Designer Interview

By: FashWire
Mar 31, 2023 09:52 AM

What inspired you to name your brand?

Lloyd is my maiden name and represents the more classic, sophisticated side of the brand while Ziggy is inspired by my love for Ziggy Stardust and represents the quirkier, more playful side of the brand. I like to describe our jackets as classic with a twist.


What is your earliest design memory for your brand?

Sketching bomber jackets by hand on a long-distance bus ride from Peru to Bolivia when I went on a journey with my husband in search of the best alpaca wool suppliers. I originally wanted to support the local tailoring trade in Bolivia, so I sketched some designs for prototypes. We found a wonderful family-run tailor to make our first prototypes, but it proved to be very problematic to get stuff through Bolivian customs. 


Where do you find inspiration?

Art, cinema, conversations with people, the colorful buildings and streets of Lisbon where I live.


What was your previous work experience before launching your brand?

I've always worked in the fashion world in some capacity. I'm originally from the UK but left after university and moved to Shanghai where I worked as a fashion journalist and copywriter for five years before moving to Buenos Aires, Argentina where I founded my own personal shopping business offering personalized shopping and styling experiences. It was there that I discovered and fell in love with alpaca wool and decided that I wanted to create my own line of pieces with this natural fiber. I used to love styling and dressing people, so I thought, why not design something for them?


“We are conscious of our actions and always exploring ways to improve.”


What sets your brand apart from the rest?

I like to communicate the story behind every detail of our jackets so the wearer can understand the love and craftsmanship that's gone into making each one: from the silky soft alpaca wool fabric that has a unique texture, sheen and is ethically sourced and woven in the Andes of Peru by local communities to our playful limited edition lining artwork designed by a different guest artist each year. Every edition of jackets is made in very small batches in a small atelier just outside of Lisbon, where I live, so I work closely with our team of tailors, so you’re taking home something that is truly limited edition.


Do you have a favorite piece that you have designed? 

 I love The Delaney bomber jacket. It's such a versatile jacket and the texture and softness of the alpaca wool fabric make it great to dress up or down. I enjoy playing around with different color combinations.


What were some hurdles you had to overcome in your business?

I'm a sucker for details and really care about the quality of every material that goes into making our jackets. Finding the right suppliers and getting the supply chain in order were some of the biggest hurdles in the beginning.


How important is sustainability to your brand?

Sustainability is such a buzzword right now and so many brands are being criticized for greenwashing. Sustainability seems to mean something different to everyone. As a brand, we try to be transparent and as environmentally and socially responsible as we can. We care about the human impact, the environmental impact, and creating high-quality pieces that will last. Our biodegradable alpaca wool fabric is sustainably and ethically produced in Peru, supporting the local communities that have been farming alpacas for thousands of years. We only receive one shipment of it per year to reduce our carbon footprint. Our lining is upcycled cupro fabric. All of our other materials are sourced locally within Portugal and Western Europe. We only produce in small batches in Portugal, working with a team of local tailors and we upcycle our leftover fabric by doing made-to-order bomber jackets for kids. We are conscious of our actions and always exploring ways to improve.


What do you envision for the future of your brand?

As well as growing Ziggy Lloyd's online presence and sales, I'd love to host more physical pop-up events in cities around the world. I’ve always thrived on in-person encounters. I’d much rather go the extra mile to meet someone in person than communicate online. I love meeting clients, telling the story of Ziggy Lloyd, and helping them pick the right style and color of jacket for them.


“We are all about creating special pieces with meaning that feel really good to wear and remain a go-to in someone's wardrobe for years to come.”


What is the one piece of advice you would give to a new designer?

Take your time to get it right. Don't cut corners.


How important is social media to your brand?

I think for any brand it's important to have a social media presence but it's a full-time job in itself and these days platforms such as Instagram are so saturated with direct-to-consumer brands that it's hard to reach your target audience. I'm always on the lookout for new platforms and opportunities to reach new customers, such as FashWire. The feel and look of all the materials that go into our jackets and the way they feel to wear is a core part of our brand. They’re tactile pieces that need to be touched and tried on. It’s a feeling that can be hard to communicate digitally.


What is the most important thing you would like your brand to be recognized for?

We are all about creating special pieces with meaning that feel really good to wear and remain a go-to in someone's wardrobe for years to come. 


How would you define fashion?

For me, fashion is a form of wearable art and self-expression through clothing.


What is your favorite fashion trend? Least favorite?

I love a statement voluminous sleeve. Not such a fan of the bucket hat.


What can consumers expect to see next from your brand?

More unisex styles and customizable options.


If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career, what would it be?

Starting your own fashion brand and working for yourself is extremely fulfilling but freaking hard. That said, I wouldn't change a thing.