herself.

Gabrielle started her business with two main focuses – vintage inspired lingerie and sleepwear, and accessories. “I work on these full time and have experienced some amazing things since I began. I have national and international stockists, and have had a lot of online and print media. I have also had celebrity contact and learnt a huge amount about the fashion industry,” she said.

Gabrielle’s interest in lingerie design stems from her love of vintage styling, and the ‘pin-up’ girl look. She has been sewing since she was 14, and particularly enjoys working on small detailed things, so lingerie design seemed like a natural fit for her.

Her pieces, while having a decidedly vintage charm, also incorporate some contemporary, edgier elements. Gabrielle says she derives inspiration from a variety of sources, some of them obvious, and some less so: “I always base my ranges around a film, and usually add hints of pin-up and glamour. I love looking in places where you might not expect to find inspiration for pretty lingerie, such as horror films and B-grade cinema.”

The young designer believes that it is the care with which her underwear is made that differentiates Hopeless from the rest of the market. “There are very few handmade lingerie brands, and even fewer in Australia. There are a few who simply do vintage reproduction, but even fewer who combine vintage styling with modern aspects,” said Gabrielle.

And she delights in the fact that she is designing for people who – like herself – love beautiful things.

“My customers are very varied, and there are always things within my collection that appeal to different people. I try and have a broad idea of my customer base, but at the end of the day I try and design things that I love, and am proud to sell,” she said.

Having already achieved local and international success (her pieces are sold online and in shops in London, the US and at home), Gabrielle is currently working on her next range, and is hoping to secure some more wholesalers.

Her chief challenge these days is meeting demand; the meticulous attention to detail of her playful yet elegant lingerie means that it can take five hours to sew a pair of underpants. However, she still has dreams left to realise: “Eventually I would love to open up my own store in the city, but that is probably a few years away yet!”.