Kiwi label Zambesi launched in 1979 and it’s still going strong. Liz Findlay’s designs have a conceptual and modern Belgian aesthetic, but with a staunch refusal to follow passing trends.
Since the first Melbourne store opened in ’96, Zambesi has gained a loyal following. The brand’s current retail space on Flinders Lane stocks the full lines of men’s and women’s clothing (all manufactured in New Zealand) along with NOM*d (a label by Findlay’s sister Margi Robertson) and a selection of international brands.
The Zambesi mainline favours stark blacks, whites and greys, though prints appear on occasion. Whether it’s a two-piece tailored suit that comes with drop-crotch pants or a silk dress that can be worn back to front, expect the unexpected.
Back in 1999, Zambesi and NOM*d, plus fellow Kiwi brands World and Karen Walker, became known as the New Zealand Four when they put on a seminal group show at London Fashion Week in 1999 and 2000.
If you’re familiar with that bit of fashion history, you’re likely to appreciate Zambesi’s curation of pieces from international labels Vetements, Rick Owens, Bernhard Willhelm, Raf Simons and Maison Margiela. Many items are unisex.
Accessories-wise, there’s Zambesi’s sunglasses range; boundary-pushing chain-mail jewellery by Fannie Schiavoni; and perfume from the likes of Helmut Lang and Costume National.