The House that Zimmermann Built

Bold, sophisticated, elegant: this is the design ethos of Zimmermann, a fast growing fashion label based out of Sydney, Australia. Started by sisters Simone and Nicky Zimmermann in 1991, the label quickly won a following among Australia’s fashion elite for the quality of its fabrics, and the boldness of the designers’ vision. Zimmermann elevated humble swimwear to the runway in Australia, making it the showcase of its designs. Today, the label continues to grow with a splash of new designs that build on the Zimmermann strength of blending cool chic with high street sophistication.

The Antecedents

Sisters Simone and Nicky run Zimmermann like a well-oiled machine. Simone is the creative heart of the label, while Nicky is the business brain, handling supply, distribution and marketing. Like many other famous creative duos, the sisters work exceptionally well in tandem, and part of the reason for Zimmermann’s success has been the sisters’ ability to tackle challenges creatively.

The label hummed along in its early years, earning some degree of recognition and patronage from Sydney’s trendsetters, but it wasn’t until 1996 that Zimmermann really exploded onto the national stage after a show stopping display at the prestigious Australia Fashion Week. The label moved from strength to strength with a series of wow-worthy designs, particularly in swimwear, that culminated in Zimmermann winning the 2005 Prix de Marie Claire award. 

Today, the company has a strong presence in the Australian market with 15 stores across the country. It also has two international stores, one each in Los Angeles and New York. The brand is also available online at a number of international stores.

The Designs

Lead designer Simone Zimmermann had a strong, iconoclastic vision from the first day of its inception: to bring high fashion to the world of swimwear. After its early success in combining high-fashion aesthetics with functional swimwear, the label became the reference point for swimwear fashion in Australia. Even today, Zimmermann’s most popular offering is its extensive range of swimwear.

Zimmermann eventually expanded into the ready-to-wear market with a range of dresses, gowns, skirts and accessories, all of which take design cues from its swimwear line. Zimmermann’s clientele is largely upmarket, trendy, and beach/resort loving, and its aesthetic vision reflects the lifestyle of its clientele – bold, elegant, with a hint of bohemian chic.

Zimmermann’s statement pieces are invariably its swimwear line. The label has a penchant for bringing fabrics and designs from its ready to wear line into its swimwear range (and vice versa) without compromising functionality. Quality fabrics combine with chic, bohemian designs to create iconic swimwear with European bearings but a distinctly Australian flourish.

Zimmermann Today

Zimmermann’s 2012 range favours bold pastel colours and floral prints in slender, figure flattering silhouettes. The range of colours is distinctly feminine – lilac, peach, mint and blue – and the designs specked with floral clashing prints with a bohemian edge. There’s colour aplenty in the ready-to-wear line as well as the swimwear range, with splashes of clashing colours on pastel backgrounds. In terms of shapes, Zimmermann embraced perforated swimsuits and spliced dresses wholeheartedly this season.

If current trends are anything to go by, Zimmermann’s collection next season will build upon the bold themes introduced this season. Expect to see the complicated, lacy prints from the swimwear range to blend into the read-to-wear line. Zimmermann showcased some sports themed outfits this season, but the entire line remained very delicate and feminine as a whole. Expect the creative brains at the label to experiment much more with sports themed ideas in the coming seasons.

This article was brought to you by leading Zimmermann swimwear stockist Beach Cafe. One of the UK’s leading designer swimwear boutiques. 


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