ABOUT ZOE ALEXANDER UK
How did it all start?
We met in Italy in 2001, yes, la bell'Italia, and it was very much love at first sight! We travelled together, lived and worked in several countries, enjoyed the new foods, fascinating cultures and exciting lifestyles, sampled delicious new cuisine, learnt new tongue twisting languages, crammed a whole lifetime's experiences into barely a decade!
And Zoe Alexander UK?
During Adriana's pregnancy we knew we wanted to spend the formative years with our daughter so a major re-think was needed for career choice! Adriana's teenage dreams of creating a fashion clothing brand had never gone away so we thought - It's now or never!
We had both grown up in single parent families, without a father figure, which had left a vacuum in our lives. The absence of a father leaves its emotional mark forever. Those childhood moments coming to terms with not being able to share daily activities, let alone achievements and milestones, meant there was always something missing. This shared experience has made us very close to each other, working well together, enabling us to be strong, focussed and determined. So we were determined our daughter should have both of us as much as humanly possible.
After the birth of your daughter?
At barely 2 months old, the three of us were back travelling again to find suppliers, manufacturers, fabrics, accessories, everything we were going to need to start this exciting new brand. We re-trained, learned new skills,met many interesting, dynamic people, added some extra vocabulary to our already varied language base, and little by little Zoe Alexander started to take shape.
And the company name?
Well, we had decided on the names Zoe and Alexander during pregnancy to cover both options for our first child, who is Zoe! So when it came to choosing a strong name for our brand it seemed the natural choice. Now the pressure is on to have a son, Alexander!
And so to the fashion maternity brand?
While so much of clothing manufacturing happens on assembly lines abroad we are proud to design and manufacture our brand here in the UK. Our commitment to top quality craftsmanship is second to none. With every individual garment, a designer, a tailor and a seamstress is involved here in the UK. It takes time, patience, skill, devotion to detail; the kind of time only an in-house bespoke process can provide to create pieces that are a labour of love.
During research we were amazed at the wide variation in sizing, which helped us choose to offer "made to measure", limited edition collections. We had originally started the manufacturing operation abroad but we encountered difficulties, especially maintaining quality of the finished garment. This made us move the complete operation back to the UK.
We love the feel of the fabrics, the gorgeous colours, interesting textures, the myriad shades, tones and hues. To see the design evolve from an idea, to paper, then into a pattern creates such a buzz of excitement. Seeing the pattern chalked out, hearing the scissors snip through the beautiful fabric, seeing how it cuts, the buzz of the machines, piecing the garment together and putting those all important finishing touches. The hiss of the steam iron as the garment is pressed, the rustle of the gift wrapping tissue as the garment is placed in its gift packaging, before winging its way to its final destination.
Then the icing on the cake is the unification of garment with owner and the email back with comments of joy, how well they feel, how well the garmet fits; the satisfaction is second to none!
The craftmanship and attention to detail that goes into each of Zoe Alexander's garments is a true testament to our love of creating inspired high impact styles made to meet and exceed a fashion savvy woman's needs for her wardrobe.
Steve and Adriana Walkington