Antonia Zander combines traditional tailoring with Italian knitting and explores the close relationship between techniques of knitting and weaving. The constant examination of different contrasts defines her work: tradition meets “Zeitgeist”, sustainability meets technology, simplicity meets opulence.
By borrowing from couture techniques of the past and harnessing a sensitivity for materials, for volumes and colour, a timeless aesthetic and sophisticated modern design language is created that typifies the Antonia Zander style. With a focus on utilising selected luxurious and natural materials, the profound knowledge of traditional craftsmanship together with detailed workmanship and a high standard of wearability and authenticity expresses this philosophy in two words: mindful luxury!
For close to 15 years Antonia has been the creative spirit behind the brand. Even as a child, playing among the cones of different coloured yarns in her mother’s studio, her dreams were always of becoming a fashion designer!
She trained as an apprentice taylor during her school years and sat her journeyman’s exams after finishing high school. She then studied for a fashion design degree at ESMOD (International Academy of Art for Fashion in Berlin). Periods spent in Japan, Spain and Italy paved the way for her early entrepreneurial assignments, first as costume design assistant in the film industry, and then as a designer/maker of wedding gowns. In 2005, she decided to take her very own first collection under her own name – Antonia Zander – to the PREMIUM International Trade Show in Berlin.
The real breakthrough came in 2011, when Antonia designed the by now globally famous “Triangolo Camoscio”, a large triangular cashmere scarf with long, hand-punched leather fringes, that became the “IT-piece” of the fashion design world! Until today it is an absolute bestseller made in a multitude of colour combinations. It has been – and still remains – a much coveted fashion accessory worldwide that has been copied many times!
It was Antonia’s mother, Elke Zander, who founded the label in 1983, while raising her two small children on an isolated old farm in the Bavarian Alps that was in need of restoration. From the very start the emphasis was on the use of high quality materials such as pure cashmere, alpaca and silk combined with traditional knitting methods. Employing first independent home knitters in rural Bavaria, who through this work were able to supplement their family income, Elke also started to work with small family-run knitting mills in Italy. One of these families, now in the second generation, is still working today with her daughter Antonia!