“Bigger, Better, and More Leather!” for Zana Bayne

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Models backstage at Zana Bayne. Photo by Sonny Vandevelde. 

Maybe it’s because it’s impossible to resist a cute baby, but more likely the romantic mood and beautiful styling of Zana Bayne’s spring 2015 collection did me in. However I got hooked, I am, and I had the pleasure of speaking with the designer about real life moments on the runway and what’s next for her brand. 

The collection felt like a growth and departure from the strict leather of previous seasons; there’s a lot of depth with the inclusion of the clean white pieces.

I have a totally romantic point of view when it comes to design. A lot of the initial inspiration, with the shirting and shirt dresses [a collaboration with Norisol Ferrari], was this idea of easiness and lightness, being able to bring something softer to leather. Which sometimes can come off really hard. So I wanted to bring something beach-y to the collection. One of the biggest inspirations was moonlit water on the beach at night. What would somebody be wearing in that setting? How would they be feeling?

Look 2

When I watched the show and saw these beautiful looks, it made me want to pack up the collection, move to a house by the water and fall in love… and then the baby at the end felt so perfect for that! I mean, that’s how it works in real life, right? How did the baby come to be in the show?

The model is Mollie Gondi, and that was her baby. I just thought it’d be a really beautiful way to end this romantic, fantastical show. I wasn’t really thinking so much about the symbolism as I was about the visual of just how impactful that would be. I like for people to draw their own narrative from having them [Mollie and baby Phoenix] in there. But I wanted it to be a really pretty, spring summer collection! I didn’t really realize how much having baby Phoenix at the end would really resonate with people. And it’s unexpected for a leather collection.

Look 25

There have been a few moments like that this season, where it’s not strictly models on the runway. Dustin Yellin walked at Nonoo giving his best white girl impression. That obviously had more humor and was less about symbolism… Travi$ Scott basically roughhoused down the runway at Mark McNairy. At your show, when cooed at the same time it was so funny.

I saw it over the monitor!

It was a nice connecting moment, everyone laughed at themselves after.

Yeah I think people are trying to find a way to bring more life to runway, and hearken back to the ‘90s runway where there was personality and a story. We’re all kind of trying to find a way to escape the fast walk and the same pacing. For me I love a little bit of attitude and sassiness… but even with the Gareth Pugh presentation, that’s another person trying to take something off the runway.

Opening Ceremony put on a play.

It’s something really special for people at the show. It’s a moment you’re experiencing.

What’s next, what do you hope happens for your brand?

After this we go into sales, bring everything to Paris…. Checking out the tannery over in Amsterdam, hopefully working on some leather innovations there. Visiting my friend who just had a baby — another reason why I had Phoenix in the show. I think in October we’re back in New York and starting on the new collection! I’m making pieces for a film this next week. I did a special installation for a fitness studio called Monster Cycle.

I’m really interested in focusing on the collection of handbags. There were five new styles for the show. We’re working on those. I’m trying to secure myself in as a luxury accessories label.

It does not stop from here. I’m glad it doesn’t stop. Bigger, better, and more leather!