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HomemifashionZac Posen: Taking on the Universe

Zac Posen: Taking on the Universe

When Zac Posen made a gown for Naomi Campbell, the fashion world took notice. Posen was just 21 and yet to complete his studies at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. That was back in 2000. Now, barely 15 years later, the New Yorker dresses the world’s leading women and accessorises them with handbags, spectacles and sunglasses to suit.

Zac Posen is recognised for his artisanal craftsmanship, anatomical construction and textile manipulation. He designs ready to wear fashion, bridal, handbags, accessories and eyewear with brands that include Zac Posen and ZAC Zac Posen and Truly Zac Posen.

Posen’s collections are found in leading department and specialty stores worldwide including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barney’s New York, Harvey Nichols, AlOthman and Seibu. They’re worn by the likes of Uma Thurman, First Lady Michelle Obama, Gwyneth Paltrow and Naomi Watts.

Impressively, a leather dress he designed as a student is now displayed in London’s prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum.

mivision asked Zac Posen how his talent
for designing fashion is so successfully transferred to sun and optical frame design

But this is a story on eyewear… so mivision asked Zac Posen how his talent for designing fashion is so successfully transferred to sun and optical frame design.

The collections starts with inspiration from the Zac Posen ready to wear collection, as well as favourite shapes and colours from past and present. The designer then chooses from a group of original drawings, apply colours and determine the metal detailing.

Posen’s fashion styling has been described as combining “legendary Hollywood glamour with a downtown sensibility, enhancing women’s natural forms and enabling them to be their most alluring, empowered selves”.

Says Posen, “I design for a woman who wears clothes with a sense of sophistication and ease; the clothes need to be part of who the woman is, but not the only thing she’s about. She is feminine, confident, and sophisticated. She is someone who embodies a true sense of identity. She is empowered, glamorous, enjoys the transformative power of eveningwear, and is not dictated by trends.”

And of his eyewear style he says, “it represents a strong individual who embraces theatrical and dramatic beauty”.

Posen’s sunglass collection for women, which currently consists of six styles (he also has seven sun frames for men), is bold and glamorous, with a lot of oversized, feminine shapes. The optical styles vary, from full acetate and dramatic cats eyes to lightweight semi-rimless metal shapes. Both collections are different, however he trys to incorporate similar design elements overall in order to keep the two collections cohesive. If you’re wearing a Zac Posen optical or Zac Posen sunglass you will know they are both from the
same distinguished designer.

Timeless Design

Rather than being a slave to trends, Posen aims to add to his collection each year with fresh new designs that are timeless.

There is currently plenty of blue in Posen’s collection and he says this is set to continue. He is also in the process of designing a mystery ‘signature’ acetate colour, which will be exclusively available to his brand.

Zac Posen eyewear is made in Japan and China. Optical eyewear is manufactured in China while the runway sunglass capsule, which featured at his New York Fashion Week shows, is handmade in Japan. Both collections are made using “the finest Italian acetates and premium lenses” said Posen.

Internationally Regarded

To Posen, quality craftsmanship is vital. “I always wanted to build a brand that is focused on craftsmanship and I believe that has crucial value for a customer. I welcome the curious eye into my atelier through Instagram to show how my products are created from draping in my office to the inspirational pictures behind my designs. It’s incredibly rewarding that I choose every detail that goes into my eyewear.”

That focus on quality has reaped rewards. “There are many achievements, big and small, that I am so proud of. Looking back, it was a huge honour to win the CFDA 2004 Perry Ellis Award, when I had only been in the business for three years. It also was a proud moment when my colleagues recognised my work,” said Posen.

Most recently he became the youngest ever patron of the prestigious Europe wide Designer of Tomorrow Award, following in the footsteps of fashion legends Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney and Tommy Hilfiger. As well as assisting the jury to select five top young talents to show capsule looks at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin, he will mentor the winner, an opportunity he relishes. “It is an incredible thing to be able to actively support up-and-coming talent in the fashion industry and pass on my experiences and perspectives,” he told wwd.com.1

Expanding the Appeal

The universal Zac Posen appeal is something else this young designer relishes and is eager to maximise. “The Zac Posen brand has become a staple in many women’s wardrobes across the continents and that makes me proud.

“My strategy is to keep growing, knowing who we are, what our brand stands for but, most of all, who our customers are and what they want to see from us.

“Being the man behind the brand, I spend a lot of time with my clients listening to what they have to say, the messages that they convey, and how they are evolving. I balance that side of the business with a great dose of creativity in the studio to make sure that those ideas are translated into the clothes. It’s imperative.”

As for what the future will bring, at 34, the world is Posen’s oyster. “I am extremely excited for what the future may bring, I am always thinking of ways to extend my creative experiences into other categories.
I look forward to the many more projects to come, the many collections that this year will bring, and the feeling of being so lucky to be doing what I love.”

Zac Posen eyewear is exclusively distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Eyes Right Optical. Contact (AUS) 1800 637 654 and (NZ) 0800 447 272.

1. http://wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-scoops/ zac-posen-named-patron-of-designer-for-tomorrowcompetition-10133122/