An interview with fashion designer Zoe Boomer!

Having styled for the fabulous Natasha Bedingfield, Zoe has gone from strength to strength in the world of fashion. She studied at the London College of Fashion and after she graduated went to work alongside one of London`s top stylists, styling for London and New York based fashion publications. Zoe has also worked at London Fashion Week and it was in 2006 that she launched her fashion label.

Each collection is created in her studio in Putney and each piece is hand-stitched with Zoe keeping a close eye on all aspects of production, approving every single garment created – dedication and passion for something she loves!

I was extremely lucky to have had a chance to interview Zoe and here is what she said…

Jamie: Did you always know you wanted to pursue a career in fashion? Please share with us your story.

Zoe: Growing up I didn’t really think or know that I could do something like be a fashion designer. I did however always want to be a business woman and run a company. It wasn’t until I went to art college that I discovered I had a real flair for fashion & designing, I would get top marks in every project which was not something I was used to! I have always loved clothes and even as a kid I would change at-least 3-times a day and the only time I ever argued with my parents was over clothes. An amazing teacher in college took me under wing and helped & encouraged me to pursue fashion.

Jamie: What was your inspiration behind your SS10 Collection? And, what can we expect next season?

Zoe: For the S/S10 collection I concentrated on simplicity, no fuss, simple cuts, styles and played with fabric showing it of to its best. I really did consider the women who would wear it, making it an easy effortless and slightly classic collection. Due to climate at the minute people don’t have as much money to spend on things. I wanted a collection that women would feel special and be able to wear garments for many different occasions day to night and not date, therefore getting a lot more use out of it.
A/W10 is very different. It is practical in that it is warm! We live in a country that when winter hits it is cold! Silk jersey is a common theme threw out the collection, stylish & comfortable jersey dresses & cardigans. Some very cute winter dresses in silk cotton with amazing necks. Plus my favourite hooded scarves are an essential piece – my friends have already placed there orders for these.

Jamie: What`s one of your favourite pieces in the collection and why?

Zoe: I have favourite pieces in the collection. One is the leani dress, this looks stunning on and so stylish that you really don’t need to add anything to it. Also my favourite top that I probably wear far to much is the snow drop top, easy to throw on with a pair of jeans yet look so chic, the perfect top you can dress up or down.

Jamie: Describe the typical `Zoe Boomer` woman. What`s she like?

Zoe: The typical Zoe Boomer women is a stylish hard working woman who loves clothes, style and quality. She may be in the office at day and loves to drink cocktails at night. She is someone who appreciates fashion & loves to have something special. She shops for quality not quantity.

Jamie: What was it like working at London Fashion Week? What did you take away from such an amazing experience?

Zoe: Working at London Fashion Week is an experience, the buzz & excitement is electric. Back stage is manic, very stressful and crazy no matter how organized you may be, something always goes wrong and there are split seconds to make it right or make a wrong decision. Everyone is on adrenaline & although stressed it is magical when a show is over there is a shared moment of unity from everyone from models, organizer, dressers.

Jamie: Your clothing is so beautiful and versatile. Do you find it challenging combining these two elements?

Zoe: Not really, this is very natural for me. I hate complicated, and my philosophy is there is beauty in the simplicity. As a designer you are trained to experiment and look at what you can do differently and original. The challenge for me is doing something different yet keeping it natural.
Before I started the label, I was trained as a stylist, this taught me to play with clothes & look at every possible way that you can wear things and how to change it. This has so helped when designing as each garment I will look at how it can be worn in a different way and helps me to make it more versatile.

Jamie: Did you experience any challenges moving to London from Northern Ireland?

Zoe: Plenty of challenges. I think personally it was a huge culture shock, I was very much a little country girl suddenly thrown into the centre of a huge cosmopolitan city not knowing anyone the world suddenly became a lot bigger! Probably the biggest challenge was been thrown into one of the worlds top fashion colleges and have to suddenly make garments and work to tight deadlines, the garment side of things was especially hard as most people to get onto the course had to have sewing skills however they took me on regardless because my designing was strong I had to learn the basics at the same time produce garments and having no support network of family around you all at this time I had to grow up quickly. LCF isn’t the normal uni, you are there to work all day and night no time for socializing and parties.

Jamie: Who would you say is your favourite all time designer and why?

Zoe: I have two favourite Labels one being Lanvin – the most stunning beautifully draped dresses, has the wow factor every-time. Also I love Stella McCartney – feminine yet always strong and not fussy.

Jamie: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start a career as a fashion designer?

Zoe: I would say never give up and try and have an excellence to what you do, it is a lot of hard work but if you keep at it you can achieve it. Be wise who you listen to, take advice but also trust you’re instincts. The world has a lot of opinions in it, not all are helpful and a lot can be damaging, but you can’t have an attitude that you know it all. I was once told ‘have thick skin & a soft heart’. Don’t let criticism hurt you but be humble enough to think about what they are saying.

Jamie: Whose been your biggest inspiration that has helped you through the challenging and thriving times throughout your career and life?

Zoe: My faith in God has pulled me through the times i wanted to give up, and my friends and family have cheered me on through the successes and are so encouraging. I also have a wonderful husband who is so supportive and helps me keep things in perspective. My biggest inspirations are not necessarily anyone in fashion but ordinary people who do something great for others and have made an obvious difference in the world.

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www.zoeboomer.com

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