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Nicky Zimmermann on swimsuit high-fashion in the Hamptons
It's time to swimsuit up!
Since 1991, Australian designer Nicky Zimmermann has taken femininity and clever combinations to the beaches and streets of the most illustrious cities through her label, Zimmermann, which she runs with her sister, Simone.
Nicky, who has been transforming and cutting fabrics since she was a young girl, got her big break when Australian Vogue caught wind of her very first designs made out of her garage. Today, her swimsuits, rompers and summer dresses are must-haves worn by the likes of Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama -- the fashion mavericks of our time.
The label, which is synonymous with Australian style, is bringing its chic sensibility to the Hamptons this summer, thanks to a new store in East Hampton. While preparing for the opening, Nicky clued us in to swimwear high-fashion.
Why open a store in the Hamptons?
The summer lifestyle in the Hamptons suits a lot of what we do -- obviously with the swim and resort but even more generally it's about a more relaxed way of dressing. I love going on vacation where I can spend a day at the beach and have a great afternoon having a great lunch and go shopping with my friends for something unexpected.
Is high-fashion swimwear difficult to sell in New York City?
There are so many women who want their swim[wear] to complement their personal style like everything else in their wardrobe. They approach their swim[wear] like they would a shoe or a bag or anything else.
Who is your New York customer?
She's the same type of girl whether it's in Sydney or Los Angeles or London -- they love fashion and have a strong sense of personal style. Our New York girl really embraces the more directional swim that we do and I love that. They are open to trying a lot of new swim shapes and to new suggestions.
Which do you prefer designing -- ready-to-wear or swim?
I like both actually. When I finish doing a swim season I'm looking forward to doing ready-to-wear because it gives me a bit more scope to explore a new direction for our aesthetic. But by the time I've done a show collection, I'm happy to take some of the new ideas we have and find ways to filter those into a direction for the next swim season.
What's the craziest suit you've ever designed?
We love doing detailed swim and sometimes it gets a bit out of control. I had a one-piece a while back that had over 100 pattern pieces. My sample machinist Amy kept asking me if it I was OK!
What's new for resort 2014-2015?
All will be revealed soon. I've worked with a lot of batik prints but styled in a more modern, urban way.
What's sexier: a one-piece or a bikini?
Depends on the wearer. But maybe a one-piece at the moment.
Favorite New York designers?
I could list lots of established designers and newer names, but I like lots of things from Joseph Altuzarra, Thakoon, The Row and Rosie Assoulin.
Any advice for breaking into the New York market?
I think wherever you are working, you need to have your own point of view and be true to your own design aesthetic.