What do Nicole Richie, Sienna Miller and Kate Moss have in common? Their chic boho style of course! And now, with thanks to fashion label Mister Zimi, you too can achieve the bohemian look with a VIP experience!
In 2007, Aussie designer Zoe Paul took a holiday trip to Bali with her husband Jimi. After playing around with a few sketches of her perfect leather jacket whilst lazing about the beach, she finally decided to take her ideas to a local tailor.
Five days and far too many cocktails later, a package with her custom made creations arrived at their villa, addressed to ‘Mister Zimi’ with her custom-made creations all bundled up – and the rest, as they say is history!
With everything from her signature leather jackets, gypsy skirts and Woodstock style boots, Zoe, now based in Bali, brings fashionistas the opportunity to order their own custom made items online and have them shipped back home – just like she did four years ago.
We catch up with Zoe to learn more about her unique Balinese range…
How did your fashion label Mister Zimi get started?
Mister Zimi actually started by accident! If someone had told me 4 years ago I would be living in Bali working on my own fashion label I would have told them pigs might fly!! So, back to the story... I have been coming to Bali for about 8 years and I started to design and make my own leather goods. I made a cropped feminine style leather jacket over here and I had so many people asking me could I make one for them. So I started to come to Bali every time I could get time off from my normal job and do orders for friends, then their friends, and it just kept going. Now Mister Zimi does everything from leather jackets, to silk clothing, bags, sandals, boots, bikinis and we are going to be launching our children’s wear line at the end of the year!
What is the inspiration behind it?
I am mainly inspired to create designs from my bohemian Balinese lifestyle combined with the 60' and 70's eras. They have always been my favourites and I have lots of vintage clothing that helps me to think of new ways to make an older style become more modern. All our clothing is feminine and transeasonal.
Why is it unique?
Mister Zimi is unique because we offer a transeasonal range twice a year that is not so on trend that you cannot wear the same items two years later. A lot of our designs we repeat each year and change the colours as they have been so popular. I also hold pop up shops around Australia where people come and try on the styles, sizes and choose their own colours from my sample book. This works really well as its gives people an opportunity to become a little bit of a designer themselves and they love it! It also is good for the customers who do not feel comfortable ordering online to come in and try before they buy. Mister Zimi's online store is difference as well, it’s not a matter of choosing your item and plugging in your credit card details. I wanted to bring the personal experience back into online shopping. So ordering is done via email and I work with the customers to work out what style, size and colours would suit them best. It’s great and allows me to develop a relationship with my customers. I have made lots of great new friends from this online email banter!
What are your three must-have wardrobe items?
Ok well all of them are Mister Zimi and they are all right now in my life. One is my Mimi boots, I love them, I have them in 4 different colours and wear whichever colour suits my mood that day. And yes I wear them in Bali, I can’t miss out on weather boots just because I live in the tropics. The second is my gypsy skirts... I love putting them over a one piece bathing suit or with a cropped tee. The last is my trusty black willow jacket, whenever I travel back to Australia, I literally do not take the thing off! It’s old and soft now and has moulded to my body like a second skin.
What’s the best part of your job?
Best part of my job is constantly challenging myself and working really hard to achieve results for my own business rather than someone else's. I love being my own boss and the work ethic I have developed since being so. Also because my business partner and the guy I sit next to in the office is my husband! It’s pretty fun.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
If you want something go for it! So glad I took that advice! Otherwise I wouldn’t be here.
Who is your style icon and why?
Can I say a few? Sienna Miller has always been an inspiration, Kate Moss (of course!), and at the moment, I’m loving Blake Lively. Oh, and I’ve always loved Bridgette Bardot!
Even though you now live in beautiful Bali where the sun is permanently shining, what are your top winter fashion tips for our readers?
Layers!! Jackets, Jumpers, Scarves, Leggings, Socks... Anything... Layer it up!! Looks so great and I’m super jealous I can’t do it over here!
Check out the Mister Zimi collection at www.misterzimi.com