Zia Lozen is a luxury ready-to-wear label boasting bold colours, exotic prints and effortlessly elegant silhouettes. While it may be the new kid on the fashion block, the Zia Lozen name is synonymous with a timeless and classic aesthetic. Each Zia Lozen piece is a statement, made with luxurious natural fabrics and adorned with intricate embellishments.
Designer and owner Zia Gregor is passionate about crafting something truly special for the woman who loves a little luxury in her life, and she's not shy when it comes to colour either. Zia recently stepped away from her silk-laden studio to share a little more about her self titled Melbourne-made label, and why she cares so much about sustainability...
What does being ethical mean to you?
Ethical fashion to me is about designing and manufacturing clothes in a way that cares for people and communities, whilst also minimising the impact on the environment. I believe we have a moral and social obligation to ensure our practices are ethical, and I hope one day this will be the business norm, rather than a ‘niche’. At the most rudimentary level, this is ensuring that the manufacturers and suppliers we work with provide a fair living wage and safe working conditions for their employees.
Starting out in a completely new industry with no contacts meant it was a long journey of discovery to find the right people to partner with. We tested several makers in Australia before we felt comfortable moving forward with our manufacturing from both a quality and ethics perspective. It is important to me to have a close working relationship with my maker, and I love being able to drop by the factory and chat through sample changes face to face or to see my pieces being cut for production and ask questions along the way. Our maker is based locally in Melbourne and has been in operation for over 25 years; they work with a range of ethically-approved Australian labels which was a great comfort to me. Not only are we proud to support Australian craftsmanship, but we can also ensure a quality product made under good working conditions.
What does being sustainable mean to you?
At Zia Lozen we are guided by the principle of creating beautiful timeless pieces which we hope women will treasure for many years. We believe that sustainability involves making conscious decisions at each stage of the design process, from the quality and fit of our styles, the fabrics we use and the quantities we produce. Our sustainability approach is built around three pillars; timeless style, natural fibres and a lighter footprint.
Our aim is to create timeless, versatile, keepsake pieces, which our customer will treasure and wear for many years - encouraging women to live by the ethos of 'buy less, buy better'. Design consideration, fit, quality and longevity are key to ensuring a garment will remain fashionable and wearable, helping our customer to create a wardrobe of fewer, more versatile pieces, which she can wear with confidence again and again.
Premium natural fabrics are an integral element of our collections and something I am not willing to compromise on. Not only are they kinder on the environment but I also love how they feel on the body, the sense of luxury they provide and also how wearable and breathable they are.
We also have a focus on intentional small-run manufacturing, this means each style is made in very limited quantities reducing the amount of excess inventory held. We are not concerned with conforming to traditional fashion retail calendars and producing multiple collections each year. Instead, we choose to release new styles and collections when we feel it is right and as demand from our community grows.
What challenges have you faced being an ethical and sustainable brand?
The main challenges for us were firstly finding the right suppliers to work with, who aligned with our values and who were willing to work with a start-up and low minimum order quantities. The second biggest and ongoing challenge is balancing the cost of producing small collections locally and using high-quality natural fabrics whilst still being competitive from a price perspective in the market. Not all suppliers will work with you on small order numbers and this does understandably affect the price you pay, for both the make of the product and the materials used. In the end, I was lucky to find suppliers who were able to work with me on my requirements, although this did take quite some time and a bit of trial and error along the way!
If you could create a capsule wardrobe for anyone in the world, who would it be and what would you put in it?
I don’t have any one person in mind when I design. Of course, it would be amazing to see a celebrity wearing my pieces from a publicity point of view but ultimately I design for the discerning woman who is looking to build a wardrobe of effortless and feminine statement pieces which she can treasure and wear with confidence for many years.
I hope to encourage women to live a little more boldly and express their own unique sense of style by playing around with colour, prints and feminine silhouettes. I think too often we are afraid of dressing up and being seen or standing out however our style and what we choose to wear every day is one of the most powerful and obvious forms for self-expression we have. When we wear clothing that encourages us to be a little bolder and aligns with who we are there can be an extraordinary transformation in how we are seen in the world. We expand into spaces, we stand a little taller, we smile a little more, we feel more confident, we move with more grace and joy and we are more powerful in our interactions with those around us.
When designing my collection I wanted to create beautiful statement pieces that were easy to wear, felt luxurious on the body and could be mixed and matched with your favourite wardrobe essentials. I love combining a statement piece with my favourite pair of jeans and then dressing my look up or down depending on the occasion with jewellery and accessories.
Support Australian made fashion and shop the Zia Lozen luxury loungewear range here.
The Fashion Advocate x