With its latest collection, a lavish new boutique opening in Rome and plans to dramatically revamp its local stores, Zimmermann has cemented its position as Australia’s most prominent global fashion brand. Designer Nicky Zimmermann should be celebrating the digital release of its spring 2022 collection and the label’s buoyant future in Europe but is grounded at home thanks to lockdown, close to Sydney’s Paddington Market where the brand began in 1991.
“I feel like when I was a teenager, and you just feel stuck in Australia,” Zimmermann said. “I miss the eye-opening experiences that come with travel, along with the noise and intensity of cities like New York.”
Zimmermann, who founded the label with her sister Simone, is known for extravagant details and creative ebullience, not patience. Since Italian investment firm Style Capital acquired 70 per cent of the brand in December, for a rumoured 250 million euro ($397 million), she has been head down with her Sydney-based design team, even missing the Milan store opening (right next to Balenciaga, thank you very much).
“It has been a strange thing. I have only seen the Milan location on a site visit before lockdown, so to not see the outcome is a little heartbreaking.” The Roman location brings the total of Zimmermann boutiques to 40.
The laid-back luxe design aesthetic of the new stores, comes to fruition in Australia with the newly renovated, 200 square metre store at Bondi Junction, scheduled to open on October 21. Australia’s Studio McQualter, which has worked on all Zimmermann store openings, including Paris and most recently Forte Dei Marmi on the coast of Tuscany, has drawn from the sisters’ personal tastes in art and furniture.
This is one opening Zimmermann can actually attend. “Australia is our base,” she said. “We want to have that amazing retail experience, that we now have overseas, in our hometown stores. It’s about keeping our customers involved.”
The same approach can be applied to the spring 2022 collection, filled with intricate details reinforcing Zimmermann’s reputation for event outfits that combine unexpected embellishment with an ease that’s more Bondi than St Tropez (although there’s a successful store there too).
Filled with dresses featuring a collision of polka dots, lace and floral prints, along with relaxed tuxedo-inspired suiting and one outfit that could have been snatched from the set of The Black Swan, this collection is called The Dancer. The references of taut bows, intricate lacing and bodices embroidered to resemble wings continue right down to the red ribboned heels.