One of my favorite parts of Fashion Weeks, no matter what city they are in, is the discovery of new talent. It is always so exciting to see fashion interpreted through a new fresh eye. This last Fashion Week in New York was no different and I was pleased to come upon burgeoning talent in many different venues.
I was of course curious when I received an invite to a presentation of a new collection by designer ZUZU KIM for Fall 2012. Needless to say, the name ZUZU KIM was interesting enough to grab my attention and I wanted to find out more about this young designer. On further investigation, I learned that Christina “Zuzu” Kim, as the daughter of the former South Korean Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, was raised around the world, giving her exposure to a wide array of cultures. Additionally, ZUZU KIM is a self taught classical pianist that studies piano performance at the Julliard School.
After studying fashion at the Art Institute of Chicago, ZUZU KIM opened a high-end women’s atelier in Chicago, where she gained recognition and was recruited by Phoebe Couture in New York, becoming Head Designer within a year. Backed with this experience, ZUZU decided to create her own line and presented her first women’s ready-to-wear collection for Fall 2012 during New York Fashion Week.
Combining her love for fashion with her love for music, ZUZU KIM Fall 2012 was given the theme “Concerto”, inspired by Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20. Reflecting her background as a concert pianist, the collection has several beautiful tuxedo blouses and plays on conductor jackets, taking the streamlined jackets and adding a feminine touch with flounces, scallops and pleats. A favorite of mine is a white jacket that is classic conductor jacket in the front with a back that is all about pleats with a buttoned tab at the waist. The collection also has beautiful separates, cocktail dresses, Italian wool tuxedos and an evening gown that is a study in drape and dubbed the “Pianist Gown”. The fabrics in the collection are premium cashmeres, wools, lace, chiffon and a rich brocade in a sophisticated palette of black, white, navy, gold and burgundy.
I have also been drawn to ZUZU KIM due to her own philanthropic philosophy. Being a strong believer in giving back to the community, ZUZU partnered with VH1 Save the Music Foundation for the presentation of her first collection! The foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America’s public schools and raising awareness about the importance of music as a part of a child’s complete education.
ZUZU KIM’s first collection shows off her talents as a designer, capturing her musicians sensibility for lyricism, harmony, playfulness and passion. Combined with her background growing up in diverse cultures, ZUZU KIM has created an elegant and chic collection that leaves us begging for more.