Zoe, Designer/Retail Sales: Chamber Maid

When did you first get interested in fashion, and what led you to working in fashion retail?
I was always interested in fashion from a young age; my grandmother was a sensational seamstress who used to make all our clothes. I did work experience at Le Louvre in year 10 for two weeks and adored it. That was the start of my love affair with fashion. I started my resort label, Zoe Elizabeth, in 2005 while I was working at Chamber Maid. I enjoy working in retail as it keeps my finger on the pulse with the latest trends, what the customer wants and, most importantly, allows me to develop relationships with them.

Whose style do you admire and why?
Brigitte Bardot. Her large kohl-rimmed eyes and pale-pink lips were her fashion trademarks. She was a rebel who resisted the claustrophobic mores of the 50s with her relaxed way of dressing. She often wore her hair in a wild ponytail – today thought of as the perfect bedhead look. And her pink gingham wedding dress designed by Jacques Esterel became a sensation in 1956, which I loved!

What are your views on womenswear in Melbourne?
Womenswear in Melbourne this winter incorporates a multitude of trends. It is really a question of your own personal style and tastes. Leather is really strong this season, with structured shoulders and jackets flying off the shelves. I think women are looking for something different all the time and like to mix all different labels and price points to create individual style, not just buy an entire look.

Tell us a bit about the Chamber Maid aesthetic and range this season.

I love the feel of Chamber Maid with its high ceilings, Victorian wallpaper, sparkly chandeliers and large, dark stained floorboards – it’s a pure joy to come to work. We cater for special-occasion glamour and everyday basic wardrobe essentials. Jac and Jack have recently re-launched their menswear range, which has been flying out the door. It’s a back-to-basics range of merino wool/cashmere blends in navies, stripes and checks.

What's your favorite item from Chamber Maid?

Hands down the Josh Goot geometric tank dress. Ever since it came in I have been besotted with it. It screams wild nights out worn with a leather jacket and boots.

Zoe designs her own label www.zoeelizabeth.com.au