AUSTRALIAN fashion label Zimmermann has attracted a backlash from fans after charging almost $3000 for a dress from its latest collection.
At first glance, the brand's 'painted heart sun dress' might seem overpriced. It's true, the fabric and labour certainly wouldn't have cost close to that sum. But you're missing the point.
Nicky and Simone Zimmermann launched their label in 1991 at Paddington markets, selling cute bikinis and dreaming about turning their passion into a fully-fledged career. I still remember my first Zimmermann piece. It was a chic, black blazer which I had borrowed (permanently) from my much older sister Amy, who was about 25 at the time. I was 15 and in hardly a position to afford designer clothing.
I still remember how beautifully designed it was, and it wasn't until about nine years later that I finally had a job which allowed me to dip my toes ever so slightly into the world of Australian designer fashion.
My first legitimate purchase was another Zimmermann. This time it was a black, satin coat which made me feel like a movie star whenever I slipped it on. I had so many great nights out in that coat.
Over the label's 25 years, Zimmermann has weathered recessions, changing trends and business highs and lows and its designers have poured blood, sweat and tears into making it a success. I've witnessed the Zimmermann sisters' growth and evolution, turning their once local business into a globally recognised fashion label which now shows on the hallowed runways of New York Fashion Week alongside the likes of Helmut Lang, Calvin Klein and Tom Ford.
They've got about 20 stores in both Australia and the US and continue to expand as their global fanbase - which includes celebrities and supermodels - does also.
They have received the Australian Fashion Laureate award, appeared on the runway of the very first Australian Fashion Week in 1996 and are two of very few designers from that inaugural event still pushing Australia's trend agenda.
Yesterday, Zimmermann fans lashed out at the brand for alienating its young female customer base by raising prices too high.
Zimmermann's social media accounts were littered with comments from women complaining that the label's new four-figure price tags meant its iconic dresses and swimwear were now unaffordable.
"$3,000?!!! Are they bloody serious? Isn't their stuff made in China? Disgraceful prices. Used to love Zimmy but now it's out of reach," one woman commented.
"They've lost the plot," another wrote.
That's not true.
While $3000 sounds steep for a pretty dress, it's worth remembering that you're paying for much, much more than a few artfully arranged strips of silk and linen.