While we were greasing our barbecues and inflating our pool floats this weekend, the folks at online retailer Net-a-Porter and Australian fashion label Zimmermann were doing something a litttllleee more fabulous: Gathering in Mykonos with various friends and industry members to fete 10 years in business together, and the launch of a vacation-themed capsule collection to mark the occasion.
Net-a-Porter has been ratcheting up the number of exclusive capsule collections on its site lately — from contemporary brands like Elizabeth & James to Gucci — but this is the first it has created on the occasion of an anniversary. The collection contains many pieces core to Zimmermann's resort-ready repertoire: floaty floral chiffon dresses trimmed with lace, for $1,600 apiece; swimsuits, as beautifully crafted as lingerie, with broderie anglaise ruffles and sheer panelling, priced $275 and up; as well as more casual cover-ups that would do nicely poolside, starting at $350.
When Net-a-Porter first began working with Zimmermann, the retailer chiefly bought into the latter's swimwear, says Maria Williams, senior swimwear buyer at Net-a-Porter. But starting with the label's resort 2013 collection, "we started to take more risk with the buy, to experiment with higher price points," particularly in the ready-to-wear category, Williams recalls. That move has paid off — Zimmerman is currently the best-selling Australian brand on its site — and has dovetailed nicely with the label’s expansion into the U.S., which now includes stores in Manhattan, Manhasset, East Hampton and West Hollywood, as well as a regular show slot at New York Fashion Week.
Zimmermann isn’t just celebrating its 10th year with Net-a-Porter this year: 2016 also marks its 25th year in business. Nicky Zimmermann, the company's co-founder and chief designer, says the milestone hasn't changed the way she's thinking about the past or future, per se. "I think for [my sister and co-founder] Simone and I, we don’t really look at things as far as milestones; for me that seems ridiculous. The only thing I would think about that is that I've had a really nice amount of time to really develop a distinct style in design, one that I’m really confident with."
Her advice for young designers seeking to create similarly strong relationships with retailers? "One of the main things is to really stay true to who you are as a designer, to really maintain your individuality and what it is you believe in, and be confident in that," she says. "And, of course, getting your stock in on time. That's just crucial."
Homepage photo: Nicky and Simone Zimmermann