Have you discovered Zooki Melbourne yet? This cool, funky Australian brand recently launched and I for one am super excited! The brand is best described in the words of Mel – the designer – in our recent interview…
1. Tell us about the philosophy behind ZOOKI…
ZOOKI is my artistic expression. The name is a combination of two words: ‘zoo’, a collection of designs for public display, and ‘ki’ (chi), which is the circulating life force that is the basis of Chinese philosophy. It is a tribute to my Australian / Chinese-Malaysian dual heritage. As I design and craft jewellery and accessories that reflects my current mood and lifestyle, it’s a completely a self-indulgent hobby! I will always consider ZOOKI as a hobby and never a business, as once I start thinking in terms of margins and stock turn and pricing strategies, then the passion dies and I just become another ‘retailer’ in cyber space. I craft everything in small quantities because I appreciate preserving the exclusivity of the piece, and I use a combination of new and rescued textiles. Repurposing rescued textiles is part of my #threadrescueproject – saving one garment at a time from ending up in landfill. ZOOKI is: minimal, chic, textured, inventive, fun and honest.
2. Who are your style icons?
My modern style icons are Olivia Palermo, Alexa Chung and Miranda Kerr – all for different reasons. I find Olivia’s art of layering textures and silhouettes inspiring and she has impeccable taste in shoes. Alexa’s cool and nonchalant approach to fashion is refreshing and I love that she can poke fun at herself and not take the whole thing so seriously. And I love Miranda’s classic, chic and sophisticated style, and that you can easily mimic her look without spending a fortune.
3. What are some of your style tips for this winter?
My style is rather low-fuss and is dictated by a toddler. So what works for me is dressing for warmth and in anything that allows for movement. So that usually means pairing leggings or jeans with a loose shirt and a lazy knit. However, I am convicted by the following winter staples: a classic tailored trench or coat in black or camel – these two colours go with anything and everything. Stretchy long sleeve body-con knits that can be layered under or over shirts and dresses. Black opaque tights. And ankle boots. These four items are mixed and matched with practically everything in my wardrobe – even the summer delicates that get a winter showing simply by layering with knits, coat, tights and boots.
4. What are some of your favourite ZOOKI pieces / best sellers?
If I had to pick an absolute favourite, it would be the first piece that I created – the ZOOKI knot choker. I love the architecture of the knot – simple, understated and beautiful. I love that you can glam up the choker or keep it casual. And it’s versatile – style as a solo, or layer with delicate chains, and wear with a blazer, open shirt, or under the collar for a bit of man-styling.
Best sellers would include the ZOOKI duo link bracelets that come with either a wool charm or embossed leather charm. These are beautiful pieces that look great on their own or can easily be layered with other bracelets and bangles.
5. What is the Thread Rescue Project all about?
The Thread Rescue Project is my initiative to seek out forgotten, yet quality, garments from second-hand stores and turn them into beautiful accessories to be adopted into homes. Part of my ministry with ZOOKI is to encourage women to rethink their approach to fast fashion and consider swapping a new purchase for a thrifted one every now and then. While textile waste figures in Australia are anecdotal, clothing ending up in landfill is a real first world indulgence. So this initiative is just me doing my bit for the earth – saving one garment at a time.
~ DISCOUNT TIME! ~
20% off for all new ZOOKI orders from now until the end of June!
Simply use the code: TSW20%OFF at the checkout!