Style Spotlight: Zoë Zimmer
Style Spotlight: Zoë Zimmer

Style Spotlight: Zoë Zimmer

A model at 15, then a photographer, now the owner of resortwear label The 87 – of course Zoë Zimmer knows good style. Here, she shares her influences and inspirations – and reveals a passion for vintage shopping…
By Emma Bigger
Photography: CLEO GLOVER

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How would you describe your style, Zoë?

My personal style is a mix of Robert Palmer’s guitar girl meets Fran Lebowitz. I know this is an unlikely and fairly niche combo, but I’m either wearing something short and black, or an oversized blazer and jeans.

Which designers are in your wardrobe right now?

I’m constantly in the process of clearing out my closet, but despite that I always seem to have far too many clothes. I have a lot of vintage jackets – YSL men’s blazers from the 70s are my favourite. I also love Chanel flats and Manolo Blahnik heels from the 90s. Reformation does perfect summer dresses and linen trousers, and I own more Levi’s than I know what to do with.

So you don’t have any tips for creating a capsule wardrobe then?

My wardrobe is definitely not capsule! As much as being a minimalist would be convenient and economical, I just don’t have it in me. I do, however, travel very light when I go away, so I’d say stick to colours that work well together and pieces that you can mix and match.

Who or what has had the biggest influence on your style?

My mother – I adore how she dressed in the 80s and 90s. We actually dress so similarly that we have to call each other to check we’re not wearing the same thing when we’re going out together.

What’s your favourite piece in your wardrobe?

An old Rolling Stones t-shirt that I fought an Italian tourist for in Portobello market, and my vintage black Kelly bag that has been glued to my hand since I got it.

What’s your go-to look for 2024?

I’ve basically dressed the same way since I was about 21, so I imagine 2024’s look will consist of more black, more blazers and more vintage jewellery.

Is there anything on your new-season wish list?

I love everything Saint Laurent is doing right now. The oversized boxy blazers with the massive shoulders, the jumpsuits and big earrings – it’s so nostalgic and so 80s! So great.

Whose style do you admire?

Diane Keaton’s. It’s been unique and consistent since the 70s, and I always think she looks so damn cool. I bought a lot of waistcoats after I first watched Annie Hall. Plus, I admire anyone who’s so committed to their look that they wear turtlenecks while living in southern Californian heat!

What's the hardest-working piece in your wardrobe?

My many pairs of Levi’s 501s. Old, new, any colour... They go with everything and work any time of year. A true classic. I think I will be in Levi’s forever.

And your favourite brand for a splurge?

I love dressing up, and I think New Arrivals does such great party dresses (I’m partial to the short black ones, of course). I also love Paris Texas boots at the moment. Though most of my splurging is done on Vestiaire these days.

Where do you shop on the high street?

I try not to buy a lot of high-street brands anymore, but when I do I think it should be staple pieces that you’ll keep wearing, like cashmere jumpers from Uniqlo or Converse All Stars – which are actually the only trainers I own. When I was a teenager, I used to live in Topshop (RIP), and occasionally still find the odd thing from there in the back of my closet.

Any under-the-radar brands we should know about?

I love discovering small, unique brands. Right now, I love Le Monde Béryl’s velvet Venetian slippers, and Silvia Astore’s jumpsuits.

What do you like to invest in?

Over the years I have accumulated a lot of vintage jewellery, particularly oversized earrings by Givenchy, Chanel and YSL from the 80s and 90s. I think there are key things that are worth spending more on, like bags, jewellery and shoes, because they can really pull a whole outfit together. No one notices if you’re wearing a t-shirt from Zara that you’ve had since 2009 when your accessories are great.

Which sustainable brands are you loving at the moment?

It’s virtually impossible for a brand to be completely sustainable, as I found out when I created my own, so I think it’s important to focus both on brands that are sustainable in their production methods, as well as brands that use sustainable materials. Bogdar does such fun dresses that are all made to order as well as being produced locally and ethically, which is what I focused on when I started The 87

What’s your shopping philosophy?

Don’t follow trends, and if you can’t see yourself still wearing it in a year’s time, don’t buy it. It’s important to think long term and view everything through a sustainable lens.

Do you have a top style rule?

Everyone looks chic in black. It doesn’t matter where you’re going, what time of day or year it is, you’re never over or underdressed in black. It’s effortlessly chic and makes up a large part of my wardrobe. 

What do you admire in someone else’s style?

When it’s classic and timeless enough that you could drop them in any decade over the last 60 years and they’d fit right in. As much as I appreciate that style and design are a barometer of the era they were created in, I think there are certain things that transcend that, like a well-cut suit or classic watch. Really great style doesn’t age.

What’s the best city for shopping?

It’s probably a cliché to say Paris, but... Paris. I’ve happily spent many hours (and many euros) in amazing vintage shops there, plus all the flea markets of course. I grew up on Portobello Road, so when it comes to markets, I’m a pro at haggling.

If you could swap wardrobes with anyone, who would it be?

90s-era Princess Diana. She always looked so chic, and not just when she dressed up – though I’m pleased to see The Revenge Dress has its very own Wikipedia page. I love her casual blazer/jeans/sweatshirt style too – I totally understand why everyone became obsessed with that look again recently.

Finally, Zoë, do you have a favourite look from the shoot?

The vintage Alaïa jacket. It belonged to a close family friend who passed away, so it’s really special to me. And I love my Elsa Peretti bone cuff and equestrian belt – I think everything she designed is incredible.

Visit and follow @ZZimmer on Instagram.


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