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Zambesi discusses the importance of commercial partnerships

  • Design
  • August 29, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Zambesi discusses the importance of commercial partnerships

New Zealand designer Zambesi is celebrating its 40thyear in business with an offsite New Zealand Fashion Week show tonight. The label has partnered with rideshare company Ola in an activation which will see Ola cars and drivers ‘dressed’ in a bespoke adaption of its tile print during the week.

The promotion will also give passengers the opportunity to win a share of $50,000 worth of prizes which include fashion show tickets, Zambesi apparel and a styling session with Zambesi designers Elisabeth Findlay and Dayne Johnston.

The designers and co-founders took a moment to share more about the partnership with Ola.

Can you tell us about how commercial partnerships, such as this project with Ola, fit into Zambesi’s business model?

 To be in business for 40 years, you have to explore all opportunities presented to you. With each partnership, you’re challenged to create something which will resonate with a new audience. Our partnership with Ola for New Zealand Fashion Week was a way to engage and excite a wider audience in an unexpected way.

How did you go about selecting the creative in a way that honoured both brands?

 The gothic tile print we have used for the Ola x Zambesi collaboration was first hand-painted on a silk dress by one of our seamstresses about 20 years ago. Sophie Findlay, our in-house graphic designer, was inspired by the print and has since adapted it to our wrapping paper, postcards and clothing. It is becoming an iconic Zambesi print and we felt it was the perfect way to integrate the two brands creating a stylish synergy.

What are some key considerations Kiwi designers should keep in mind when they embark on commercial partnerships like this?

We believe collaborations are all about thinking creatively and thoughtfully in order to stand out. A couple of things to keep in mind is to make sure the partnership is based on a clear fit and that you are developing something – either a product, service or experience – that delivers value for your collective target audience.

Can you drop some hints about what attendees can expect from Zambesi’s runway show at Fashion Week?

We can’t really say anything ahead of the show, as everything is still under wraps. But there has been a lot of anticipation and intrigue about how we’re going to showcase the Winter 2020 collection at Auckland’s Central City Library.

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