Q&A with Kelly Bozzone

31 January 2016
By Fashion Quarterly

Kelly Bozzone

Jewellery designer Kelly chats to Miss FQ about being her own boss and how she turned a passion for accessories into her dream job.

Can you tell us about your role?

I’m the director and designer of Zabbana, and I manage the day-to-day running, sampling and production. I’m also the designer of all our accessories from initial concepts all the way through the development process, to the final details and product. This is my favourite part of my role!!

What’s your background?

Before launching my unique collection of handbags and jewellery in January 2008, I studied design and art history and learnt to hand-make jewellery. I then went on and worked for a year in the jewellery wholesale business here in New Zealand. My husband (triathlete Terenzo Bozzone) and I live in Auckland, but spend half our time between NZ and Los Angeles.

Why did you start Zabbana?

From a really young age I have always loved being creative and obsessed with fashion especially accessories. My husband’s job requires him to travel and to be away from NZ for long periods of time. We decided early on that we would do our best to see each other as much as possible. I wanted to come up with a brand/job that I could work on from anywhere in the world so we didn’t have to spend months and months apart.

Creating accessories for Zabbana is my passion and being my own boss has allowed me to be more flexible to travel at certains times of the year.

Where is your workspace and who’s on your team?

I’m a little bit of a nomad these days, which I love as I’m immersed in some of the most amazing cultures and places throughout the world. Zabbana is based in Auckland, New Zealand, but my workspace is where ever I am in the world.

What’s the coolest thing about your job?

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I love creating pieces that make women feel great, confident and unique.

What would we find if we had a peek through your handbag?

In my Zabbana carryall Raya bag, I have my ipad, the Zabbana Ciara Weaved wallet in Onyx, a couple of Bobbi Brown lip gloss in Buff and Popsicle, Stella by Stella McCartney perfume,Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream and Zabbana’s Turkish Print Drop earrings, just in case I need to glam up my off-duty day look while out and about.

Oh and also my reliable Karen Walker sunglasses…you can never discount sunshine in the winter months.

Kelly Bozzone

What’s the origin of the brand’s name?

I’m fortunate enough to have amazing godparents who live in Singapore and are keen boaties. I would visit them during school holidays and we would sail to Sebana Cove. I have very found memories playing on the beach, snorkeling, seeing amazing wildlife and the area being so luxurious. I also love the letter ‘Z’ and that is how ZABBANA came about.

Can you tell us about your current collections?

‘GAME OF JAGGED HEARTS’: Autumn/Winter 2014 Jewellery Collection

Zabbana’s Autumn/Winter 2014 collection sees the emergence of a warrior princess, strong and invincible, an eternal defender of love and truth and honour. She wears jewellery like amour, both adornment and shield.

Rings, necklaces and earrings are provocatively potent, pierced with arrows, daggers and sun’s rays. Ancient symbolism embraces pyramids, domes, and the four walls of protection.

Black Onyx stones are the signature stone of the collection. Black is the colour of self-control and discipline, authority and independence. It contains a threat and a promise, and gives the wearer a rare power.

‘INVERNO INFERNO’: Autumn/Winter 2014 Leather Collection

A crisp, ice-cold night. A soaring midwinter sky studded with stars like metallic shards. A crackling fire sending a cascade of sparks into the endless darkness. Zabbana’s Autumn/Winter 2014 bag collection is inspired by those memorable weekends spent camping outside as the temperature plummets.

The softest leathers are crafted in the colors of a camp fire, from the first flaring blaze to the final, fading embers; onyx, caramel, chili, eskimo and flamingo. Bright pops of red and pink stand out in the night, while deepest black, neutral tan and soft, light stone are instantly classic neutrals.

Clutches, shoulder bags and totes feature woven, whipstitch and quilted detailing, referencing the cosy warmth of a blanket keeping the winter chill at bay.

What advice would you give someone who’s keen to start their own business?

Get experience in the field you love and want to be apart of. Use this time to learn as much as possible as this will be extremely benefical in making your business a success. Have a clear brand and business strategy in place before you even start as this will help with decision making along the way.

Lastly, creating a great support team around you, who are creative and have a great business understanding.

What are your workplace wardrobe staples?

At the moment I’m loving anything RED!! Zabbana’s Ava Purse and Isobel Clutch in Chilli are a constant companion right now. I’m also loving stripes and layers!! My Bec & Bridge black and white stripe long sleeve top with my bassike white tee underneath is one of my favourite staples this season.

A great leather jacket is a must-have wardrobe staple, destressed skinny jeans and black leather ankle boots. Adorn this off duty look with Zabbana’s See The Light Studs, Protect Your Heart Stone Ring and the Nomadic Dome and Pyramid Bangles stacked up.

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