Who: Godwin Hili
Position and Company: Co-Founder/Creative Director – Godwin Charli
Locations: Lt Collins St, Chapel St, Emporium Melbourne, Westfield Doncaster & Chadstone (opening Oct 2016) + Online Store
Founded: September 2007
Number of Employees: 21
Company's vision: To offer customers with an authentic and genuine in-store fashion experience based on current trends without losing sight of our proud tailoring heritage
Best selling product: Men’s suiting
1. What's your vision for Godwin Charli?
To be recognised nationally as a market leader in Men’s and Women’s fashion by maintaining strong ties with our tailoring heritage and being innovative through style and customer experience both in-store & online.
2. How do you, as a Director and owner, create a culture within the workplace to deliver that vision?
I do my best to always remain current by traveling the world for inspiration, always searching for the greatest fabrics and product ideas. Travel also enables me to observe first hand the best operators. I’m also passionate about never losing touch with my customer in-store by making myself available for style consultation. I strive to always take my staff on the journey with me by continuously keeping them strong in product knowledge and encourage them to use great judgement all the time.
3. What do you enjoy most about your role?
I won’t lie, the travel is awesome! Paris, Milan, Florence, London and Shanghai are amazing cities to explore every year. Although mainly work related trips, they are always so inspiring and allow me to focus in on my creative side without the distractions of everyday day business pressures.
4. What does the next 12 months look like for Godwin Charli?
Over the next 12 months I would have opened my 5th store, the flagship of the group at Chadstone. The focus will be centred around making sure all stores are running smoothly. Ensuring the staffing mix is correct and understanding the new demands on the business from a design and production perspective.
5. How critical was networking when you started Godwin Charli?
Networking was super important for me. Working on the shop floor during the first 5 years allowed me to meet so many amazing individuals. In some cases allowed me to build strong business relationships with influential connections.
6. Suitably Connected aims to raise awareness and funds to help men trying to find confidence to get employment, why does this resonate with you?
I believe that in today’s hyper competitive market place it’s so important to feel confident, not only in your ability but in having the tools to shine. If I can influence the impression men leave on prospective employers then I have done my job.
7. What does your next collection feel like? Where have you got your inspiration from?
My Spring Summer 16/17 menswear collection builds on the importance men’s separates are having in the way men dress these days all over the world. The ability to look smart yet relaxed was a key driver in the creation of this season’s collection. Nothing is flat, everything has texture and interest up close. Cotton/Linen combinations highlight a strong Mediterranean vibe. Colours are more earthy and neutral, making dressing up less about “look at me” and more about “I’m in control and know what I’m doing”.