LULA: Hello Zac, how are you? Are you in the process of designing your SS09 collection at the moment?
Zac Posen: We’re at that conceptual point where we’re experimenting with different ideas, looking at various construction techniques and fabric manipulation. I’m looking at embroidery – finding out how to work it with the fabrics we’ve chose. The fabrics we chose five months ago, and now we’re working out how to proceed with them, and what message we want to give to women; we want to establish what women are about now, what their fantasies are, what they are fantasizing about.
LULA: And what have you decided women are fantasizing about?
(Laughs) I will try to be as descriptive and vague as possible – I don’t want to give too much away! I want to create a sense of ease and play, a sense of unearthly form and texture with the new collection. I’m playing with form, creating sculptural pieces. My woman is dreaming of travel, mysticism, romance… and following her own codes of spirituality, politics and sexuality. She’s formulating her own moral codes – and rejecting the rules and values insisted on by society. Our woman is always strong and powerful, in touch with her sexuality, an independent woman. I believe true style is about individuality – and the woman I design for has a sense of personal style, and doesn’t follow trends. Trends are just marketing tools for advertisers.
LULA: You have your woman defined, how would you define yourself as a designer?
I’m trying to always work out how to define myself… I don’t see myself as a New York designer because I studied abroad, and I’m really about taking risks, which isn’t very New York as it can be quite a commercial market. I infuse my designs with a level of perfection, in terms of construction, that is to couture standards, and I try to send a powerful message through my work. You have to take it seriously in terms of craftsmanship, but you have to approach fashion with a sense of magic and lightness.
LULA: And how do you approach running your label – are you just focusing on designing?
I’m left and right brained so I’m in touch with all sides of the company. I’m enjoying building this brand and communicating with my audience in more ways than just deisgning. I haven’t seen a label build a real identity in a really long time. D&G were the last designers to do this – to create an entire world around their brand like Armani, Calvin Klein, Donna Karen… I don’t think this young fashion community knows what to do with the power we have. St Laurent is really the best example – he created a huge, unified brand with a message. He was the biggest risk-taker, a real bad ass and commercially unashamed – he built an entire universe around his name.
LULA: You have an empowered take on women – have you been particularly inspired by your mother and sister who I know you also work on your label with?
Yes, it’s amazing to work with my mother and sister, it’s very gratifying to have such a creative, collaborative relationship with them. I’ve worked with my sister for six years, before that we always collaborated on various projects. Shes an artist and a great mum, she’s been married and had two children while we’ve been working together. She is an artist and puppeteer not a fashionista, so she brings a really unique perspective to the label. Growing up with such amazing women has definitely made me attracted to creative, strong women. I like creative women, who determine their on sense of style. Great style cannot be taught or bought.
LULA: Your AW08 collection was both playful and dark – what mood or theme shaped it?
I was definitely playing on a dark youth aesthetic, it had a sado-masochist coquette quality and I was delving into the dark side of youth.