Meet Zillah, the emerging Australian-based fashion label born through the love of vintage and thrift shopping. Founded by designers Abby Andrews and Jorja Pay, the brand blends vintage-inspired silhouettes with a modern touch that emphasizes femininity and feeling confident in what you wear.
Swimwear leads the brand’s latest arrivals, with adjustable string bikini tops and cheeky fitted bikini bottoms in an array of floral prints. Elsewhere, the Sarsha Dress spans the collection in sage green and black, encompassing a feminine touch with ribbed knit fabric. Zillah’s chic Tahlia set arrives with high-waisted flared pants and a bralette style top while the Margot set takes on a more relaxed look with a halter neck vest and mid-rise pants in both brown and ivory.
We had the pleasure of chatting with Zillah founders Abby and Jorja about swimwear, supporting independent labels, and new garments amongst other topics. Read on for our conversation.
How would you describe the Zillah aesthetic?
The Zillah aesthetic is primarily vintage-inspired, yet made for the modern girl. We want our pieces to evoke a sense of nostalgia whilst still feeling fresh and exciting, with an emphasis on flattering silhouettes.
It’s really beautiful how fashion can bring people together—how did the two of you meet?
We actually met when we were fourteen! We went to the same high school and we both thought each other had the coolest outfit on casual dress day, but we didn’t properly meet each other until we got moved into the same class. We were 19 when we came up with the idea to start Zillah over a few drinks at the pub, however, it took us years of trial and error to finally take the brand from idea to reality and have a product we were proud of to launch.
Bikinis, especially with floral prints, are a staple silhouette for the clothing label. Why is swimwear such an important part of a woman’s wardrobe?
Growing up in Australia, swimwear has always been such an important part of our wardrobe as we spend so much time by the water. It can be hard to find a good quality bikini that not only makes you feel comfortable and confident but also allows you to express your own personal style. This is why we decided to launch the bikinis in ten different prints so that our customers could find a print they resonated with!
As a rising brand, what is one thing that you always keep in mind when building a collection?
As a rising brand, the biggest thing we keep in mind when building a collection is to create pieces we love and feel good in, rather than follow specific trends, as we want our garments to be timeless pieces that can be treasured for years to come and not just for a season.
The Tahlia top and high-waisted pants are among some of our favorite pieces from Zillah—are there any garments or designs that you two can’t get enough of?
The Tahlia set is one of our favorites as well, we have so many new colors in the works! As you can probably tell, our favorite pieces to design are usually sets—they’re fun and they make it easy to feel “put together” without trying.
It’s really disheartening to see large retailers blatantly copy designs from independent clothing labels such as your own. In your opinion, what can consumers collectively do to stop this from going on?
In our opinion, we understand that it is hard for consumers to know when a piece they’re buying is copied from a smaller unknown designer and we don’t think the responsibility should be placed on them, instead, we think the onus should be on the bigger retailers to stop stealing from smaller brands. Perhaps if bigger retailers see a design they like from a small brand, they could give them a bigger platform by collaborating with them.
What is your vision for the brand? Where do you see it in five years?
Our vision for the brand is to expand and grow the team, as it is currently just us two. We would love to be recognized not just in Australia but internationally. We are manifesting a head office in Byron Bay and to get our pieces on Bella Hadid.
With Zillah being one of the most exciting rising labels in the Australian fashion scene, are there any new garments or themes that you’re looking to explore in the future?
In the future, we are looking to expand into making shoes and bags, and potentially even menswear! We also have some secrets in the works that we can’t share yet!
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