GFW: How would you describe your aesthetic and what are the inspirations behind it?
JHZ: The core ideal on which I base my label, JH Zane, is on that of feminism. The typical JH Zane woman is honest, direct and contemporary yet still possesses a seductive nature. My design aesthetic is very androgynous, it is chic and quirky but with elements of practicality. I like my designs to mirror my ideal customer, straightforward and edgy.
I have three main sources of inspiration. In terms of the style of my designs I am inspired by culture, fine art inspires the fabrication and shapes within my designs and photography inspires the mood of my collections.
GFW: How was your experience studying at Winchester School of Art?
JHZ: Studying at Winchester School of Art provided me with the greatest experience. WSA does not have a very big campus, however, the facilities which it provides are phenomenal. During my degree, with the help of all of the university technicians, I was able to explore all potential avenues of fashion and textile design.
Although you cannot compare Winchester with London, it is one of the most beautiful, historical cities that the UK has to offer. Feeling isolated, away from the big crowded city definitely allowed me to be more creative.
GFW: How did your experience at university prepare you and help you to enter the fashion industry?
JHZ: Whilst at university we had visits from guest lecturers who would share their industry experience with us as students and give us tips on how to face the real world of fashion. This contact with industry professionals helped me to gain in confidence as a designer.
I gained practical skills and had the time to experiment and use new techniques. Being able to utilise the universities facilities most definitely put me in a fantastic position to enter the fashion industry.
During my studies, I also completed a number of professional work placements, this gave me invaluable first hand experience of the fashion industry before I had even graduated, I would recommend work placements to all design students as it is these experiences that are so important when embarking on your own career.
GFW: Since graduating, how do you feel you have developed as a designer?
JHZ: I have realised that I wasn’t paying enough attention to the business of fashion. Once you become a real designer you immediately have your own business and you need to ensure that you get the balance right, both creatively and logistically. As I am a young designer I am still trying to find that perfect balance for my label, however I am confident that through my own life experience I will learn to get it just right for me, I am a strong believer in patience and persistence.
GFW: What advice would you give to anyone else looking to enter the fashion industry?
JHZ: Confidence is the key to success. Do not easily compromise and never stop pushing yourself to the limit. Most importantly, be patient and never give up on what you believe in.
GFW: What does the future hold for JH Zane?
JHZ: At the moment I am concentrating on my womenswear collection and in a couple of years time as my brand develops I am hoping to launch a menswear line.
Interview by Charlotte Muscat, Contributor.
Images, courtesy of JH Zane.
Article from: http://www.gfw.org.uk/ 16 / 04 / 2014