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Trendsetters at Work: Zimmermann

Courtesy Zimmermann

Take a look at any red carpet as of late, and you'll notice one recurring theme: Zimmermann.

That's not the only place this designer's gorgeous fixtures are taking up residence, with ample street style looks and everyday cameos turning this Australian fashion line into one of the hottest designers of the moment. And with A-list fans like January Jones, Rose Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Selena Gomez and more, it looks like Zimmermann is on the fast track towards sartorial stardom.

While Zimmermann's stylish offices are halfway across the globe in Sydney, we got an exclusive first look at the label's gorgeous (and much closer) new store on Melrose Ave. in West Hollywood, which just opened on July 9. Plus, we caught up with the in-demand designer herself, Nicky Zimmermann, on everything from her design inspiration to the best piece of advice she's ever received (and then ignored!). Now read on to hear from Nicky yourself! 

Trendsetters: Zimmermann


What was your first job?
My very first job was in the surf kiosk at Cronulla Beach in Sydney. I worked with my sister Simone— we sold ice cream, meat pies and sausage rolls which was all very beachside Australia in the summer. I used to get Simone to tell me what change I needed to give the customers.

How did you get started in your career?
I studied fashion at college in Sydney and started Zimmermann when I finished. I designed dresses and sold them at the Paddington markets in Sydney— it was a humble start.

What is a typical day like for you?
It changes all the time, but if I'm at home and working on a collection, my day starts with a rush to get my kids to school and going to the gym. Then I like to get to the studio as early as I can to go through emails and plan my day. I spend a lot of time working with our design team on fittings and fine tuning garments.

Tell us about your office décor. When did you last give your office a makeover?
We work in an old warehouse that has been renovated and my studio is pretty simple, which is how I like it. I like to have collection drawings up on all my walls and a clean floor because I like to sit on the ground and go through fabrics.

Trendsetters: Zimmermann


What does your new flagship store look like?
It's an old antiques store on Melrose Place that we've transformed with interconnecting vaulted ceilings and white washed renderer. It's a lovely space and I love the street.

What's the best part about your job?
I like working in collections and spending time in the studio.

What swimsuit trends are you loving this season? 
Swimsuit trends are not really my thing. But I really like the cleaner shapes we have this season and some of the printed meshes we've been developing. 

What's one trend you can't wait to see this fall? And what trend do you hope will go away for good?
I think most designers get excited by what's next for them and less so about what trend is coming— it's what keeps designing exciting.

What are your biggest sources of design inspiration right now?
I'm always inspired by the environment around me at home in Sydney. The light, the color and the urban beachside lifestyle.

What's the one item in your closet that you could never go without?
At the moment I like my flared jeans.

What's you ideal day-to-night outfit? And how would you describe your personal style?
My personal style changes but generally it's is quite classic, mixed with bits of vintage and more expressive pieces. My ideal day-to-night is jeans, a shirt and a blazer. 

Trendsetters: Zimmermann


What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Don't go into fashion or work with family. It was advice that I ignored!

Who are some of your career heroes?
I admire designers who have achieved longevity and have evolved as fashion has moved and the world has changed. 

What's the most daring career risk you've ever taken at work?
I think the risk in fashion has always been standing still—so we've always tried to take on lots of challenges and work on new projects. 

Finish the sentences below:
Today for lunch I had… a Greek salad.
The first website I log onto every day is… I go to Instagram—does that count?
My usual Starbucks order is I don't go to Starbucks, I get an organic coffee from the same place in Bondi for as long as I can remember.
If I wasn't doing this job, I would… be a florist.
My favorite place to visit is… Greece.
My favorite accessory is… my newest shoes.
The item that's always in my makeup bag is… MAC lust lip gloss.
List five things that are on your desk right now… sketch books, my laptop, black fine felt pens, a bottle of water and my iPhone.
The book I'm reading right now is… The Girl on the Train.