This label’s moniker comes from designer Christina “Zuzu” Kim’s nickname her grandmother gave her for a sound she used to make as a small child. It also brings to mind the child Zuzu Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Kim, a self-trained professional classic pianist, started creating her own styles to wear during her stage performances, seeking comfortable, elegant clothing that she couldn’t find anywhere else. Entering the suite where Kim presented her tightly edited, four-season exclusive collection Wednesday at The Empire Hotel, fittingly across from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, it sounded like we were being treated to the recorded sounds of perhaps Glenn Gould. It all started making perfect sense.
While the clothes are not at retail yet, they are available for private orders. A bronze and black asymmetrically draped silk dress, elegantly criss-crossing at the bodice and falling floor length on one side, would make for a perfect red carpet or Avery Fisher Hall stage moment. The portrait collared coat with leather sleeves – sophisticated and edgy – would be a great statement piece when one must look amazing in the cold, perhaps while waiting for the paparazzi to finish their performance.
Kim also showed a pair of metallic-shot textured silk and wool shorts with a matching pieced blazer – adorable, yet grown up enough for any up-and-coming young actress hitting the “runways” of awards shows. Leather piecing played a role in many of Kim’s pieces, especially a fuchsia gown with a leather and lace trompe l’oeil bustier top. Silk charmeuse had a bit of stretch to it. Every piece looked elegant and easy to wear.
Some very interesting facts about this young designer: Kim has a repertoire of worldwide experience as the daughter of the former South Korean Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. She studied fashion and fabrics at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, starting her own atelier during that time. She later joined Mary McFadden in New York, where she was appointed head designer within one year. Kim told us she loves silk charmeuse and is known for her tuxedo pants suits, modeling for us the ivory rendition she was wearing that featured a flattering peplum of pleats in the back.
Brava, Ms “Zuzu” Kim, brava!