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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 29 August 2015
16 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 29 AUGUST 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM The Zachary p Greek Australian Effie Kats’ label takes the fashion world by surprise NELLY SKOUFATOGLOU Fresh-faced Australian fashion label Zachary has been dubbed the answer to the modern woman's wardrobe woes. At the brand's store located in the heart of Chapel Street, a quote that resonates with the brand is plastered across the wall in bright neon lights. ‘Behind every great woman is herself.’ Zachary began with designer Effie Katsaounis' vision of offering first of all herself and then other women affordable and timeless feminine pieces that can be worn for years to come. At only 25, founder and creative director Effie tapped Melbourne's highest-skilled technicians to construct her collections and provide a high-end aesthetic at a reasonable price. She started designing and making dresses out of her dad's store back in 2013 when she discovered there was a distinct gap in the fashion market - "a lack of high-end aesthetic attires at affordable prices". "I wanted to buy a glamorous and sexy but not kitsch dress, a feminine suit ... a body-conscious skirt that would flatter my figure without being overly tight without paying a fortune," says Effie Kats, former photographer and public relations executive, but that didn't work for her either. "I explained my idea to my dad who had a tailoring business and he very kindly helped me to start off my business." As luck would have it, when she first put her final designs on a rack in the window, a pattern designer walked in, offering the young amateur designer some very valuable advice. The two have been working together on Zachary's common vision ever since. In the beginning Effie was selling their designs from her personal Instagram account. However, after a year of hard and steady work the brand started to build an audience. From Effie's selfies in front of her father's mirror, the label's sassy posts have celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Antoinette Marie (a.k.a. Sydney Fashion Blogger) setting the bar higher. "Our reputation sky-rocketed after I saw Sydney Fashion Blogger in Topshop during one of my trips there," Effie says, admitting she followed the also Greek Australian celebrity until she could start a conversation. "I told her about the label, my vision and our high-quality standards and she eventually left holding one of our designs, with plans to wear it for her upcoming birthday bash." Antoinette Marie's birthday came along, and unfortunately it seemed she hadn't fallen for Zachary The Label. "Everything happens for a reason," Effie says, musing this gave her time to work harder. "I hadn't even established an identity at that stage and our Instagram page was just picking up. It wasn't until six months later following New Y that my phone went on fir Her friends had started texting her with scr shots taken fr sydneyfashionblogger's Instagram acc asking her if she was wearing a Zachary dress. Antoinette had saved this outfit for the most exciting night of the year. "That worked perfectly for us. People started tagging and sharing, Zachary designer Effie Katsaounis.
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