Nicky Zimmermann is one of Australia’s most influential fashion figures.
Nicky’s design vision has been eagerly consumed in Australia and internationally for over 20 years.
Nicky was literally born into fashion and has loved designing clothes for as long as she can remember. As a girl she was always making and transforming things to wear; from cutting and ripping into new clothes her mother had just bought her, to creating her own patterns and sewing complete out”ts from fabric she found around her Southern Sydney home.
Nicky’s mother and her German Aunt taught her to sew as they created their own fabulous wardrobes. She used to watch with fascination as her milliner grandmother worked her magic and Nicky observed the work ethic of her father who worked tirelessly in the family business.
Having inherited these skills, Nicky always wanted to formally study fashion and graduated from the acclaimed design school at East Sydney TAFE in 1990. Her first collection immediately showed Nicky’s signature balance of feminine details with bold colour that reflects the modern look and feel of Sydney summers.
Zimmermann began literally and creatively in Sydney, with Nicky focusing on dresses and selling them at Paddington markets. Through the week Nicky would design and create garments from her parent’s garage in preparation for the weekend market. #e markets were an opportunity for Nicky to refine her aesthetic and to see first-hand how women responded to fashion. The markets were also hard work and provided Nicky with a solid grounding in the business basics required to survive in a notoriously cut-throat industry. “While working the markets, I had two pages of editorial in Australian Vogue. That was a significant moment because I suddenly started to receive orders from boutiques around
Australia and I could feel some real momentum. Soon after I opened a small store in Darlinghurst.”
In 1991, Nicky’s sister Simone joined the growing Zimmermann business. Nicky’s
relationship with Simone has been the cornerstone to Zimmermann’s longevity and success. “I could never have achieved what we have without Simone. While the business has evolved and fashion has changed, Simone has been a voice of reason and a constant.” The move into Zimmermann’s internationally sought after swimwear came later. With the inaugural Australian Fashion Week in 1996, came the first steps into the new idea of high fashion swimwear that would work back with ready-to-wear clothing. “I thought why isn’t
swimwear shown on the catwalk? There is no reason why it shouldn’t be highly fashionable as well as highly functional”. Zimmermann’s bold, original prints, beautifully made one-pieces and sculptural bikinis created a new point of reference in flattering, sexy and stylish swimwear and launched the label well and truly on its path to local and international success.
Every year, Nicky and her design team create Spring/Summer & Autumn/Winter ready to wear collections along with Cruise and Resort Swim collections. Add to that – lines of swim Separates, Kids and Accessories. the demands of an international business require Nicky to travel extensively throughout the year between the label’s showrooms in Sydney,
London and New York.
Zimmermann’s future holds as much excitement for Nicky as its enviable past. “There is always so much more to do. For Zimmermann, the opportunities are endless. In Australia, we will continue the expansion of our retail stores into new markets and internationally – particularly in the US – we have now reached a point where we are a genuine player in the fashion swim and resort markets and the challenge will be to build on that. As a
designer, I think I am continuing to grow and am definitely better at what I do now than at any time previously in my career. I also enjoy working with a wonderful group of creative collaborators which continue to challenge the design process.” Although her designs are stocked throughout major department stores worldwide, Nicky
has never forgotten the quintessential Sydney girl who typifies Zimmermann, ‘She may have travelled the iconic beaches of the world during the year, but she is back home in Bondi for the Summer, this is where she is true to herself.’
She has been the recipient of multiple fashion awards including AFI Best Swimwear
Designer and Prix de Marie Claire Best Swimwear Brand, to name a few. Nicky is a current member of the Australian Fashion Week Advisory Board. She has recently been appointed as the fashion mentor for the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards.
Nicky makes her home in Sydney’s iconic beachside suburb of Tamarama with her husband and two children.
TEXT IS TAKEN FROM THE MB FASHION WEEK WEBSITE
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