Thursday, January 17

Profile: Carolina Zapf

Clothing designer Carolina Zapf

Photo Hampton Style Magazine

The lovely, German-born Carolina Zapf is the founder of CZ and Baby CZ clothing companies. A clothing line that focuses on heirloom quality children's wear in rich, cozy materials such as cashmere, linen and cotton.

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Carolina was raised in a distinctly modern and bohemian home. Her father is renowned furniture designer Otto Zapf and her mother Rosalie is a avid collector of '60s and '70s haute couture. “Design meant everything in our Bauhaus-influenced house,” she proudly proclaims.

Carolina came to the U.S. to study fashion & millinery at F.I.T. (The Fashion Institute of Technology) and designed women's wear for 12 years. In 2002 she decided to focus on luscious two-ply cashmere as the foundation for a new children's line that catered to chic new parents. Since founding Baby CZ Carolina’s designs have been recognized and touted by some of the very best including, Gotham, Town & Country, Vanity Fair and InStyle. Very chic indeed.

What influence did your parents have on you as a clothing designer
I grew up in my father’s workshop looking at his design and discussing them for hours. My father is a minimalist and believes that less is more. Creating simple, functional design that pleases and comforts requires patience and commitment. The Bauhaus aesthetic has always been a strong influence on his work.

Even while being minimalist in their home, my parents always embraced fashion – sometimes being quite flamboyant in their style. They embraced the designs of Daniel Hechter, Cacharel, Courreges, Jil Sander and Armani—very modern for their time.

Both of my parents believe in beauty and not to shock the eye, it is all about enhancing your life and the way you look, not taking away from it.

What inspires your designs and creativity?
I have three children that constantly astound me with the way they change and see the world. I love to travel and take a lot of inspiration from places I have been, such as Vietnam and Africa. Even though we are a very classic modern line, there always has to be a fresh look to what we do.

What is your secret for designing clothes that are not only beautiful but functional as well?
Children are the toughest critics. If they are not comfortable, they will not wear it. Adults will put up with a lot in order to look good, but for children it is all about functionality and feeling good. I try to design clothes that will keep children looking like children. I like designs that are modern, but will stand up to trends.

Who is your style icon?
My mother

What it the one thing in life you can’t live without?
My family

What do you consider to be a true luxury in life

Who would you most like to meet and how would you spend the day
Sissi, the Empress of Austria. I would love to spend a day seeing all the details and beauty in her very lonely and complicated life.

What books are on your bedside table
Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia

Editor's note: A special thanks to Patricia van Essche for introducing me to Carolina.


Anonymous said...

Yet another great profile and what cool parents!

pve design said...

Glad you were able to connect and post on CZ. Just knew that she was the perfect profile for all the best. Not only is CZ the epitome of "chic" - she is a lovely lady.

The Peak of Chic said...

Cute clothing line!

Anonymous said...

Is this the Zapf family that created the Zapf doll line?

ALL THE BEST said...

I don't know but I will find out.

Anonymous said...

I love that her mother and father embraced the designs of Daniel Hechter, Cacharel, Courreges!

Anna Spiro said...

Very chic - a lovely profile Ronda!

annechovie said...

Enjoyed this profile, Ronda. Carolina's clothing is beautiful!