The Aussie fashion footprint in L.A. just got a whole lot bigger with the opening of the new 3,000-square-foot Zimmermann flagship on tony Melrose Place.
Australian model Miranda Kerr, model/actress Chanel Iman, and actresses January Jones and Minka Kelly were among those who turned out for cocktails Wednesday night to fete the brand and its fun-loving cofounders, sisters Nicky and Simone Zimmermann.
The boutique is airy and open with racks full of Zimmermann's boho-romantic printed sun dresses and jumpsuits with lattice stitching or sexy cutouts, lace peasant tops and skirts, and sculpted swimwear. Prices range from $150 to $600 for swimwear, and $350 to $2,000 for ready-to-wear.
"L.A. is such an important place to be for fashion, with all the celebrities, and it suits our brand," said Nicky Zimmermann, dressed in a printed puff sleeve blouse and printed skirt from the Resort 2016 collection. "Plus, I love it. I've been coming here for 20 years. I love the vintage shopping," she said, name-checking Shareen downtown and The Way We Wore on La Brea Avenue as favorites. "It's nice to come from New York and the intensity there and stop off here to get back into the Australian mode on the way home."
She founded the business in 1991 in Sydney, making her first pieces—blouses and dresses she hand-embroidered with Mexican–inspired florals—in her parents' garage to sell at local flea markets. When Australian Vogue featured them, suddenly she was in business with orders pouring in. She brought on her sister Simone to run the marketing side, and eventually her husband, Chris Olliver, who is CEO.
Now, there are 17 stores in Australia, where Zimmermann has become the country's most successful fashion export with a reported $50 million-plus in international sales. In 2011, the brand opened its first U.S. boutique in L.A. on Robertson Boulevard; stores in New York City, Long Island and East Hampton followed. Since 2013, Zimmerman has been showing at New York Fashion Week.
The store fits in well on Melrose Place, just down the street from cool-girl spots Isabel Marant and A.P.C., as well as luxe labels The Row and Marni. What I like most about Zimmerman's clothes is that they are resort-y, but sophisticated enough for the city. And although many of the styles are sweet, with delicate prints and eyelet details, they don't look like they are made just for 12-year-olds.
The brand has developed a strong celebrity following. (When the Duchess of Cambridge visited Australia last year, she wore a white lace Zimmermann dress and crashed the label's website.)
At Wednesday's party, Chanel Iman ditched the dress she came in, changing into a burgundy Zimmermann gown with two thigh-high slits and posing for an impromptu photo shoot outside the dressing room. Kelly made sure to meet the boutique sales staff, asking them to pull together a few pieces for her to try on the next morning, as soon as the store opened. Caroline Vreeland also stopped by. "I chose the simplest thing," she said of her black slip dress. "I was feeling a 1990s Gwyneth Paltrow moment." Check, Zimmermann can do that too.
Zimmermann, 8468 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, (323) 746-5456. Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday noon to 6 p.m.