An Interview with Federica Zanin: Jewellery designer

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Many little girls grow up with the dream of working in the glamorous and enchanting world of fashion.  For Italian born Federica Zanin, this dream is manifesting into a reality.  

"I breathe, love and live fashion"

says Federica, who is in the throws of establishing a successful costume jewellery label. 

Hailing from a town near Venice, Federica studied Visual Merchandising in Rome and a Fashion Design course at the prestigious Accademia del Lusso. To her, Italian fashion is the epitome of "class, elegance and high quality". 

"Some places in Italy still craft their products using their own hands in a world where a lot of clothes and accessories are produced in China or similar countries."

To Federica, fashion is inherent.  

"When I was a little girl I was making clothes for my barbie dolls.  I have always been creative and good at matching clothes and accessories, but it wasn’t until after I finished my university studies that I realised I wanted to turn my biggest passion into a job."

However, cracking the fashion industry in Italy is more than a little challenging.

"Getting into the fashion industry in Italy is really, really hard as there is a lot of competition.  Plus it is difficult for young people to 'make it', not only in terms of becoming someone in the fashion industry, but simply to get your foot in the door.  I personally didn't have much success trying to break into the industry, although I worked as a dresser at some fashion shows and dabbled in visual merchandising. So, I decided to leave the country in search of new opportunities."

A seasoned traveller (Federica has been travelling the world since the age of 18), she relishes meeting new people and learning about different cultures.  Last September, she arrived in Australia to explore opportunities for furthering her fashion experience.

"The fashion industry here is very different from Italy.  Australian designers are very encouraging. I received some amazing feedback on my portfolio and designs."

Federica was offered an internship with the edgy Australian clothing and accessories brand Ginger & Smart.

"Working for Ginger & Smart has been amazing.  The studio has a great creative vibe. Everyone is friendly and I have learnt so much for my professional growth."

Apart from Ginger & Smart, Federica's favourite fashion labels include Blumarine, Lanvin, Valentino, Viktor and Rolf, and beachwear brands such as La Perla and Seafolly. She describes her personal style as "simple but dressy".

"Ï like wearing things that haven't been seen around much and that few people or no one else has. That's why I sometimes customize my own clothes."

Jewellery design was originally a hobby for Federica. 

"It was something I liked to do to relax at the end of the day.
My designs are inspired by what I see around me: something I see in a shop, on a website or on a person.  Sometimes my inspiration is spontaneous - stemming from the creativity within me!" 

Satin ribbons, beading and colourful fabrics are just some of the materials Federica uses to create her earrings, necklaces, bracelets and brooches. 

"Ï don't have any particular type of material I use.  Sometimes I see something, like an old scrap of fabric, and I feel like creating jewellery with it."

It can take anywhere from 10 minutes up to a few hours for Federica to form a unique piece; the timing dependent on the complexity of the creation.

Federica aims to grow her jewellery label over the next couple of years.  At present, her focus is on creating custom-orders for a selection of high-profile clients.  For a custom-made creation by Federica Zanin, contact her at: