The Luxury Channel talks to fashion photographer and former model Zoë Zimmer….
What made you make the leap from modelling to fashion photography?
Modelling was something I did for the experience. I’m so happy I did it, but I’m even happier that I stopped doing it. From the start, I knew there was a sell-by date on it, and therefore on me – having to tell clients I was 18 when I was 21 didn’t seem like the healthiest thing to be doing! Having said that, I met some amazing people as a model that were incredibly kind and supportive when I started working as a photographer. There just came a point where I knew I wanted to do something else, and fast (patience is not one of my finer qualities) and one night at 3am in LA, I decided I might want to be a photographer.
Which British model, in your opinion will be ‘‘the face’’ of London Fashion Week this season?
Probably either Eliza Cummings or Edie Campbell….awesome, awesome faces.
Describe your dream outfit and the designers you would approach to pull a look together?
I rarely leave the house without heels and something leather: jacket, trousers, skirt, dress – I don’t care, I’ll wear it! – and I had a fairly serious love affair with Burberry Prorsum last season, as well as Mark Fast’s recent collection.
You recently shot a bill-board campaign for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights featuring celebrities such as Morgan Freeman and the LA Lakers. What was it like to photograph such cultural icons?
The UDHR campaign was such an amazing thing to do. I got to work with my very good, and incredible friend Bonnie Abaunza (the world would literally fall apart without her) on something that was so totally foreign to me, and so far away from the fashion industry. With human rights work, everyone is so involved and dedicated to help the cause, and it’s great to see how that kind of campaign is put together. Plus, I’m used to being one of the tallest people in the room, so spending time with the Lakers was a new experience for me.
What inspires you now?
This is hard to answer without sounding pretentious. Living between two cities is constantly interesting – the difference in the people, weather, fashion and architecture – is all-inspiring. But for the most part, I feel like I’m influenced by the aesthetics of different eras – particularly in America. This is normally effected by whatever music I’m listening to, or book I’m reading, or what movie I just watched. Anywhere from the 50s to the 90s, and various cultural icons throughout.
You split your time between London and LA. Which city is more fashion forward?
London. LA has it’s own awesome thing going on once you wade through all the Abercrombie & Fitch wearers, but London is more diverse, which I assume is down to the combination of a prominent fashion industry and real seasons.
You were recently featured in Vogue magazine as one of London’s bright young things. What was it like being photographed for them?
Pretty damn cool. The whole situation seemed fairly surreal until I actually saw the magazine in front of me – and it’s lead to some pretty great things since. It was the first time I had really been in front of the camera since I had quit modelling, and it felt a little too familiar! But the photos were awesome. Matt Irwin pointed out that I look like Elvira Mistress of the Dark. He’s right, I do. I’ve come to terms with it.
What are your current projects and what is next for Zoë Zimmer?
If I told you, I’d have to kill you.
What is luxury?
Personal space. And anything with truffles on it!