A few days ago I went for a nice stroll at the Intersection in Paddington, Sydney and got to check out some of my favorite Australian designers. One of my all time favorites is definitely ZIMMERMANN. One glance and you know that dress or bikini is ZIMMERMANN. The label stays true to its original vision: sophisticated femininity, clever colour combinations and delicate original prints.
Sisters Nicky and Simone Zimmermann founded their namesake label in 1991 in Sydney, Australia.
Nicky Zimmermann was literally born into fashion and has loved designing clothes for as long as she can remember. As a girl she was always making and transforming things to wear; from cutting and ripping into new clothes her mother had just bought her, to creating her own patterns and sewing complete outfits from fabric she found around her Southern Sydney home.
Having inherited these skills from the women in her family, Nicky always wanted to formally study fashion and graduated from the acclaimed design school at East Sydney in 1990. Her first collection immediately showed Nicky’s signature balance of feminine details with bold colour that reflects the modern look and feel of Sydney summers.
The idea for ZIMMERMANN began literally and creatively in Sydney, with Nicky focusing on occasion dresses and selling them at Paddington markets. Through the week Nicky would design and create garments from her parent’s garage in preparation for the weekend market. The markets were an opportunity for Nicky to refine her aesthetic and to see first-hand how women responded to fashion. “While working the markets, I had two pages of editorial in Australian Vogue. That was a significant moment because I suddenly started to receive orders from boutiques around Australia and I could feel some real momentum. Soon after I opened a small store in Darlinghurst.”
In 1991, Nicky’s sister Simone joined the team to form brand ZIMMERMANN. Nicky’s relationship with Simone has been the cornerstone to the brands longevity and success. “I could never have achieved what we have without Simone. While the business has evolved and fashion has changed, Simone has been a voice of reason and a constant.”
While starting ZIMMERMANN as a ready-to-wear line, early in its evolution the girls took the bold step of fusing fashion with swimwear and presented it to the world. It soon found its footing with the fashion elite. ZIMMERMANN’s bold original prints, beautifully made one-pieces and sculptural bikinis create a new point of reference in flattering, sexy and stylish swimwear. Here was a quintessentially Australian design aesthetic and as the Sydney Morning Herald so nicely put it, “If Sydney was personified, she’d be bronzed, brazen and wearing a Zimmermann bikini, so synonymous has the sunny label become with Australian style.”
The collections are stocked in stores internationally. Stockists include the iconic Barney’s, Saks 5th Avenue, Bloomingdales, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, David Jones and independent boutiques around the world. Zimmermann is also featured on the world’s premier online stores such as Net-A-Porter and Shopbop.
In Australia, ZIMMERMANN maintains flagship stores across the country, working with long-time designer Don McQualter to create seductive and dynamic retail destinations. The launch of Zimmermann’s international flagship stores commenced in 2010, with the successful launch of the ZIMMERMANN Summer Concept store in New York City. In 2011, ZIMMERMANN opened its first flagship store in the USA on Robertson Boulevard, Beverly Hills California. April 2012 saw the launch of its second US store on Mercer St, New York City and in October 2013 the brand will upgrade the Soho store to a new location at 55 Mercer Street.
ZIMMERMANN have been the recipient of multiple fashion awards including AFI Best Swimwear Designer and Best Swimwear Brand – Prix de Marie Claire, to name a few. Nicky has been a member of the Australian Fashion Week Advisory Board. For past 4 years Nicky and Simone Zimmermann were appointed as the fashion mentor for the Qantas Spirit of Australia Youth Awards.
If I could make my favorite picks right now, I would go for these: foldover oversized clutch, playsuit, wrapped dress and panel skirt – all available online.
source and photo credentials: ZIMMERMANN