Home Designer dress Zimmermann Brings a Touch of Australia to Paris Fashion Week – WWD

Zimmermann Brings a Touch of Australia to Paris Fashion Week – WWD


PARIS ZimmermannParis is ready for the next stage in its love affair.

The debut of the Australian brand, which is well-known for its swimwear and resort collections, will be made at Paris Fashion WeekWith a show at the Petit Palais on Monday, and is establishing a secondary design office to keep up with its rapid growth.

Creative director Nicky ZimmermannAs the world continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic that prevented her from leaving Australia for two years, she felt that Paris was the right place to show. Zimmermann had previously presented its collections at New York Fashion Week. 

“For me, it’s a challenge. I mean, it’s every designer’s dream, to be honest,”She spoke to WWD via Zoom call from Sydney prior to the event. “It just really suits us business-wise as well. We’re having incredible growth throughout Europe.”

The Paris office that the label opened in 2019 has outgrown its space and it is now looking for larger premises. This will include a studio with at minimum four full-time designers. Zimmermann plans to visit her domestic design team frequently, noting that she is able to communicate with fabric suppliers in Italy and manufacturers from all over the world.

“We just need to be more mobile and able to be in more places, and I’m wanting to really broaden the creative talent that I’m working with,”She said. “We have a wonderful team here, but I think we can all learn together and there’s many different ways of doing things, which is what we’re interested in looking at.”

Just don’t expect her creations to take on a French accent.

Although the designer claimed that the spring 2023 collection was inspired from a story her grandmother told, she would keep the details private until the show. As a teaser, the brand provided a black-and-white image of Sydney’s first coastal amusement park at Tamarama beach, which opened in 1887.

“It talks a lot about Australian lifestyle and fun and optimism,”She said. “I’m coming there as an Australian designer, I’m not coming there to try and be French.” 

The show soundtrack will feature voiceovers by well-known Australian singers, actresses, and performers that address the theme of the collection. As for the clothes, expect Zimmermann’s signature prints and color — with an added dose of volume this season.

“We are not a serious brand in that way. We are trying to bring fun, joy,”She said. “Our approach is to do what we do and be who we are, and that is very much what this show is about.”

Nicky Zimmermann

Georges Antoni/Courtesy Zimmermann

Founded in Sydney in 1991 by Nicky Zimmermann and her sister Simone, the label is one of the most successful Australian fashion brands on the global scene, with fans including Beyoncé, Margot Robbie, Kendall Jenner & Jessica Biel 

It’s Style Capital, a Milan-based investment fund, is majority-ownedThe portfolio includes Re/Done, the Italian labels Forte_Forte, MSGM, and e-tailer LuisaViaRoma. It is still a family-run company. Simone Zimmermann is chief operating officer and the company’s chief executive officer, Chris Olliver, is Nicky Zimmermann’s husband. 

“It’s always worked out very well for us that we have our strong Australian roots,”She made the observation. “Because of our remoteness and because of the way that I’ve learned to design by being quite disconnected from the world, it’s made us quite unique, which I think is a benefit.”

The Petit Palais art museums’ inner courtyard will host the spring exhibition. It combines the elegance of a 19th-century style with an open-air, pond-filled garden. 

“It does look to me quintessentially French,”Zimmermann stated. “Coming from Australia as well, light and air, and even the nature, are so incredibly important, and to be able to have that in a venue that we’re showing in, it’s just the perfect combination.”

Since 2018, the brand France: Three stores opened: In Saint-Tropez and Paris. Zimmermann will leave Paris for Florence to celebrate its latest boutique’s opening. “We’ve had an incredible rollout of retail in the U.S. and in Europe within this year,”She said. Zimmermann also follows its customers to their favorite vacation spots, in addition to city-based stores.

52 stores are now represented by the brand, including 21 in Australia, 18 U.S. and 12 in Europe, and one in China. It has a total of 52 stores worldwide. inaugurated boutiques in Miami’s Design District as well as Tampa and Naples, Florida, and Southampton, New York, in addition to Madrid, Puerto Banús and Barcelona in Spain.

“There’s plenty of stores in the pipeline,”The creative director revealed that Hawaii is also on the horizon. “There’s a lot of opportunity for us in retail, but for us, it must be quality retail, and in positions that we love and that we feel really confident in.”

Owned stores have always played an important role in the brand’s development.

“Simone and I started very much in our early days as retail people, and I love retail, I love having the stores, I love that close connection to the customer. I started at Paddington Markets in Sydney with a rack, and I’m serving the customers myself, and I’ve made all of the garments myself,” Zimmermann recalled.

“It’s an incredible way to connect with your customer and to learn and understand creativity, like, what works? I like to sell garments, as well as work in a very creative environment. It’s about having that hand-in-hand. And for me, having your own stores, we can just express who we are as a brand and as people. We try and make our stores very optimistic, welcoming, comfortable,”She continued.

The Zimmermann store in Cannes, France.

The Zimmermann store, Cannes, France.

Courtesy Zimmermann

Don McQualter, an Australian interior architect, designed the boutiques. They often combine local elements with Australian art. The key element of the equation is service, with sales staff showing a friendly demeanor that is uniquely Down Under.

“It’s such an important thing that you are really well looked after, and that you’re purchasing what you really, really love,” Zimmermann emphasized. “It shouldn’t be stressful. It shouldn’t be something that you feel uncomfortable [with] or intimidated [by]. That’s the worst thing I could think about.” 

Zimmermann stated that the brand may seem to be firing on all cylinders but that the journey has been slow, steady, and it is not as if it is.

“It’s been a long build-up. It looks probably on the outside that things have happened quickly, but we’ve been maybe not-so-overtly building this business to the point where it is, and we now find there is most definitely a really strong momentum for what we’re doing,”She declined to reveal sales figures, she said.

The brand’s upbeat vibe is chiming with post-pandemic customers looking for special occasion outfits. “They were looking for things that made them feel good, they’re going on holidays with their families, finally, and enjoying themselves. And I think that that has really propelled us,”She said.

The brand has increased its range to include knitwear, denim, and accessories such as handbags. It is expanding its jewelry collection for the Paris show. This was the first time that an external jewel designer has produced it. 

Zimmermann touted “phenomenal”Wholesale growth was a strong area of focus for her. She mentioned that the most popular categories were suiting and outerwear as well as childrenswear. However, she is always open to improving and growing her designs. 

“I’ve had the brand just over 30 years so I’m happy just to keep going and to keep building these things, but with quality and with a really strong base and infrastructure so that it lasts,”She said. “It’s about quality and longevity.”

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