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Inside Rotaro Founder Georgie Hyatt's Joyful London Home

27/10/22

Author: Lucy Jones

DOCUMENTED BY: William Spooner

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Sentimental value, emotional attachment, even love – this is what Georgie Hyatt feels about the objects that fill her home and wardrobe.

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Documented By: William Spooner

Sentimental value, emotional attachment, even love – this is what Georgie Hyatt feels about the objects that fill her home and wardrobe.

“I love everything,” Georgie confesses with a laugh when we ask her to name the best feature of her Primrose Hill apartment. The founder and CEO of fashion rental platform Rotaro chose the leafy North London neighbourhood for its proximity to public parks, which she frequents with her dog Cabbage. 

Known for its rows of grand terraces painted in pastel tones of lemon, pink and mint, the suburb is hemmed in by The Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill – sprawling green spaces with great vantage points for taking in the London skyline while Cabbage explores all the smells.  

“It’s really important for me that I'm near a lot of greenery,” Georgie explains. Born and raised in Durban, a beachfront city on the east coast of South Africa, she spent much of her childhood enjoying the great outdoors. She describes it as a “very chilled” place to grow up; boardshorts were considered appropriate office attire, everyone wore flip-flops and she spent her days “at the beach, on the mountains [and] playing in the mud”. 

London is Georgie’s home now, but “home home” will always be South Africa. “It’s not necessarily one place in South Africa, I suppose it’s more of the spirit of South Africa and the positivity, optimism and warmth of people, and of the place,” she says. “That is a spirit that I carry within me, it’s sort of home within me.” 

This energy infuses her space. Fun, vibrant and inviting, Georgie’s home is filled with pieces that deliver an instant dopamine hit. Like the wavy-edged mirror by Swedish designer Gustav Westman that leans against the living room wall, the playful 70s coffee table or the giant colour-blocked canvases that she painted herself.    

Everything I do aesthetically, I do very intentionally. I will never do something half-heartedly. I think that is reflected in both the way I dress as well as in my home

– Georgie Hyatt

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Documented By: William Spooner

Georgie’s do-it-yourself attitude extends beyond her décor. Suffering with climate anxiety while working for trend forecasting company WGSN, she decided to create her own circular fashion solution. “I had this sense of eco-anxiety, but at the same time, I was noticing a lot of conversation predicting circularity as the future of fashion – so, rental, resale, upcycling, repairing. I saw a gap in the fashion rental market for a luxury fashion rental platform to work directly with brands to help them into the circular fashion economy,” she reflects.  

Georgie quit her day job consulting for luxury brands and fast fashion giants in 2019 to set up Rotaro, a clothing rental service connecting cult brands and consumers. The platform’s early success has already landed Georgie on the Forbes “30 under 30” list and caught the attention of British Vogue. With an app set for release next month, Rotaro is using tech to shift consumer behaviour away from fast fashion while still satisfying the urge for newness.    

“We’re trying to build an app that can be an extension of your wardrobe, for people to buy less and buy better,” she explains.  

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Documented By: William Spooner

“How I see the future of the wardrobe is one third being pre-owned or second-hand; one third being ethically made garments; and then fashion rental being the newness in your wardrobe on a seasonal/weekly basis.” 

Buy less and buy better has become something of a mantra for Georgie, and a philosophy that she applies to her home.

I want to put as much love and consideration into my space as I do my wardrobe

– Georgie Hyatt

This means taking plenty of time to mull over new purchases (which she doesn’t make very often) and a lot of second-hand shopping. For homewares, Georgie’s picks are eBay, antique resale platform 1stDibs and Narchie, a new marketplace app that’s like Depop, but for furniture. 

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Documented By: William Spooner

 “eBay is honestly your best friend when it comes to furnishing your house. I’ve bought nearly everything from eBay, and it’s such fun too it’s like a treasure hunt. I love it.” 

Her expert tips: create alerts for items you’re interested in and always be super specific with search terms. One of her best eBay finds is the large glass dining table she scored for 90 pounds. Its smooth surface is contrasted against a set of timeworn wooden chairs she inherited from her great grandfather, another favourite piece.  

“My dining room chairs are from my great grandfather’s office space in Durban, from the early 1900s,” she says. “They’re these beautiful wooden, bent back chairs that have travelled all the way from Durban to my dad’s house in the countryside in the UK, to my apartment in Primrose Hill. And I think what’s beautiful about this is recontextualising pieces of furniture to make them feel modern and current, and adding to their story.”  

This play of old and new is a recurring theme throughout her home. It’s a style she summarises as “eclectic”, saying she chooses pieces that bring her joy, throws them together and hopes for the best. For newbie decorators who want to follow her interior styling lead, her advice is simple: “if you’re buying something, just make sure that it’s something that you’re going to love to death and keep around for a long time”.  

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