Interview with ZOE ANNETTE by Rachael Lovette.....
Inspired by amazing women who are forces of good in their communities, owner, designer and all around girl boss herself, Zoe Baker, is on a mission to create clothes to help said women achieve their dreams. Find out more about Zoe Baker and ZOE ANNETTE below.
Get to know ZOE ANNETTE
What was your biggest fear when going out and starting your own line?
I choose not to focus on my fears. Instead, I think about where I want my company to be in 10 or 20 years and then work backwards to see how I can achieve those goals.
What considerations go into building an eco-friendly brand?
There are so many considerations that go into an eco-friendly brand! When I source materials for my designs, not only do I look for eco-friendly fabric, but I also look for eco-friendly thread, zippers, labels, packaging, etc. Depending on the design, sometimes you are able to achieve 100% eco-friendly or sometimes there are elements to the design that although you have looked far and wide, an eco-friendly version doesn’t exist yet. The most important aspect of eco-friendly designing though is constantly asking yourself can this piece be done better or more sustainability and if the answer is yes, acting on it and elevate the design to a cleaner and greener garment.
Is there a storytelling element to your design process/creation?
When I design, I think about a day in the life of a ZOE ANNETTE woman. She needs a garment that she can style easily early in the morning and that will be appropriate for big meetings, lunch with the girls and special evening events. By observing my clients’ lifestyle, I am able to better identify their needs.
What is the inspiration behind your current collection?
The current collection that will launch this summer is a colorful twist on suit separates and dress and jacket duos! I was inspired by late 20th century professional womenswear especially concerning pleats and fun lapels.
What are your aspirations with Zoe Annette?
I want to support women across the world with colorful, energetic pieces to wear as they accomplish their goals and dreams.
The Woman Behind the Brand
When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in fashion?
Every summer when I was younger, my cousin, brother and I would spend a few weeks at Camp Grandma’s. This is where I first learned to sew and became interested in fashion design. I realized I wanted to be a fashion designer when I participated in my first fashion show in ninth grade. The show featured high school fashion designers and we were able to hear local fashion designer Chloe Dao speak. It was a wonderful event and it became the first of many fashion shows I participated in during high school.
What inspires you?
I think about what they might need in their garments on their journey. Do they need empowering colors? Do they need fabric made from organic or sustainable fibers? Do they need a comfortable fit? Do they need an outfit that will take them from day to night? My ultimate goal is to create the most supportive, energetic pieces for women to wear on their adventures.
Does your hometown or current city contribute to your design aesthetic? How?
My hometown and the home I grew up in definitely contribute to my design aesthetic. I am the daughter of two artists and my parent’s house is full of color and light.
What would you like remembered about you?
I would like to be remembered as a designer who supported her clients and community.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
“Speak it into existence.”
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be?
You’re going to learn the most from the mistakes you make.
What item in your closet do you wear the most?
My sleeveless wool jersey dress! It is so easy to throw on for a dinner out and can be dressed up or down with heels or cute flats.
What is on your bucket list (personal and/or business wise)?
One of my personal bucket list items is to learn how to make shoes!
Where can we find you when you’re not designing for Zoe Annette?
In the yoga studio! Or hosting dinners for family and friends.
To learn more about ZOE ANNETTE follow them on social below!
- Rachael Lovette, Portland Fashion Week