The Bare Minimum

by Dorothea

 Zoran, the most “unknown” famous fashion designer

ZoranAmerican Vogue – Photographer Arthur Elgort – 1983

Few fashion designers can boast a cult following while being practically unknown to the wider public as New York based Zoran. Mysterious, secretive and completely disregarding “fashion”, Zoran has endured as a fashion designer of mythic reputation. So secret are his collections, one can only buy from his showroom by appointment…that is; if you have his unlisted number! (I do give some “Create the Look” tips at the end of the post.)

ZORAN_vogue1983_5American Vogue – Photographer Arthur Elgort – 1983

Zoran came onto the fashion scene in 1976 as the High Priest of Minimal and has had a feverish following ever since from women like Queen Noor, Candice Bergen, Gloria Vanderbilt, Lauren Bacall and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

zoran21Designer Zoran with model in his loft in New York

First sold in a few hand picked and approved stores, his clothes would immediately sell out. I dreamt about owning anything by Zoran, but his prices were very high, deservedly so, he uses only the most luxurious fabrics like cashmere, silk and Tasmanian wool.

ZoranAntonioFashion illustration by Antonio Lopez

With a Spartan attitude, his clothes seem almost plain, consisting of four or five solid colors, all in the same expensive fabrics, without buttons, snaps or zippers. They will fluidly and voluptuously wrap around the body, creating a zen-like atmosphere of a woman-in-charge-of-her-world. His clothes give you an air of confidence and insouciance, you just throw them on and on-your-way-you-are

zoranthewizardofeaseAmerican Vogue – Photographer Arthur Elgort – 1983

A basic Zoran wardrobe can be put in a small suitcase, his famous first collection of “Five Easy Pieces” are timeless and still applicable: a shirt in three lengths, a pair of pants and a skirt, all in crepe de chine. The tops were ivory; the bottoms black.

Zoran5 2Italian Vogue – Zoran top and skirt

The best description of the “Zoran Life” is in this article in my favorite magazine Departures (click here) that describes the “vibe” of his clothes perfectly. I love it that he “dictates” that just one handbag will suffice: simply a black Hermes Kelly bag, day and night, all year!


The “all purpose” handbag: a black Hermes Kelly!

Ha! I adhere to that philosophy whole heartedly. He also “forbids” jewelry, but that is going a bit too far, so I am going to disregard that dictate…

Zoran3American vogue – Photographer Marco Glaviani – 1982

Zoran’s clothes are highly collectable, you can find them on Ebay or 1stDibs:

Zoran2Jacket recently sold on 1stDibs

You can easily emulate the “Zoran Style” with smart finds at shops like Zara and even better Cos to “Create the Look”:

zara2Zara Spring 2015

Cos4Cos Fashion Spring 2015

Zara1Zara Spring 2015

Cos3Cos Fashion Spring 2015

The elusive Zoran himself in a recent photograph, a really cool look!