Rising Star: Zoe Champion…

Editorial • 31/10/17

With a name like that, you will not forget her...

Zoe Champion is a rising star from the Parsons MFA program. Zoe's approach to knitwear is bold and not just in colour, It is both original and impassioned. Knitwear as a main category is often associated with heavier or richer knits that are box like in comfort. It has never reached the sensual dramatic heights of eveningwear namely gowns and pumps. Yet knitwear oozes a warmth. A warmth in which Zoe Champion radically reinvigorates with her injection of colour combined with a modern silhoutte. Her striking designs left us wanting to find out more, as such, we caught up Zoe...

Define the Zoe Champion brand for our readers?

The Zoe Champion brand is innovative knitwear, with a fun and playful approach. The brand concentrates on high quality clothing that is not meant to sit in a seasonal cycle but be clothes that can be worn for years.

What are you up to at the moment?

I am currently freelancing and interning at different companies, gaining more experience with working with factories and larger teams.

Who do you design for / who is your ideal customer?

I design for confident, fun people, who want to stand out and be individual. It doesn’t matter the age or gender, I design for anyone who is looking for clothing that is comfortable and interesting and makes them smile.

What do you feel is missing in terms of support for emerging designers? 

Funding is the hardest part about being an emerging designer for sure, but also being able to find connections with factories and suppliers that are willing to work with smaller brands with smaller runs is quite a tough barrier. Having a place to find suppliers and factories that you can work with would be an incredible resource.

Who has been the most supportive in your career so far?

Parsons MFA program is where I have launched my first collection, having a show at NYFW was a great way to get my designs out into the world.

How has social media been effective in the marketing of your brand ?

Social media has been the only way I have marketed so far. It has been great in getting feedback from real-world people. After the show it was easy to see what garments really resonated with people through shares and likes and is a great way to engage with the customer.

What do you want people to associate when then think about ZOE CHAMPION? 

Interesting, innovative textiles with modern colours and silhouettes.

What other designers are you really enjoying at the moment?

I’m really loving all the designers that I graduated with, I think they all did such individual and interesting work. I’m also loving people like vaquero, y-project, telfar.

What changes do you think is going to happen over the next 5 years in the fashion industry?

I think the fashion industry will move towards smaller brands having a much bigger voice, I think people are tired of the homogenized world of fast fashion and are looking to niche brands for interesting pieces. I also think sustainability has to become more a focus for everyone at every level of the fashion system, without compromising ideas and designs.

And what do you want to achieve in the next 5 years?

In the next 5 years I would like to be able to work on my label full time, selling transeasonal pieces. I’d also love to do collaborations with larger brands, having their backing and support to create unique pieces for them I think would be a great way to design.


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