FK talk to Zoe Sernack from her Sydney based jewellery label, Zoemou
Can you tell about your label Zoemou and a bit of history about the label?
Zoemou was born in 2005, by artist Zoe Sernack. “Zoemou” translates to “my life” which was given a nickname given to me while my family lived on the greek islands. I am inspired by art movements and combine my own creativity to create something unique and striking. I use leather as the main material, as it is so light and versatile. I try to design with the strong imagery while having a sensitive approach to form and balance which seems to really give the wearer “standing out in the crowd”.
What is your creative background and how did you get to where you are today?
I am actually trained as a painter, and have a Bachelor of Fine Arts (www.zoesernack.com). While I studied and exhibited in galleries, I also worked part time in fashion retail stores doing sales and visual merchandising. I soon found there was a gap in the market for artistic and creative minded accessories. I was also given the opportunity to be an accessory buyer and jewellery designer for stores and from there I started had a label with a girlfriend called Catch and Kiss. We were lucky enough to get instant recognition from designers wanting to use our designs at RAFW catwalk shows and we were featured in the glossy magazines with models like Miranda Kerr wearing our designs.
Zoemou came about, when I wanted to explore laser cutting leather, and with the experience of working in retail, having an artistic background, I decided to go out on my own and see what stores thought of Zoemou Designs.
What are you looking forward to the most at FK Sydney markets?
Meeting the customers! It really is the sort of crowd that i respect and want to hear their thoughts. Being in a studio designing and talking with stores, I don’t get many chances to really met customers and hear there thoughts, see their reactions and their likes and dislikes. It is also a market that always inspires me and has an incredible mix of great talent. Akina and Kareena Zerefos, are 2 artists I have collaborated with under my other label ZM925, and they have always had great things the to say about Finders Keepers.
What advice would you give other designers starting out?
Do your research, make sure your product is different to others out there and priced accordingly. At the same time, make sure it has enough commercial value so you aren’t designing to such a small market you go broke. Like most artists, we designs and create for the love of it, and sometimes forget that it has to pay the bills too… I also have incredible interns, and it is such a great opportunity for up and coming designers, to get a experience of what it takes to have your own label. I would of loved to have had the opportunity to learn from a designer. I also learn so much from them also. Lastly, but most importantly, be determined! People may not notice you straight away, don’t give up, and learn along the way, you should be fine.
Where do you draw inspiration for your work, and what keeps you motivated?
I draw inspiration from art movements and cultures mainly. I love art nouveau and art deco designs but recently I have been looking at designs from the Native American, Afghanistan and Morrocco.
What new plans do you have for Zoemou in the coming future?
I have an amazing Navajo inspired range coming out very soon. We are of course, super excited about doing Finders Keepers… I also have anther fun label I want to start up and I want to combine my painting with Zoemou somehow… stay tuned!