For the sisters behind longstanding womenswear label Zimmermann, business is personal. “You go through all the usual business considerations but the big thing for Simone and I has always been how it feels for us,” says Nicky Zimmermann. While it may not be a technique employed by the straight-laced business crowd, it has been paying off for the sisters’ eponymous label for over two decades.
Since 1991, the sweet and sexy Australian label has grown from strength to strength, moving from bikinis to winter collections and even accessories, continuously paving a successful path and setting a precedent for young designers to aspire to. Now, the jet-setting label has reached the Holy Grail – its own boutique in New York City.
Launched last week, the store marks the second Zimmermann boutique in the US, the other located in Los Angeles. “We have been selling into the US for a long time and we had our Summer Store in Greene Street in New York last summer,” recalls Nicky. “Since then we’ve spent a lot of time looking for the right space and when the Mercer Street spot came up it just felt right for us.”
The new boutique will count labels such as Theyskens’ Theory, Helmut Lang, Alexander Wang and 3.1 Phillip Lim as its neighbours. Not a bad crowd to keep company with, especially considering that Zimmermann was once housed in Nicky's garage. “It’s such a great street with the cobblestones and the cast iron facades and, of course, it’s such a great shopping area,” says Nicky, who was in Sydney when the store opened last week, but sister Simone was on hand to toast with the new team.
When asked how they have targeted the highly coveted US market, Nicky describes a simple approach. “It’s very similar to our stores in Australia,” she says. “Customers have a great connection with our swim and resort and being able to offer a full edit of those collections in one space has been really well received. The swimsuit or the print dress or the lace short that we sell here is the same as the one that does well in America. I think it reflects that the woman that comes to us in the US is really knowledgeable about what she wants and is really similar to our woman here.”
Both Nicky and Simone plan on visiting the new store together in June following the Zimmermann show at Mercedes Benz Australian Fashion Week in May. While Zimmermann is a hallmark of fashion week in Sydney, Nicky indicates she is open to showing at New York Fashion Week, a natural progression considering the international success of the label. “Now we have stores in the US, showing in New York is something that we would consider more closely because it makes more sense.”
But she assures us that the beloved label has no plans of abandoning their home country for the States any time soon. “Showing at Australian Fashion Week in Sydney works really well for our ready-to-wear because it supports our local business and our stores, and is so well supported by the media. We live in Australia and so much of what we create is inspired by being here. And of course we want to support what’s happening in our local industry.”
Proof that even if you find success in the Big Apple, Australia is still a great place for fashion.