Georgia Bullock was born in East Whittier, California ca. 1918 and credited her early interest in fashion design to the glamorous paper dolls with which she played as a young girl. At the age of about 22, Bullock started a career in modeling, then in sales in a downtown Los Angeles store. When she left the University of Southern California she worked for a milliner and an allegedly famous, but unidentified, fashion designer in an LA department store. In addition, she spent her evenings in a design course.
With the confidence this design history gave her, and at the very young age of 28, in 1946 Georgia Bullock opened her own Hollywood studio as one of California’s youngest designers, producing her fashions under the labels Miss Georgia and Barefoot Fashions. Her Barefoot Dress line was trademarked in 1958 and her comfortable, feminine, “busy women” clothes, as she called them, were quickly embraced by consumers. Easy-fitting shirtwaist dresses, to which she added slenderizing effects, were a popular item in her line. In this same year of bright changes in her life, Bullock also married John Dunbar, with whom she eventually had two children and who had been working as her business advisor and investment specialist.
By 1950 the young designer won praise from the industry for her designs that combined high style with straightforward elegance. Also in 1950 Bullock was appointed head of the Donnelly Garment design department. At the same time it was announced that the Donnelly Garment company acquired controlling interest in her new company, Georgia Bullock, Inc.
By 1954 Georgia Bullock broke new ground not just with her designs, but with the design of her company, which was by then led by the first all-female executive team with, as one article noted, “a minimum turnover and a maximum of satisfaction.” The company had revenue of close to $2,000,000 by that time and 12 years later Business Week reported $5,000,000 in revenue for Georgia Bullock, Inc.
In 1962 Bullock married Weston J. Lloyd, with whom she had one child. Lloyd was an executive of California’s Bullock’s stores, which were unrelated to the designer. In the 1960s accolades continued to pour in for Ms. Bullock, who was then referred to as “one of the outstanding young designers on the west coast” (1962), when she became a member of the Los Angeles Fashion Guild, when she launched her new Claudia Christine line of dresses (1965), when she was awarded a garment industry fashion citation as designer of the year (1966), and more. In that same period Bullock was hosting parties on the tennis courts at her house, where she showed her popular designs to favored clients.
Georgia Bullock continued to show fashions in her home until the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, from which she died in June 1991.
Written by LKRanieri