top of page
  • Writer's pictureSasha Huang

From Portraitures to Fashion Design: The Artistic Odyssey of Zoë Zimmer


Zoë Zimmer's story is one of self-discovery and artistic transformation. A mere fifteen years old when she stepped into the world of modelling, seven years later, she found herself behind the flashing lens— as a portrait photographer. Her unwavering passion for expression and exploration paved her path to being featured in publications like Volt, EXIT, and British Vogue. Her lens captured the essence of celebrated figures, including the legendary Morgan Freeman.

Yet, Zimmer's journey didn't stop there, venturing into the realm of photo-based graphic art, overseeing the entire creative process from concept to production. Her collaborations extended beyond photography to brand advertising and album artwork for renowned recording artists, even earning the admiration of Brit Award winner Jack Garratt.

In 2023, a new chapter in her creative narrative began when Zoë ventured into the world of fashion design, founding the women's brand the 87. With a focus on textile design, she added yet another dimension to her artistic repertoire. In this interview, the accomplished talent shares with us some notes on her mesmerising story.

1. How has your childhood influenced who you are today?

More than anything, my childhood was a lot of fun, and I think that really instilled this idea in me that life, and what you put into it and get out of it, should be enjoyed.

I grew up in central London, which in my opinion is the best city in the world, and I was always surrounds by creative things and people, so I was lucky enough to witness from a young age that work didn’t have to be something you hated. It was possible to turn doing what you love into your job, and therefore keep enjoying it, so becoming some kind of artist always just felt like a given to me - I think my parents would have been more surprised if I announced I wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer!

2. How would you describe your work ethic?

The main thing I focus on when I go into creating something new is to go about it intentionally, so I have a clear idea of what I want it to be about before I start. I sketch and pull references and do mock ups - for me personally, the attention to detail in the planning process is important.

3. How would you define your style or work as a designer?

Much like my own personal style, I like things to have a classic and timeless feel to them. I’m not interested in trends or whats technically “in fashion” or not. I actually care very little about current fashion itself, but I care immensely about good style which I think is something that has core principles that don’t change just because something’s trending or not. Whether it’s clothes or furniture or art, I like things to be well made, well designed and something I want to keep for longer than a season.

"I think graphics and graphic art serve as such a barometer of the era, which I love."

- Zoë Zimmer

4. What do you love about graphics as a means of expression?

I think graphics and graphic art serve as such a barometer of the era, which I love.

If you look at work by Alexey Brodovitch for Harper’s Bazaar in the 30’s, or Herbert Bayer who studied at Bauhaus in the 20’s, or font by Herb Lubalin in the 70’s - its all so evocative of the time it was created, not just in terms of the aesthetic style, but also of the political and social climate of the era, which of course varies depending on what country the artist was in at the time. It makes the design something that’s not only beautiful, but also historical.

I think whether its typography or design, most people can at least vaguely recognise when something was created and get a feel for that particular moment in history, which makes it a really immersive and accessible art form.

5. How has being a graphic artist influenced your approach to your collection THE 87?

Starting The 87 was a real curveball for me. It wasn’t something I had been planning, and was originally just meant to be a little side hustle in order to try something new.

I had never considered designing textiles, but once I started I could see how much the graphic artists I admire were influencing what I was designing.

To be honest, more than thinking about the collection as a graphic artist, I focused more on the kind of prints I would want to wear myself and what I felt was missing from the women’s resortwear market, then used what I know as a graphic artist to make them a reality.

6. What is your creative process?

My career has taken quite a lot of turns in different directions, so at this point I’ve come to embrace the fact that my creative process is a bit of a mess really!

Every project is different, which means I approach them differently every time. What is always the same however, is that I go through long periods of inaction where I tell myself I’m doing “research”, but really I’m just doom scrolling on instagram and going to art galleries for fun. This is followed by periods where I feel incredibly motivated and I sit at my desk day after day for twelve hours straight, powering through whatever I’m working on and sustaining myself with true crime podcasts and Uber Eats.

I used to beat myself up for feeling unproductive in the spaces between creating things, but I think this process of having creativity and inspiration come to you in waves isn’t uncommon in artists, and for me, the downtime is just as important as the hustle.

"My career has taken quite a lot of turns in different directions, so at this point I’ve come to embrace the fact that my creative process is a bit of a mess really!"

- Zoë Zimmer

7. What are you working on right now?

Right now I’m mainly focusing on next years designs for The 87, and am planning some collaborations around that too, which I’m excited about.


All imagery is provided by Storm Artist Management.

Website: | Instagram:


bottom of page