He’s often celebrated as a prodigy in the fashion world, and no wonder.
Zac Posen was barely 21 when he established his own label and founded his firm in 2001. A year later, he staged his debut runway show in New York with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour in the front row – and she liked what she saw.
There’s been no stopping the young and talented American designer since.
Fast-forward to today, Posen has survived all the hype. The 31-year-old now boasts a very loyal A-list celebrity following that includes Natalie Portman, Kate Winslet, Claire Danes and Gwyneth Paltrow, just to name a few.
But beneath the glitz and glamour lies a simple man – one who looks forward to “cooking a good meal” or “making a friend happy” at the end of the day.
Posen took Yahoo! Singapore backstage after his Audi Fashion Festival show – his first in Singapore and in Asia – to share his love for Asia and Asian women, and how he copes with the pressures that come with fame and success.
It’s your first time in Singapore and you’re leaving in a few days. What impressions of Singapore are you taking back with you?
I’m very inspired by the land and the greenery, which is quite overwhelming and lush. I’m also gonna take away the level at which “the new lady society of Singapore” dresses up and represents their own personal style, character and glamour. It’s [also] very inspiring for me as a designer.
Why did you choose to come to Singapore for your first Asian show?
Because it’s an incredible market, it’s fast-growing and it’s one of the main centres of Asia. And I was invited. It was a huge honour and opportunity, so I took the pleasure to come and be able to present the collection. I think it’s the beginning of me spending a lot of time in Asia, designing for Asian women and being inspired by them.
What’s your take on Asian fashion?
Well, I think during the day – as it is all over the world – it’s a very casual thing. It’s very informed by the weather, and here in Singapore I think it’s a little bit quirkier than in the rest of the world. And then in the evening, the women are dressing and they’re putting on their best look forward, which is so exciting.
What’s especially exciting for you in fashion now?
I’m really interested in digital pattern-making and 3D printing. I hope I can incorporate that at some point into my work, into timelessness, elegance, things that feel like they’re nostalgic from the past but have a present-day sophistication.
You come up with collections season after season. Aren’t you afraid that you’ll run out of ideas one day?
Never. You find new inspiration every day from the smallest thing, whether it’s looking at the colours of plants that I’m seeing on the side of the street… and you take your time, you’ll find your work over and over again as a journey. You don’t need to reinvent yourself every second. You wanna create things that are timeless and classic.
We’ve seen your beautiful pieces on so many celebrity style icons – Natalie Portman, Kate Winslet, Rihanna… Is there anyone else you hope to see your dress on next?
I’d love to dress Fan Bing Bing.
I think she’s, right now, representing great style and creating an iconic look – a new dressed-up Asia for the world. And I think that’s very important, very exciting to watch.
Will you make that happen anytime soon?
We’ll see. I let people find their way to me and to my studio and to my clothing. I don’t pay celebrities to wear my clothing, I don’t believe in that; I think it should be something personal.
You’re only 31, and already one of the youngest and most successful designers the fashion world has seen. How did you do it?
I work really hard, and I take great pride and care in what I do. Fashion is very collaborative, you work with a team. I’ve a wonderful team; it’s my family that I work with every day and I love everyone, from my sewers to my pattern-makers to my assistants. I’m a workaholic and a perfectionist, but I do know that I take joy in [my work].
Did you actually plan to be this successful this early in life?
I think for me, I judge success differently. When I have a good day in my office or in my studio, or if I cook a good meal or make a friend happy, that’s really true success. And I think once you reach a goal, a good thing in life, then the goal gets a little higher for yourself. But success comes from happiness, and from trying to spread that with the people around you. Food, friends and family, those are the important things.
But how do you deal with the fame? Does it take a toll on you sometimes?
It has its moments and I definitely have learnt a lot starting so young. And at times, it was very overwhelming or intense. I really like to go home and cook, that’s how I deal with it; all my anxiety goes out. Going food shopping in Japan or spending one day in Kyoto totally revived me, and was a new inspiration. I’m an artist, it’s creative, so instead of letting it overwhelm (me), I feel that it’s an amazing opportunity to be able to create every day. The other part of it is my responsibility to be a positive role model – I’m the face of my company so I hope that that’s a positive message.
Food shopping in Japan! How often do you hope to come to Asia?
As much as I can. I hope that we can grow our business in a way because I live for my work, that’s what it’s about for me. So as much as I can and as much as the business grows. I’m such a fan of Asia and I love the women and I like how the clothing looks on them. So as the Z Spoken collection grows here, I hope to be coming a lot.
Last month, a South Korean named Ju Hong heckled President Obama during a speech in San Francisco, wanting him to do more on immigration reform and saying the President should stop breaking up families with deportations. Being heckled has become an American Presidential tradition – but there can be consequences for the outbursts. In 2008, during a news conference in Baghdad, an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at then-President George W. Bush, calling him a “dog.” The journalist was later sentenced to three years in jail. And in 1982, when a Republican Congressional candidate interrupted Ronald Reagan during a speech to protest some of Reagan’s policies, Reagan fired back at the heckler and told him to, “Shut up!” The world of sports has an equally rich heckling tradition. At Duke University, a group of around 1,200 students, who attend basketball games at Cameron Indoor Stadium, are nicknamed the “Cameron Crazies” because they relentlessly taunt opposing players, with lines like, “You let the whole team down,” and “Past your bedtime.” But the tradition, which is believed to be around 30 years old, has also received criticism, like when an opposing player this past February claimed the fans were mocking his dead grandma. In pro basketball, director Spike Lee sits courtside at New York Knicks’ games and frequently heckles opposing players. But what goes around comes around: after heckling Indiana Pacer player Reggie Miller, Miller taunted back after he scored eight points in 11 seconds to beat the Knicks in a 1995 playoff game. No doubt Spike Lee learned a lesson President Obama already knows well – when it comes to heckling, it’s much better to give than receive.
“omg! Insider” correspondent Nina Parker sat down with former “Basketball Wives” star Evelyn Lozada who’s speaking out for the first time since pictures surfaced showing off her very pregnant baby bump. Evelyn has managed to keep her pregnancy quiet for the past 6 months, but now she’s opening up about everything from her past indiscretions to her new start with a new man. So who is her new man?
“omg! Insider” co-anchor Thea Andrews sat down with the wives of A&E’s hit show, “Duck Dynasty” for a spot of tea and a lot of girl talk. Korie, Missy, and Jessica opened up about their marriages, whether or not they would ever leave cable TV’s number one reality show, and also revealed a warning they received from one of the show’s camera men about the impact fame can have on a family. But the clan has stayed united and has proved that putting family values first, pays off!
“omg! Insider” special correspondent Carly Steel caught up with all the stars of “American Hustle” on Sunday and got the inside scoop on the film’s wild hairdo’s! Bradley Cooper spent three hours in hair and makeup every day to get those tight curls and Christian Bale actually shaved his head to pull off his character’s comb over ‘do. So who should win the Oscar for Best Supporting Hair? Co-star Jeremy Renner weighed in, casting his vote for Cooper.
Zac Posen: Asian women inspire meBy Ang Kaifong | Fashion Season News – Tue, May 22, 2012 2:28 AM SGT
He’s often celebrated as a prodigy in the fashion world, and no wonder.
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