Protea, if you don’t already know, is a flower known to symbolise change, appearing in many forms without losing the integrity of its species. It’s the flower of choice for ZIAH, an Australian swimwear label by Brazilian-born Erika Toscano, ‘Ziah is about the woman that is within each of us; the woman who can be whoever she wants. She can invent and reinvent herself throughout her trajectory’ she explains.
‘I have always been inspired by the behavior of (wo)man and how it reflects in art, fashion, music and science. Ziah is my attempt to translate such actions into an aesthetic, a mood, a message. Aesthetically, I am always looking to the past in an attempt to bring vintage colors and cuts back to life.’
‘Protea’ is taken from Proteus, the son of Greek God Poseidon, who preferred relaxing in the sun to sharing his wisdom with others. To remain elusive, he would shape-shift. Behind ZIAH’s classic, comfortable shapes is an intention to create a blank canvas for the ever-changing woman who wears them.
Erika’s efforts around sustainability are evolving too. Rather than claiming to do it all, she details how they are doing as much as they can (minimising plastic, cutting out leather) and are always trying to do more; upcoming collections will be made with a larger amount of recycled lycra from Italy, for example.
The current collection features Indya Moore, a trans model who shares Erika’s desire to push against rigid structures imposed by society, telling Vogue (Spain): ‘I want my presence in this campaign to be seen as a symbol of struggle and faith.’ Whilst tortoise buttons on the ‘Céline’ one-piece may catch your eye, this message will likely capture your heart too.
Brand to Watch is our regular dispatch of standout labels merging ethics with aesthetics.
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