She’s known for her bright, colourful prints created digitally from photos she takes in Canberra and surrounds. So what’s the deal behind the corporate range in solid blacks, navy blues and royal blues just launched by local fashion designer Yumi Morrissey?
“A friend asked me to make her favourite Zilpah tart print dress in plain navy for work,” says Yumi. “She loves the style, shape and ease-of-wear of the Balloons dress she bought from me but works in a conservative office and thought a solid colour would be more appropriate. She discussed it with other female friends who agreed so I seized the opportunity to design a new corporate range for professional women.” And the range began attracting attention the moment it popped up on Zilpah tart’s website and social media platforms.
Yumi is staying true to her aesthetic—dresses that look fabulous; are flattering to the female silhouette and are comfortable. She’s also using the quality polyester jersey fabric so popular in her other collections because it doesn’t crease or crinkle or need ironing. It washes easily, dries quickly and is fabulous for those who travel.
This isn’t the first time Yumi has made the smart move of responding direct to customer suggestions. She took a limited number of orders for the black diamond dress she made to wear to FASHFEST 2017, when launching her spring/summer Garden Paradise collection on the catwalk. When she ran out of that fabric, she sourced a sparkly forest green fabric in Sydney. “The runs were limited but customers thought they were perfect for Christmas and the party season,” says Yumi.
The initial line-up of Zilpah tart’s new corporate range features four styles, each named after one of the women who encouraged Yumi to ‘go for it’—Ash, Heidi, Penne and Sarah. “They also modelled the dresses for me in the photo shoot, which was really fun,” says Yumi. “I chose the four styles because they’re best sellers for Zilpah tart, and all four are made specifically for work, but they can easily take you to after-work drinks or events or special occasions.”
Each style is available in black, navy and royal blue. Yumi has designed two V-neck lines, shapes she knows her customers like, and has included two variations for the bottom of the dresses; a full skirt and a more A-line shape.
She plans to monitor sales of the new corporate range and add additional styles over time. She’ll also change the colours to reflect the change of seasons.
The corporate range is sold through the Gungahlin Collective and Zilpah tart’s website. Yumi is also hoping to also sell it out of the Design A Space, Manchester Lane, Melbourne, where she already stocks many of her colourful prints. “Let’s face it, Melbourne loves a bit of black,” she says, “and with my colourful patterns, I’ll be looking to sell in Sydney and Queensland starting this year.”
While sales of the corporate range continue, Yumi has been busy. She’s just come back from a fabric buying trip and is now busy designing her autumn/winter 2018 collection, which will feature coats made from black wool (with her bright prints as lining for added interest), dresses out of wool jersey and skirts out of a cotton satin.
The new corporate range starts at $160, with four part-payments available through Afterpay on www.zilpahtart.com.au