It’s pretty hard to tell where designer Daisy Donohoe ends and her mink slide label, Zizi Donohoe, begins. An Old Hollywood-meets-Beverly Hills aesthetic lies at the core of each in equal measure. And Donohoe lives the brand and is one of its best advertisements, even starring in the campaign imagery.
Unsurprisingly, given those close ties, the Zizi Donohoe brand was born out of a gap in the designer’s own wardrobe. “I was missing something flat and comfortable that wasn’t a sneaker, something that was luxurious, but still casual and something that I could look forward to wearing that made me feel gorgeous,” she said.
“I wanted a shoe I could wear every day.” And indeed, she does, whether making provisions runs to Whole Foods in her adopted home of Los Angeles or attending swanky events.
Donohoe originally hails from England and studied footwear at London’s prestigious Cordwainers College before heading for the bright lights of New York. “I wanted to be Carrie Bradshaw,” she admitted. Instead, she found a city full of “angry people and rats,” so soon she switched things up for the infinitely more agreeable L.A.
Donohoe has so embraced the City of Angels that it provided the colorway inspiration for her debut spring ’17 collection. “We lifted the colors from classic films like ‘Troop Beverly Hills’ and ‘Pretty Woman,’” she said, noting that the pinks and yellows also hark back to an Escada campaign she spotted in a copy of Vogue from the same era. For fall, she will introduce new seasonal shades.
The slides, featuring mink sourced from the sustainably minded Saga Furs, are sold on the label’s e-tail site, Zizidonohoe.com, for $1,290 to $1,490.
Acutely aware of the constraints in selling a single silhouette, Donohoe set out to make her label synonymous with an entire lifestyle via visuals disseminated over Instagram. “People buy into the brand ideals more than just the one product,” she said, “so I wanted [the visuals] to convey a real sense of my message.”
Her marketing images are a collaboration between Donohoe and photographer Nadia Lee Cohen. The message behind them? One of unapologetic kitsch. Picture the Beverly Hills of a late 1980s or early ’90s movie, complete with shag pile carpet and an enormous vintage cellphone. But look closer and you’ll see that everything in the pictures, from the cigarettes and champagne to the toothpaste, are all Zizi Donohoe-branded. Oh, and the legs you see perched on the loo seat — those belong to the designer herself.
While mink slides are her signature, Donohoe is not opposed to a soupçon of diversification. Look out for a limited-edition capsule line of silk robes launching on the website next month. “They’re very [appropriate for an] evening situation,” she said. “I would absolutely wear them to a fancy-little-lady dinner, though I’d also throw one on with the slides to grab milk in the morning.”