How does a luxury brand with couture-like ready-to-wear collections take an in-store, hands-on experience online?
In the country recently to film The Face with long-time friend and supermodel, Naomi Campbell, we quizzed one of New York’s finest, Zac Posen on the democratisation of fashion.
Has the explosion of personal style bloggers and shift of shoppers online impacted his brand?
According to Zac, it’s only increased global exposure and created an entirely new dialogue for his brand.
“It’s great,” he said. “That’s how we’ve created word of mouth. Street style and blogging has been a big part of our secondary line through bags, small leather goods and we’re just about to launch a sunglasses line.
“Everyone has the ability to dress how they want to express themselves without finances being a determining part of that. I think people should dress up more and even though street style is quite casual, I still like to see people have more individuality with it instead of being style lemmings.
“There’s this whole new form of fashion online that’s creating a dialogue and while it does make our business harder from my side – trends move around the world faster, it’s more immediate – it’s made it so much more important to be an individual.”
In fact the Zac Posen brand is in a very strong position globally, thanks to a prime position on Project Runway where he is now in his second season as judge alongside resident, Michael Kors.
“I love to nurture new talent,” he said. “I’ve been in this business for over a decade and I still think of myself as a ‘young designer’.
“I want to give a positive outlook on creativity but also the reality of how challenging and how high expectations can be in the fashion industry.
“I push myself to work as hard as possible and enjoy myself while doing it. That passion, drive, level of perfection and energy exude from my judging chair.”
Proving his work ethic, Posen just finished presenting the Pre-Fall collection look book at his studio in New York before jumping on a plane to Australia to film the finale of Foxtel’s The Face.
His Spring 2014 collection continues his signature style, but this time the statement is made in the collection’s message.
“I was filming Project Runway in the concrete jungle that is New York City (at the time of designing it), but I do have a large affinity with nature,” he said. “Our planet is important and fashion isn’t a full-on necessity, so it’s important to dream big and translate that magnitude into the pieces.”
While Hollywood royalty covet his couture – think Gwyneth Paltrow to Beyonce – and his designs have graced red carpets the world over, away from the glamour, Zac remains extremely humble.
“I don’t take anything for granted,” he said. “I strive to make one of the highest quality products in the world while remaining humble – that’s very important.”