Why did you decide to become a fashion designer?
There are two key drivers that sparked me into embracing a career of a fashion designer. First, my mind just loves to dream about designs whether it is a house, painting, or a dress. Needless to say, I ended up designing exotic houses, drawing vibrant paintings, and creating many ZuZa dresses. Second, like many of my friends I just got tired of endless shopping trips without finding what I really want. I typically looked for elegant yet sensual quality clothes and what I usually found was either to common or way too expensive. I decided to try making elegant and sensual clothes by myself that was better value for money. After scoring some early successes like dressing Miss Singapore at Miss World 2014, I continued to get a lot of positive feedback including a strong following of celebrities, socialites and fashionistas.
What is your favourite part about being a fashion designer?
Individuality is the most exciting thing in fashion right now. However, to be different you need to be confident, and to be confident you need to have something unique to say to the world – I believe you can do it through your wardrobe, too. ZuZa is all about self-expression, helping fashion forwardthinking woman around the world express themselves and take the centre stage. I believe it’s special, for any given designer, to be a part of that.
What were your inspirations for the designs you create?
Traveling is a great way to seek inspiration. World is booming with colour, forms and silhouettes, and they are constantly all feeding my creativity. With that in mind, inspiration for my last collection came from a trip around passionate, colourful, and sensual Spain. You will find rich and vibrant lace textures hand tailored into luxurious dream dresses. Lace is often a secret ingredient to my designs, because it is so inherently feminine and festive – it is ladylike, but also shows enough skin to make it party appropriate. Spring 2015 collection inspires to step out in show-stealing style.
How did you select the materials you used?
I am always on the lookout for new, fresh and different materials, but the deciding factor for me is always that materials have to be of the highest quality and made to last. As I said, I love to travel, and this is one of the key ways I discover new materials.
What are your plans for the future?
My plan is to expand and make my creations accessible to more beautiful women around the world. After opening in Singapore I am keen to establish my presence in London and Moscow, two vibrant cities that love elegant and sensual clothes.
Everything you do is produced here. Are buyers sensitive to this?
I believe that there are three ingredients ZuZa success relies on – unique and breathtaking designs, made-to-last quality and top level custom tailoring. While launching in Robinson’s, Singapore, a month ago, I realized a peculiar thing – Thai designers are rising, and rising fast, in the fashion world, dressing pretty much everyone from Michelle Obama to Jennifer Lopez in their loud, intricate, and more often than not, outrageous designs. We use a lot of Italian and French materials, they are often fused with rich prints and ornately embellished styles, but most importantly, they are first and foremost, made to last. Finally, Thailand is known for amazing tailors that are masters of their craft, and it’s a privilege having such a highly valuable asset helping us on our road to success.
Was there anyone in your family who made you feel like designing?
My husband Ivan. He is the one that made me realize that I can be a mother, wife and a designer, all at the same time and not sacrifice any of them along the way. I am grateful for my family as they give me inspiration and strength. At the same time, I am fortunate enough to have a job that I love and feel very passionate about.
Who inspires you the most in fashion?
Anyone who stands out? I would certainly single out Audrey Hepburn as an icon that influenced me and my designs the most. She was not only known for the style, but more importantly – for the silhouette, a feat that is perhaps the hardest to accomplish in fashion. And to top it off, her character was always shining through and that is the reason Audrey will always remain timeless and a style icon of mine. As for the contemporary personal style icons, i have a lot of respect for Victoria Beckham. She is multitalented and equally successful as a designer, singer, mother and a wife. Her style is immaculate.
What is the best thing about being a designer?
For me personally the best thing is that fashion designer is the job I love. When you love what you do, hard work, challenges, and many obstacles that inevitable come are much easier to overcome. Being a fashion designer helps me to express my dreams and make them a reality. It helps me to make this complex world a little bit more beautiful with my ZuZa designs.